October 21, 2012

Fall Sangria and Spiked Squash Spread with Arbor Mist

About a month ago my husband handed me a pre-dinner glass of wine and after consuming about 1/3 of it I realized I had a nice little buzz going...yikes.  Clearly somewhere between working my tail off, running Kayla to her endless activities and you know, doing all the things you probably do I had forgotten all about cocktails, relaxation and the fabulous feeling of having a glass of wine to wind down from the joy that is a very loquacious preschooler.

Arbort Mist Frozen Wine sangria in a pumpkin #CBias

This realization came at a time when I needed to step up my game, as I would be attending a destination wedding on the beach in Cabo with a group of people who can hold their liquor.  So "Project Happy Hour" commenced in our home and I began my career as a novice mixologist in an effort to build up to a socially acceptable tolerance on our trip.

Over the course of a few weeks I created several drinks including my favorites - a great strawberry rosemary spiked lemonade and a last-of-Summer sangria.  I stumbled upon lots of beverage choices in my "research" including these Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails.  They aren't the easiest to find, but I headed to Walmart to look for this Blackberry Merlot flavor.  What I really liked about them was the ability to drink them as a cold beverage or as a frosty treat in San Diego's erratic weather, which could be 86 degrees one day and 65 degrees the next.

Arbort Mist Frozen Wine sangria in a pumpkin #CBias

Since things are finally cooling down here in San Diego, I started thinking about a nice transitional Fall drink and came up with this Sangria served in a pumpkin to fit the season.   I also decided to make some bar snacks to go with it like toasted cinnamon pumpkin seeds and a spiked butternut squash spread.

I started by scooping out a pumpkin and putting the seeds aside to make the toasted pumpkin seed bar snack with.  I tried to make sure the pumpkin was cleaner inside than I would have normally when carving a pumpkin since the sangria would be sitting in it.

Toasted pumpkin seeds and butternut squash with Arbor Mist #CBIas

I cubed some butternut squash, brushed it with a little melted butter and sprinkled it with cinnamon.  I took the pumpkin seeds and sprinkled them with some sea salt and cinnamon.  I baked them at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes for the seeds and 25 minutes for the squash.

making my Arbor Mist sangria #CBias

While those were baking I used the Frozen Wine Cocktail in its partially frozen state and mixed in some pomegranate seeds and small cantaloupe chunks to make the sangria.  I let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to allow the flavors to mix.  If time had allowed I would have let the sangria sit overnight.

making spiked butternut squash spread with Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails

When the squash was done I mashed it up, added a little bit of sea salt and a couple tablespoons of the Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktail.  The Blackberry Merlot was the right flavor to work with the squash and add some extra acid for a yummy spread.

Happy Hour at home with Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails #CBias

I set everything out on our coffee table - the Fall sangria filled pumpkin, some baguette slices, the toasted cinnamon pumpkin seeds and the spiked butternut squash spread.  I'm not going to lie, I had a proud wife moment.  It was Friday afternoon and I knew my husband would be grateful when he came home to this as the start to our weekend.

Fall sangria, toasted pumpkin seeds and spiked butternut squash spread with Arbor Mist #CBias

Since keeping Kayla happy is truly the key to the two of us getting a few minutes to talk in peace I wanted to make sure that she had a fun little project to do while we enjoyed some unwinding time so I put out some crayons to let her decorate a little pumpkin with.

pumpkin decorating for my daughter during happy hour #CBias

Have you tried the Arbor Mist Frozen Wine Cocktails before?  There are a few different flavors and I haven't tried them all yet.  Do you have any favorite Fall drinks or snacks?  I would love to hear some ideas to add to my happy hour at home repertoire!

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ #CBias #SocialFabric as always everything you see is my own picky opinion and who doesn't love making a fun seasonal happy hour?
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