Frontier Psychiatrist

Red, White, and Tipsy

Posted on: July 4, 2012

My ideal 4th of July consists of a long weekend filled with BBQs, picnics, and a cold beer or fruity sangria (or both (but not together, ew)).  Unfortunately, I’m no master brewer, so I won’t be teaching you how to make beer today, but I figured I’d equip you with the knowledge to conquer the other elements of a relaxing July 4th.  And should it be the case that you’re just getting started on your holiday plans right now, you’re in luck!  Neither of these recipes involves much forethought (though they both benefit from it), so you can be on your way to your BBQ/picnic/cookout/potluck in no time.

Sangria is a summer staple that need not be something you only order at restaurants.  It’s easy to make in large batches and can be customized to any taste.  I turn into a white wino come warm weather, so I’m sharing my favorite white wine sangria recipe.  You could sub in a rosé, if you wanted, though I wouldn’t go with red wine for this one.  Normally a sangria contains wine, brandy (or a similar liquor), fruit, and sometimes club soda.  This one calls for St-Germain, a sweet, floral elderflower liqueur, which, in my opinion, makes most light cocktails better.  The recipe I’m including below is a suggestion of sorts.  I listed the fruits I used in mine, but almost anything works, and in any proportion.  Berries, apples, citrus, pears… I might avoid the “tropicals” like bananas and mangos, but if banana sangria is just up your alley, then there are no deal breakers.  The best part of sangria is the drunken fruit salad at the bottom of your glass, so consider porous fruits that’ll soak up the alcohol for you.  The longer you can let your sangria steep, the better, as it takes on the flavors of the fruit, but it can be drunk immediately for those times when you need a drink, stat.

For whatever reason, potato salad just screams “America” to me, making it a crucial part of any Independence Day soiree.  However delicious the classic mayo-laden variety may be, I find it pretty heavy for mid-summer.  Given the recent heat wave in most of the country, a lighter version seems appropriate.  My recipe is inspired by my time in Spain, where my host mom introduced me to, among many other things, a potato salad dressed in olive oil instead of mayo.  Slices of hard boiled eggs are scattered among chunks of potatoes, evoking the flavors of a Spanish tortilla.  Like the sangria, the proportions are flexible for this potato salad, and the ingredients can be whatever you have on hand.  I like an herbal element, a crunchy element, and a spicy element (onions usually), but it’s all up to you.  Again, my suggestions are below, but you can use any herbs: parsley is classic, but I’ve used thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil…  This is a great opportunity to use high quality olive oil if you have it because the flavors will really come through.  Eat at room temperature, or cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight to let the ingredients meld.

Happy 4th to all!

St-Germain Sangria

Adapted from

1 bottle dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work well)

1 cup St-Germain liqueur

2-3 cups of fruit, cut into chunks if large (for example, 1 peach, 1 apricot, 1 plum, a handful of cherries (pitted and halved ), ½ cup blueberries)

½ cup club soda or seltzer (optional)

Mix together all ingredients and chill very well or serve in glasses filled with ice.  Allow to “steep” for at least 20 minutes or up to a few hours.

Mayo-Free Potato Salad

Original recipe

3 pounds waxy yellow potatoes (fingerling are great, or Yukon Gold)

3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced into rings or wedges

½ red or white onion, very finely chopped

1 small red bell pepper, or about a 1/2 cup mix of pepper and celery,  finely chopped

1/4 cup herbs (I like a mix of thyme and parsley), chopped

1/4 cup olive oil, or more, to taste


Black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Scrub potatoes and boil until tender, about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of potatoes.

2. When tender, drain potatoes and run under cold water.  When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes into 1 or 2 inch chunks and combine with eggs, onion, pepper, and herbs.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat ingredients evenly.  Season with a few pinches of salt, and several grinds of pepper, to taste.

Freya Bellin writes alternate Wednesdays for Frontier Psychiatrist. Her recent FP recipes include The Sandwich of ChampionsPerhaps It Won’t Be a Pie, and Ethnic Excursion: Kalustyan’s in NYC.


3 Responses to "Red, White, and Tipsy"

[…] Bellin writes alternate Wednesdays for Frontier Psychiatrist. Her recent FP recipes include Red, White, and Tipsy, The Sandwich of Champions, and Perhaps It Won’t Be a Pie. Share […]

[…] Wednesdays for Frontier Psychiatrist. Her recent FP recipes include Presto! It’s Pesto,  Red, White, and Tipsy, and The Sandwich of Champions. Share this:ShareEmailTwitterFacebookRedditStumbleUponYahoo […]

[…] Frontier Psychiatrist. Her recent FP recipes include This Is My Jam, Presto! It’s Pesto, and Red, White, and Tipsy. Share this:ShareEmailTwitterFacebookRedditStumbleUponYahoo BuzzDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

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