Friday, August 11, 2017

Cypress Cove #Sangria & Ripe For Murder

Carlene O'Neil is whipping up sangria to pair with her excellent winery mystery, Ripe For Murder. Carlene is a former television writer who comes from wine country originally. Her Cypress Cove Mystery Series is set along the Central California Coast, and she says that the similarities between her fictional town of Cypress Cove and the real town of Carmel or no accident. And neither are the murders in her series...

As a winery owner, you’d think I might be a wine purist. Not at all. Wine can be enjoyed many different ways, and if you like it with fruit and sparkling water, even better. Take Sangria. There’s a reason why Sangria is the perfect drink for summer.  It’s lighter, and doesn’t have as much alcohol as other drinks, so it’s refreshing. It’s been a favorite in America since the 1964 World's Fair in New York City. Spain's sponsored pavilion featured the drink, and American have been thirsty for sangria ever since.  

Colorful, fun, and fruity, it's the perfect afternoon drink on a hot summer day. It’s a party in a glass. But before we get to the recipe, here's a little bit about the book:

Penny Lively is searching for a way to grow the family winery when she’s approached to invest in a new train line through wine country. If she invests a small plot of unused land, a train full of thirsty tourists are practically dropped steps from the winery’s tasting room. It sounds perfect, especially when Penny and her intoxicating winery manager, Connor, are invited to a lavish resort to hear the details. Relaxing with Connor, review the operation, and meeting the other investors. What could go wrong?

Almost everything, and it starts before Penny even leaves Cypress Cove. Chantal, the voluptuous flirt from the winery next door, is also in attendance, swirling up trouble by flirting with the male investors – and Connor too. When one of the investors  is murdered, Chantal, who was seen fighting with the victim, is the prime suspect. Chantal may be a sour grape, but she’s no killer. So Penny, who’s become a sleuthing connoisseur, starts sniffing out the real suspect, and discovers that her fellow investors have been savoring more than their share of deadly secrets…

And now for our beverage:

Cypress Cover Sangria

  • 1 bottle white wine – Pinot Grigio is my favorite for this
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced
  • ½ small cucumber, thinly slices
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 4 Tbsp sugar, or to taste

1. Prepare simple syrup by mixing 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of water in a small dish and microwaving for 30-second increments until sugar is dissolved. Alternatively, prepare a large batch on the stovetop using a 1:1 sugar-water ratio and reserve for later use.

2. Once simple syrup is ready, add 1 Tablespoon to each wine glass. Then add mint leaves and rough them up a little bit. Next add several slices each of lemon, lime, and cucumber

3. Top off with wine and let set for a few minutes so the flavors can meld together. Top off with more wine and citrus as needed.



  1. Ripe for Murder and Sangria sounds the perfect combination for a hot summer's day.

  2. Oh my, this book sounds awesome. I love the winery theme and the characters sound like they're going to be great!!