Friday, May 4, 2018

Summer Sangria and Taking Care

Sangria and past loves are the themes for today's Drinks with Reads pairing. My story, "Taking Care," appears in the May/June issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. Which brings me to how I got the idea for the story.

Have you ever agreed to meet people you haven’t seen in years? 

One afternoon I got a Linked In message from a guy I worked with ten years ago and he says he’s getting our old gang together for happy hour. Work is slow, and it’s a Friday afternoon, so I leave the office early and head for this outdoor bar that I haven't been to for years. 

I arrive late, and the group has crammed too many chairs around too few tables and everyone is trying valiantly to make their current job sound better than it really is when suddenly, one guy I don’t remember very well announces that he’s rekindled the fires of his first love – his high school sweetheart – and he’s commuting to Michigan on the weekends to see her. Michigan is not an easy commute from California, but he seems so happy. And he has lost a lot of weight since I last saw him. 

He claims it’s the best relationship he’s had since his second divorce. It’s been ten years, so none of us knew about the first divorce and everyone liked the first wife, so there are some whispers at this point in the discussion, but before too long another former colleague admits that she's divorced and is now she’s seeing her high school sweetheart long distance. He lives in Tennessee. 

Before you know it, half the forty-somethings at the table are convinced that their exes are the best dating pool ever. They already know about your foibles/bad habits/prison record and they knew you when you looked really, really good. 

So instead of tracking my old boyfriends down, I decided to write a short story about this phenomenon and send it to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. And now you can read it in this month’s issue.  It was an absolute hoot to write and I hope you enjoy it.

And now for the drink.

My protagonist is a caterer, and she makes this Summer Sangria for her customers. The recipe comes from our friend Matt at the bar at the North Bethesda Marriot, the new home of the Malice Domestic Mystery Convention. 

Thank you, Matt!

Summer Sangria

  • 2.5 ounces or Quantro
  • 5 ounces of Korbel Brandy
  • A Splash of 
    • Peach Schnapps
    • Pama Liqueur (Pomegranate liquor) 
    • Absolute Mandarin
    • Or whatever you fancy
  • One bottle of Merlot
  • Apples and Pears, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 ounces of Apple Cider

Pour liquid ingredients into a pitcher and mix thoroughly. Pour over ice, and add fruit. 

May is Short Story month so all during May we will feature excellent short stories on Drinks with Reads. 

Deborah Lacy is the founder and editor in chief of Mystery Playground. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines. 


  1. I can't wait to read this Deb! Very exciting and congratulations again. I absolutely love Sangria and this one sounds so refreshing.

  2. What a great read! I'm so glad I subscribe to Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, they always have the best stories.

  3. Sounds like a fun story, Deb. I'm a little behind on my AHMM, but I look forward to reading it.