If my husband could choose any profession in the world, it would be a Formula 1 race car driver (or pilot, as he says). Naturally, it’s not a profession that comes easily, and is much harder than you think. When I first met Danny, I didn’t have the slightest idea what Formula 1 was, let alone Indy racing. I asked him if it was like Nascar…yeah…big mistake for even comparing the two…and even bigger mistake for mentioning it to my husband. It was the first lecture I received about the differences between the two, which eventually led him taking me to an Indy race so I could see for myself.
It was SO loud…and SO awesome! I was completely mesmerized by the whole experience. My ever-patient husband explained everything to me: from the importance of switching tires out, to the specific gear they wear, and the tracks they use (none of that circle Nascar crap like he says). I couldn’t believe how much is involved, and it was the first time I witnessed my husband in his element.
To say he loves cars is an understatement. When Danny walked me to his car on our first date, I stopped short because I couldn’t believe the car he was driving. What was it, you ask? A white Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII (Danny made write the number like this). I never would’ve thought my future husband would drive a car like this because it just seemed…bad-boyish. Then, when I sat in the passenger seat, I saw the race car helmet. “Who the heck am I dating?” I thought. He saw the expression on my face and quickly explained it’s a side hobby that’s only done on a track and not the street. Somehow, that answer just made him more appealing to me…and it was only our first date. HA!
He hasn’t raced in a LONG time (it can be very expensive). Recently, however, for his 30th birthday, I wanted to change that and do something special for him. Later this year, during our Disney vacation, Danny will be driving a Ferrari 430 at the Walt Disney World Speedway. When I handed him the envelope with the details inside, my husband was speechless…and probably didn’t believe his eyes. Once that wore off, he ran around the room (those who know him well, know how much this experience means to him) screaming, “6 laps! 6 laps!” At first, I wondered if that was too little and asked if that was ok. He stopped his rant, glanced at me briefly, then started screaming, “Holy cow, a Ferrari!”…so yeah…needless to say I guess I did good this year.
What does champagne sangria have anything to do with this story? In racing, after the driver has won, champagne is the typical drink used to celebrate. “Rush,” the most current Formula 1 movie starring Chris Hemsworth (the most amazing eye candy you will feast your eyes on) and Daniel Brühl (who was in Inglourious Basterds), was the perfect date night movie to compliment my sangria.
This is a GREAT movie and I highly recommend it. It’s sexy, leaves you at the edge of your seat, and helps you understand the art of racing. Ron Howard (the director) did an amazing job with the cinematography. Plus, it has cars, so you’ll score points with the hubs.
This is a very easy champagne sangria recipe. My husband had to stop me from drinking all of it before our date night…it’s THAT good. We had tapas (charcuterie, cheeses, apricot preserves, honey and a french baguette) with our sangria, which was a nice break from cooking. Easy, peezy. 🙂
Yields 2-4 servings (depending on how many glasses you want to have)
3 cups of champagne (an inexpensive one will work fine)
1 1/2 cups of lemon lime soda
1/4 cup of grand marnier (a “shooter” is perfect…you can find them near checkout lines at the liquor store)
1 orange sliced thinly and cut in half
6 strawberries hulled and sliced in half
Splash of cranberry juice (optional)
Pour all the liquids first into a large pitcher and then add the fruit. Stir everything and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Isabella’s great grandmother (from Danny’s side), Dora, gave me this pitcher years ago and I always use it for sangria. Perfect for two people.
And here’s our charcuterie…fancy, no? This is foolproof, people!
It was a very successful and relaxing date night. 🙂