Sunday, 4 September 2016
beach party with sangria
The summer's highlight was a concert on the beach featuring one of Greece's best loved singers, Manolis Mitsias.
Years ago his son undertook the first month of his compulsory military training at the Naval Base here and Manolis came along to give a concert to the new recruits. K was in charge of all things electric back then and arranged for the microphones and technical stuff to be set up. I was away at the time but he got me a signed photo . He is one of only two or three greek singers whose music I enjoy.
This latest concert took place on the beach in front of the ruins of the old Russian naval station . The ruins were lit up from behind in a radiant blue, the stage in many coloured spotlights, the bay was full of luxury yachts tied up to shore, all the seafarers sitting on deck with their g and t's, small boats sailed in and out ferrying the masses, lights of the villages on the mainland twinkled in the background. Even with so many people there was a kind of hush and Manoli's music filled the bay and echoed across the waters.
We drove around in the car and sat up on the bank above the bay so we had the music up close and a panoramic view of the lights. I made some sangria for the girls and I, a chilly bin of cold wine for K, homemade pies and a few chips and nibbles plus, most important, comfortable folding chairs for all of us.
Listening to the concert in comfort
Crowds were arriving, an endless trail, by water taxi, car, bus or motorbike. When I say at least half of the island was there plus a few hundred tourists I am not exaggerating. The Mayor gave a long speech before the concert using his captive audience to do a bit of campaigning.
Around us were loads more fans standing on the side of the hill, singing, dancing to the music. Now and again Mitsias would turn off the microphone and ask the audience to sing along and they sure did. Everyone knew the words and sang with great gusto.
The beach bar down below set up a row of small BBQs and lines of tables and chairs and the tantalising smell of char cooked souvlaki rose up to our noses. We drank our sangria and felt very happy.
Sangria with white wine and vodka
We usually manage to find a bottle of sauv blanc to drink on these occasions but could find nothing in the local shops. I wanted something a little more festive to drink than Vaso's white in a plastic bottle. I googled sangria with white wine and discovered this wonderful combo. White wine and vodka. Our English neighbours had given us a bottle of vodka at easter and there was still some left. I actually had all the ingredients on hand.
About a litre of white wine
one cup of vodka
one cup of orange juice (or whatever fruit juice or pop you can find)
fruit - there was a nectarine in the fridge and a few leftover grapes. I cut the nectarine up and plopped them and the grapes in the jug
I topped up the (big jug) with a little more wine and juice, but went easy on the vodka. Every time we filled our glasses I added some ice and soda water and some fruit.
Cheers Big Ears.