The Classic Sangria

Today’s Featured Cocktail

The Classic Sangria

One of the best things to do when collecting vintage items is finding great recipes to allow you to use them. If you have a set of vintage barware or only have a couple of

Sangria Dorothy Thorpe Silver Rim Decanter



Sangria is a common beverage in both Spain and Portugal.  It was introduced to the United States in 1964 at the Worlds Fair in New York.





favorite glasses, this is one of the best and easiest recipes to utilize your favorite barware.  Sangria is a classic signature cocktail which includes red wine, fruit, brandy and a sweetener. You can choose to make your Sangria either plain or exotic, the choice is really up to you.  I’ll provide you a basic recipe, but those of you who know me will know that I never do anything basic!

My basic sangria recipe consists of the following:

Fruit (oranges, apples, strawberries, lemons…etc.). Remember it’s all up to you.

1 bottle Red Wine.  The better the wine- the better the Sangria.

1 cup Brandy

1 cup Seven-Up

Cut your citrus in slices removing seeds and place them in a large pitcher.  Core and slice apples in wedges, clean and remove any leaves on the remaining fruit. Add the fruit, wine, brandy and Seven-Up to the pitcher, stir and let marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Make sure you have your Sangria chilled as you never want to dilute your Sangria with ice.


Small Dorothy Thorpe Decanter Roly Poly Glasses Silver Rim
Small Dorothy Thorpe Decanter With Roly Poly Glasses



When life gives you lemons, make Sangria!






Things to keep in mind when serving:

You have many different choices when serving your Sangria. For a party with 8+ guests, choose to serve your sangria in a punch bowl and keep the glasses small.  A vintage roly poly glass or punch bowl glass will be perfect. Serve each guest the first drink, afterwards let them know to feel free to help themselves. If serving 4-6 guests, a nice vintage pitcher or decanter with either wine glasses, hurricane glasses or rocks glasses will work great.  Always be sure that guests receive some marinated fruit with their beverage (after all it is the best part), a slice of fresh fruit on the rim of the glass and a sprig of mint will complete the cocktail.

The key to using vintage items successfully is all in the presentation. You want to make your guests feel special when using these treasures.  With the right recipe, presentation and delivery, any set of vintage glasses can turn into the hit of a party. The picture above shows the use of a Dorothy Thorpe decanter with roly poly glasses.



-The Thrift Store Collector


Vintage Octagon Carnival Glass Compote

Vintage Octagon Carnival Glass Compote
Vintage Octagon Carnival Glass Compote

Here’s another treasure from mom, a  vintage Octagon Carnival Glass Compote. As a kid, I remember this sitting on the side table in the living room in my parents house for years.  I always loved how the colors changed and it always stayed so shiny.

Fenton Art Glass Company came up with this type of art glass in 1907.  At the time, Tiffany was also producing iridescent glassware which was very expensive and could only be afforded by the elite.  This was Fenton’s way of producing a comparable style of glass that was related to the Tiffany pieces, but at a fraction of the price.  Needless to say, this was a huge hit and many companies joined in on the success. This new style of glass was now bring produced by Fenton, Dugan, Imperial, Northwood and Millersburg to name a few.  As you can imagine, Tiffany was not very happy about it.   In the 1920’s, companies switched from hand presses to using machinery and now could produce tons of this glass product. However, the stock market crashed and the economy tanked.  There was now tons of these glass pieces available.  Now what?  –Carnivals.

Carnivals started purchasing these glass pieces for just pennies and it was handed out as prizes. This is how it became to be known as “Carnival Glass”.

This piece above is a compote in the octagon pattern. There are many, many different patterns available in Carnival Glass, which makes collecting it fun.  I will continue to treasure this piece as it now sits on my side table.  It still changes colors and it still remains shiny and it always makes me smile.








West Bend Penguin Hot and Cold Server Ice Bucket

West Bend Penguin Hot and Cold Server Ice Bucket
West Bend Penguin Hot and Cold Server Ice Bucket


This is a true classic and brings back memories for many people. The West Bend Aluminum Company located in West Bend, Wisconsin was founded by Bernhardt C. Ziegler in 1911.  At the time, the company produced aluminum cookware and household electrical appliances (see my previous post with their slow cookers) and also built outboard boat motors.

Even though the ice bucket was released in 1944, the 1950’s and 1960’s is when it really became popular. What especially makes this ice bucket so cool is the insulation which allows it to be used for both hot and cold items.

I purchased this item from a local thrift store and paid around $4.00, but online retailers are selling it for $35.00+

I really enjoy this item as it always reminds me of classic cocktail party in the works.  Go find yourself one- you’ll be glad you did!




Vintage Wurlitzer Stereo Console (Update)


Well, this has certainly become a project. I’ve been working on this for two days and had to make some modifications. I really wanted to use the vintage electronics inside, but it needed too much repair. So, I had to change my plans.  I had to gut the electronic system and I’m going to find a decent amp to put in its place. I have the speakers running with just my iPhone/iPad and it sounds amazingly well. I’m really leaning towards using the unit as a bar to house my barware. (I’m still deciding). But, I was able to add some cool LED lighting. Stay tuned…

1960’s Pyrex Daisy Casserole Dishes

pyrex daisy yellow casserole dishes
Pyrex Daisy Casserole Dishes

I forgot about these colorful casserole dishes in the cabinet. These are vintage Pyrex Daisy casserole dishes from the 1960’s. The smaller of the two dishes was in a “apartment care package” that came from my mother when I moved into my first apartment. I have managed to keep it all these years. (with only minor dings and damages)

In 1915, Corning Glass Works introduced Pyrex glassware.  This was a clear version of the cookware.  With the success of the clear version , Corning released the  Flameware series around 1936 and then the Pyrex Colors series starting in 1947. What’s the difference between Pyrex and Corningware- stovetop use.  Pyrex is safe to use in the oven and in microwaves, but it does not handle direct heat from stovetop or broiler use.

The casserole dishes above are part of a huge pattern design that Pyrex produced, but there’s also a very similar pattern called Sunflower.  It’s the same pattern, except the center circle is orange.  I was able to find the larger casserole at a local thrift store for a few dollars.  Online retailers are selling a set of three casserole dishes for $69.99.  I’d love to come across more of this pattern.  (Thanks Mom!)

If you’d like to check out a great Pyrex website that shows every pattern you could think of, check out



Vintage Wurlitzer Stereo Console

Wurlitzer Stereo 1960's console
Wurlitzer Stereo from the 1960’s.
Wurlitzer stereo pullout turntable radio controls vintage 1960
Wurlitzer Stereo featuring pullout turntable and radio and controls.

Wow!  What a find and what a fun project this is going to be.  Yesterday, I uncovered this treasure a Wurlitzer console stereo at the local Salvation Army circa 1960’s.  It was 1/2 price day there, so I was able to pick this beauty  up for only $32.00!!  We got it home and I plugged it in, hoping that I wasn’t going to be electrocuted or that my garage wouldn’t catch on fire and sure enough, she powered on!  (no burning or cracking to speak of)  The next test was would it actually work.  And the answer is Yes!  Well, she does need some work, the controls are dirty so any balance or volume adjustment you make creates tons of static.  I was able to plug my iPhone into the tape port in the back and it does work.  A speaker might be blown, but this could just be that the controls are dirty. The turntable works, but it needs a new needle.  So much for just running down to Radio Shack for a turntable needle, I’ll have to hunt one down.

The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company was an American company started in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1853 and was referred to as Wurlitzer.  Rudolph Wurlitzer, a German immigrant helped the company import woodwind, brass and string instruments from Germany and resold them here in the U.S.  In the 1880’s, Wurlitzer started to produce pianos also started making nickelodeons, pipe organs and theatre organs which were very popular at the silent movies at that time.  They then moved on in creating electric pianos, organs and jukeboxes.  If that wasn’t enough, they continued on to produce player piano rolls, carnival rides, kitchen appliances and radios.  In 1973, things began to change for Wurlitzer.  Their jukebox operation was moved to Germany in 1973.  The piano manufacturing was moved overseas (after being purchased by Baldwin Piano Company) in 1988 and in 1996 any remaining Wurlitzer assets were acquired by Gibson Guitar Corporation.

My plans are to bring this baby back to life.  I’m cleaning it up and doing some maintenance to see if I can get the controls back on track. I’ll fill some dings and polish her up.  Oh yeah, and add bluetooth.  ‘Cause everything is better with bluetooth!

Stay tuned with the journey of the new Wurlitzer!




Gemco Spice of Life Chopper and Regent Sheffield Cutlery Set

Gemco Rengent Sheffield
Gemco Spice of Life Chopper and Regent Sheffield Cutlery Set

Yesterday’s finds uncovered a Gemco Spice of Life chopper and a Regent Sheffield cutlery set. (The cutlery set was actually from eBay)  Here’s some quick history behind these items.

Corningware was busy at work creating their line of cookware, but did not produce accessory items. (salt ‘n pepper shakers, choppers, oil and vinegar dispensers, syrup dispensers…etc.) All these items were actually an empty market that was filled by Gemco Dispensers, Inc and Dominion Glass of Canada in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Keep in mind these pieces are not part of the Corningware line, but complement the series.   This was true with many of the Corningware patterns at that time. Since there was so many accessory pieces being produced, Corelle (a brand of Corningware) in the late 1980’s-1990’s decided to include them as a “coordinator ” in the product line.

Regent Sheffield was created by Richardson Sheffield in Sheffield, England.  The company was started in 1939 and lasted until 2007.  Sheffield was the largest producers of knives and cutlery in the UK. This Spice of Life set was produced in the 1970’s.

The Spice of Life chopper was purchased at a local Goodwill for $1.49 and the Sheffield cutlery set was $5.99 on EBay. Both pieces will be a welcomed addition to my set and I can’t wait to begin using them.