Mississippi Mason Jar Sangria

On this website, we have many recipes for sangria and now we have another, a fun little creation by MCCN editor Crystal Johnson called Mississippi Mason Jar Sangria. To many who know her, she’s known as a socialite and professionally has been working in television for over 20 years which brings to her latest television assignment in Laurel, Mississippi. Mason jars are a staple of the south, she learned that early on when she spent summers with her grandparents in Virginia. She also learned about being social with family and having gatherings.

Sangria is one the most festive drinks. It looks festive with the fruit floating around. People in the south are not a stranger to a mason jar being used to can, pickle or used to instead of a traditional drinking glass. The mason jar and the Spanish drink seem like an unlikely pairing but oh what a match. Sangria is not a complicated drink to make. It usually entails three key factors, wine, fruit and hard liquor (pick one: brandy, triple sec, whiskey, or tequila). Additionally, you may want to add juice like a sparkling cider or maybe club soda. Add your favorite fruits, refrigerate and let the concoction sit for a few hours and serve.

Watch Video of How to Make Mississippi Mason Jar Sangria

Christmas Mocktails Recipes


For years my sister and other people I know have looked with desire at the fun cocktails I prepare often asking for a non-alcoholic version.   Well, there is no time where thoughtful comes to mind better than the holiday season.

People really are looking for festive alcohol free drink options this holiday season. We have FIVE festive drinks below for you to choose from. Check out these ideas from thevivacioulife.com from Candycane Martini’s to Cranberry White Russian Mocktails. 



Taste Of The Caribbean: Cola Couronne, Haiti’s #1 Soft Drink

Dinner in Haiti.JPG

On Visit in Haiti.  See our Drinks

The soda dates all the way back to 1924, and everyone here seems to love it. Literally 200px-cola_couronne_bottleeveryone I asked confirmed that Couronne is the #1 soda in Haiti. There was no second place brand; no honorable mention mentioned. In Haiti, it seems, it’s Cola Couronne or nothing… and that’s not really such a bad thing.

Electric-orange in color, Couronne bears a sweetly-carbonated aroma that takes me right back to my childhood in St. Croix when my parents would buy us cases of Fanta in assorted flavors. They always came in tall glass bottles, which we took great care in returning to our local gas station.

In Haiti, you’ll almost always find Cola Couronne in tall glass bottles as well. My friend Jonathan, who used to work in the Coca-Cola plant where they make Couronne, explained to me that there is no aluminum in Haiti.  READ MORE

Coffee around the World


Coffee trees produce their best beans when grown at high altitudes in a tropical climate where there is rich soil.  Such conditions are found around the world in locations along the Equatorial zone, between latitudes 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South.


Besides location, other factors affect the quality and flavor of coffee. These include the variety of the plant, the chemistry of the soil in which it is grown, the weather, particularly the amount of rainfall and sunshine, and the precise altitude at which the coffee grows. Such variables — combined with the way the cherries are processed after being picked — contribute to the distinctions between coffees from countries, growing regions and plantations worldwide. The combination of factors is so complex, that even from a single plantation one finds variation in quality and taste.

Coffee is grown in more than 50 countries around the world. Here are just a few:

North America & The Caribbean

  • Hawaii – Kona Coffee is a world-renowned coffee that is exclusively grown on the slopes of two volcanoes on the Big Island. The porous and mineral rich volcanic soil combined with the often sunny mornings but cloudy or rainy afternoons, little wind, and mild nights give coffee from the Big Island a unique taste.
  • Mexico Mexico is one of the largest coffee-producing countries in the world, and the largest producer of organic coffee, accounting for 60% of world production in 2000. The vast majority of Mexican coffee, and particularly organic coffee, is grown by small farmers in the southern-most states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.  Try spiking with Mezcal, pair dark chocolate too.
  • Puerto Rico – Puerto Rican coffee is sweet and creamy, and experts suggest it is better enjoyed black and without sugar. The most common ways to drink coffee in Puerto Rico are pocillo (espresso), cortadito (espresso with a little steamed milk), and café con leche (latte).

Central America

  • Guatemala – Coffee in Guatemala is grown at an altitude of over 5,000 feet, which explains its robust and distinctive flavour. Guatemala’s unique growing region, with a mild subtropical climate, combined with nutrient-rich volcanic soil, create an ideal environment for growing some of the most delicious coffee beans in the market.
  • Costa Rica – Costa Rica has only two seasons: dry and a rainy season, both of which provide ideal coffee growing climates. … All of these factors affect the aroma, body, flavor, and acidity of the coffee we produce. The soil is enriched by volcanic ash, which oxygenates the beans, giving them richer flavors.
  • Honduras- If you typically don’t drink coffee black, this this is the coffee to change that. Honduran coffee is a rich Arabica bean that is typically wet processed. It is often used a good base for blending with other coffees but it is also sold as a single-origin coffee. When lightly roasted it features a delicate smooth texture with a slightly sweet taste.

South America

  • Colombia – Colombian coffee is often regarded as some of the highest quality coffee in the world. Colombia has traditionally grown arabica beans and its unique geography makes it perfectly suited for producing a delicious, high quality brew
  • Brazil – The best Brazilian coffee is soft, nutty, low acidity, and offers a nice bittersweet chocolate taste. Because of this, Brazilian coffee makes for an excellent base for making flavored coffees. A good Brazil coffee can add a lot to espresso blends too.

African & Middle East


  • Kenya –
    Kenyan Coffee is One of the World’s Five Best Coffees
    With its rich body, high acidity, intense flavor, and delightful aroma, it should be no wonder. Kenyan coffee is known for its in-your-face acidity and berry undertones. One of those berry notes is black currant.
  • Ivory Coast – 
  • EthiopiaCoffee from Ethiopia is known for its bright fruited and floral flavors. These coffeestypically have a higher acidity, light to medium body and complex flavor notes. The beans are either washed or naturally processed. … These beans are characterized by their flavor clarity, showcasing bright, complex notes.



  • Indonesia – Grown in volcanic ash, amongst chilis and spices, Indonesian coffees are prized for their unique, unmistakable flavors, velvety mouthfeel, and earthy tones.
  • Vietnam – Vietnamese coffee is known for its intense flavor and distinctive making process. French drip filter (called “phin” in Vietnamese) is what the locals use to make their coffee. … When coffee was first introduced to the country, fresh milk was not easy to find; hence the use of sweetened condensed milk.

Jello Freedom Pops

What You Need


1-1/3 cups

boiling water, divided

1 pkg.

(3 oz.) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin

1 pkg.

(3 oz.) JELL-O Berry Blue Flavor Gelatin

1 pkg.

(3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 Cups of cold milk

ADD 2/3 cup boiling water to each flavor gelatin mix in separate small bowls; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Pour each flavor gelatin into separate 8×4-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

UNMOLD gelatins; cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Beat pudding mix and milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Add gelatin cubes; stir gently.

SPOON into 8 (5-oz.) paper cups. Insert wooden popstick into center of each. Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Peel off cups before serving.

SUBSTITUTESubstitute 2 cups softened vanilla ice cream for the prepared pudding.


NOTEPlace any leftovers in airtight container; freeze up to 1 month.


SUBSTITUTESubstitute JELL-O White Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding for the Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding.