Suddenly it’s warm, dare I say it, “hot” this early in the summer! What shall we drink to cool down and relax? Of course, there’s cold white wine and rosé, but what else? Wine cocktails are the perfect answer! Whether you are winding down by yourself for the day, or you are celebrating with friends, here are some good ones to try:
Mimosa: it doesn’t get any easier than this! Start with 2 oz. of orange juice and top with 4 oz. of Champagne, Prosecco or Cava, depending on your taste! Serve in a Champagne flute and garnish with a slice of orange.
Bellini: This drink originated in Venice, Italy! Start with 2 oz. of peach puree and top with 4 oz. of Prosecco. Serve in a Champagne flute and garnish with a slice of fresh peach.
French 75: Combine 2 oz. London Dry Gin, ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice, and ¾ oz. simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, and shake vigorously, strain into a large flute and top with Champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Kir: Pour 1 oz Crème de Cassis in a glass and top with 4 oz. Chablis. Variations: Kir Royale: substitute Champagne for the Chablis and serve in a Champagne flute. Kir Imperial: substitute Chambord for the Crème de Cassis and top with Champagne. Serve in a Champagne flute.
Champagne Cocktail: Place a sugar cube in a chilled Champagne flute, add 2 or three dashes of aromatic bitters, fill the glass with brut Champagne, and squeeze a lemon twist on top.
Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon: Pour 1 ½ oz. absinthe into a Champagne flute, add 4 oz. brut Champagne.
Sangria: Mix 2 bottles dry Spanish wine such as Grenache or Tempranillo with 1 cup of brandy, ½ cup of sugar, 2 sliced oranges, 3 sliced lemons, 3 sliced limes, 2 sliced peaches, and 1 pint of sliced strawberries. Pour into glasses over ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a slice of orange.
Kalimotxo: Also known as a Rioja Libre, this cocktail comes from the Basque Country in northern Spain: add 4 oz. red wine to 4 oz. Coca Cola and garnish with a slice of lemon.
Something new under the sun to try!
If the classics don’t appeal to you, try one of these newer combinations!
Frosé: This is the hottest new cocktail around! Pour 1 bottle hearty, bold rosé into ice cube trays and freeze 8 hours or overnight. Combine 10 oz. fresh strawberries (about 2 cups, sliced) and 1 tablespoon sugar in the bowl of a blender and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Add ¼ cup of vodka, 2 tablespoons of grenadine and rosé cubes and blend on high until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with strawberries.
Tequila Sparkler: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 oz Blanco Tequila, ½ oz lime juice and ½ oz. simple syrup. Shake vigorously, strain into a glass and top with Champagne. Garnish with a twist of lime.
Strawberry-Rosé Spritzer: Combine 1 pint sliced strawberries with 1 bottle of rosé wine in a large pitcher. Cover and chill for 3 hours. Strain wine into a large bowl, reserving strawberries. Return wine to pitcher. Add 2 cups soda water, 1/3 cup Aperol and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Pour into ice filled glasses and garnish each with a lemon twist and a few reserved strawberries.
Birthday Cake Mimosas: Dip a Champagne glass into canned icing and rim the glass with sprinkles. Add 1 ½ oz vodka and one scoop birthday cake ice cream. Top off with sparkling rosé. Add pastel colored rock candy swizzlers as a garnish.
Mediterranean Sangria: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add ½ oz. peach schnapps, ½ oz. triple sec, ½ oz. apricot brandy, ½ oz apple pucker, ½ oz orange juice, ½ oz pineapple juice, 1 oz. pomegranate juice and 5 oz. of red wine. Shake vigorously, pour into two glasses and top with Champagne. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices and Luxardo Cherries.
Blushing Mimosa: Mix 2 oz. orange juice, 1 oz pineapple juice in a Champagne flute. Top with Brut Champagne and then add 2 tablespoons grenadine. Garnish with a piece of a slice of orange or pineapple.
Bubble Bouquet: Add 4 oz. club soda, 2 oz. peach puree and 1 ½ oz. peach vodka to a cocktail shaker. Stir and pour into a large serving glass filled with 3 scoops of ice cream. Drizzle basil olive oil over the top of the float and sprinkle with sea salt. Garnish with a peach slice and a sprig of fresh basil.
Glitter Cranberry Mimosa: In a pitcher, add 1 bottle Champagne, 1 cup vodka, and 1 cup cranberry juice. Stir and add a pinch of cinnamon sugar. Pour into Champagne glasses rimmed with edible glitter, and garnish with cranberries.
Peach Champagne Punch: In a punchbowl add 1 tablespoon simple syrup, ½ cup lemon juice, 1 cup orange juice, 5 oz. orange liqueur, 5 oz. iced tea and 1 bottle Moet et Chandon Ice Imperial Champagne.
Here’s to a festive summer! Bottoms up!
Written by Pat Daniel. Permission to publish by Columbus & the Valley Magazine.