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April 14, 2017
Cool Cocktail Times With Summer Wines

To many of us, summertime screams out for cocktails, whether served on a southern veranda or on a picnic bench by a smoking barbecue grill. However, an afternoon or evening knocking back mojitos can leave you needing a nap. What to do?

Wine, once again, comes to the rescue! You can make fabulous, non-lethal, wine-based cocktails that will leave your guests refreshed rather than smashed. Whether your tastes run to white or red, there's an amazing wine cocktail for you. Behold these cocktails that pay tribute to the grandeur of the grape. Be aware that some of these portions are listed in ounces and some in cups and teaspoons. Some of us never mastered the metric system. The term "glass" can also be used quite loosely in this blog.

Red Hot Fun in the Summertime

Let your cabernet sauvignon breathe while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. For each tall glass you will need:

  • ¾ cup Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 slice fresh unwaxed lime
  • 1 orange slice - halved, 2 strawberries - halved
  • 3 whole raspberries
  • ¼ cup lemon-lime soda, diet or regular - your call
  • Ice

Put a bit of ice in the bottle of the glass, then layer the orange and strawberry slices, add a little more ice and pour in half the soda, half the wine and repeat so that it blends in layers without mixing it up. Top with the raspberries and garnish with the lime slice on the rim. You wouldn't be wrong to add a colorful straw and a little paper umbrella. It's summer, after all.

Southern Star Gazer

You'll feel the sand between your toes with this tropical wonder. Throw everything in a cocktail shaker with some crushed ice, shake it up and strain it into a glass. Serve it in a carved out pineapple if you feel like it.

  • 2 ounces Chardonnay
  • 1-ounce dark rum
  • ½ ounces vanilla bean syrup
  • ½ ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 pineapple spear
  • 1 lime wedge for garnish
  • Ice

Combine the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake like crazy, strain into a glass, stick in the pineapple spear and garnish with the lime wedge. Double the recipe if you want to share.

Watermelon Wino

You've probably been to a party with a drunken watermelon. Not as your date, but as the featured alcohol centerpiece of the event, the ever-popular vodka-soaked melon. This is a much lighter and more elegant cocktail.

  • 2 ounces sweet Riesling (you can use dry if you wish)
  • 1-ounce simple syrup (use only ½ ounce if using sweet Reisling)
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-ounce watermelon juice
  • 1-ounce soda water
  • 1 watermelon spear
  • Ice

Put it all together in a shaker with ice or buzz it in a blender. Once it's in the glass, add the melon spear.  

Cool Minty Melon

  • ¾ cup Zinfandel
  • ¼ cup elderflower cordial
  • 10 large mint leaves
  • ½ honeydew melon, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • Sugar for rimming glasses

So easy. Just throw the melon, mint, and the elderflower cordial in a blender and blend until smooth. Add wine and ice and blend again until smooth. Pour into sugar-rimmed martini or wide-rimmed wine glasses and top with sparkling water and the garnish of your choice. Serves about 2 or 3, depending on the size of the glass.

Cherry Crushin' It

What smells like cherry pie but makes you feel even better than Grandma's dessert? That would be this cocktail.

  • 3 ounces Pinot Noir
  • 1 ounce pure, real cherry juice
  • ½ ounce almond liqueur (Don't have it? Sub in a few drops of almond extract)
  • ¼ ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice. Okay, use the squeeze bottle version.
  • 2 cherries, preferably fresh, but go with the maraschinos if you must.
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Lemon-lime soda of your choice
  • Ice

Throw all of the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with some crushed ice and shake like crazy. Strain into a Collins glass, top with lemon-lime soda and garnish with the lime wedge on the rim and, of course, a cherry on top.

Don't be afraid to experiment with your own wine cocktail combinations. Summertime is wine time, so have some fun creating delicious drinks.


Apr 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM
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