A good summer drink should be light, hearty and refreshing. What if it looks good too? Bingo!
Since wine contains less alcohol than spirits, cocktails with this fermented drink are always a good choice for a hot day. They are “easy sippers” who do not sacrifice taste.
And while I’ll always love a bar – its aesthetics, atmosphere, and even the nice coordination of the bartenders in action – the idea of enjoying drinks in my house is very welcoming. In fact, we can find ready-to-drink cocktails in many specialty stores and gourmet markets today. Bellini, sangria, margarita – they all come in bottles and cans. And you can choose to simply drink them “as is” or use them as a base for more personalized versions.
I like to add sparkling wine – in a 50/50 ratio – (and sometimes a touch of peach schnapps) to most of the bellinis we find on the market to calibrate their sweetness and intensity.
Incidentally, Bellini is a real “classic” – created sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, the founder of the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice. The original recipe is simple and only uses prosecco and white peach puree. It became such a hit, however, that versions with other fruits followed, such as Puccini (with tangerine) and Rossini (with strawberry).
If you want to prepare a cocktail “from scratch”, you need a good recipe, the right tools (shaker, sieve, press) and the right ingredients (bitters, fruit, vegetables, and wine and spirits that meet your needs). . But which wine is suitable for cocktails?
If the recipe calls for sparkling wine, you don’t have to use champagne, which is usually more complex – and expensive – than other sparkling wines. You can go with cava, crémant or any other good sparkling wine. Just make sure it’s Brut (dry) or Extra Brut (very dry) unless the recipe says otherwise.
If the recipe calls for sherry, go for a dry one too. A safe choice is amontillado, a kind of mean in terms of intensity. Unless, of course, the recipe tells you to use a specific one, like Cream Sherry, Fino, or Oloroso.
For still wines, if the recipe doesn’t specify a specific grape variety, I would use Pinot Grigio for white, a Chianti (from Sangiovese) for red and for rosé a wine that is not too structured or too aromatic. The wine shouldn’t “steal the scene” by overpowering other ingredients. After all, there are other important “players” in your glass!
Here are some easy-to-make cocktail recipes to help you make your own drink:
1 bottle of dry white wine
3 ounces triple sec
½ pound of seasonal fruit (apple, orange, pineapple, lemon, grape, etc.)
½ cup lemonade
½ teaspoon of sugar
Wash all the fruits and cut them into cubes of the same size. Put the fruit in a 2 liter glass jug. Add sugar and triple sec. Stir with a long wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Mash the fruit with a spoon and pour in the wine and lemon-lime soda. Stir for at least 1 minute. Chill for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight. Serve chilled in a white wine glass over ice. Using a spoon, add a small amount of wine-soaked fruit to each glass.
S.TRAWBERRY BASIL MOSCATO LEMONADE
6 ounces nutmeg
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 sprig of basil
1 ounce lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together except for the wine. Strain into a tall glass. Pour over Moscato. Add pliable straw.
CUCUMBERS MINT SMOKED WHITE FIZZ
3 oz smoked blanc or Sauvignon blanc
3 ounces of cava
1 ounce cucumber water
½ oz lime juice
2 teaspoons of sugar
Pinch of coarsely chopped mint. Make cucumber water by grating, pureeing and straining a cucumber. Put the cucumber water, wine, lime juice, sugar and mint in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice. Strain into a serving glass and top up with 3 oz of sparkling wine.
Marcella Carneiro has been a certified wine specialist in Key Biscayne since 2017. She works as a wine educator in the Miami area and as a wine consultant for The Golden Hog in Harbor Plaza.
To reach Marcella with any questions, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
All wines listed are at The Golden Hog. available