White wine spritzers were all the rage when I was younger. Served in a tall glass with lots of ice, filled half and half with wine and lemon-lime soda or seltzer, they were a light and refreshing summer drink.
Well, the spritzer is back, with lots of twists, and better than ever. Fresh raspberries, a splash of elderflower liqueur, and sparkling wine? Ripe peaches, blood-orange juice, red wine and orange-flavored seltzer? Yes, please!
Since my friend Sarah Malik, a Johnson & Wales University beverage instructor, mentioned the idea, playing around with cool “wine cocktail” creations has been my summer hobby.
There are several recipes at the usual drink recipe sites on the Internet, but it’s so easy and fun to create something that you’ll want to try your hand at it. Almost everything I’ve made, even the weird combinations, tastes pretty good.
Here’s an almost no-fail recipe to get you started. Once you’ve tried creating one of these, don’t be surprised if you find yourself thinking about unusual flavors and combinations. Cucumbers, honeydew and lemon basil are next on my list.
Start with fresh fruit from the farmers market. Berries and peaches are perfect, but I’ve also tried plums, melon, apples and pears. A sprig or two of mint makes a nice flavor.
To release the fruit flavors, muddle a bit of the fruit and the mint in the bottom of the glass. If you have something handy, add a splash of interesting liquor. Chambord and Limoncello are my current favorites, although you could omit this step or substitute flavored simple syrup.
Fill the glass with ice.
Fill with wine – red, white or sparkling – and add some soda. Try some of the current flavored soda or sparkling waters for a sophisticated touch. Garnish with a little fruit, sip and enjoy.
Catherine Rabb is a senior instructor at Johnson & Wales University. Email email@example.com.
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