October 20, 2017

What I’m Drinking: Sangria

There are two, no, wait, three problems with Sangria. One: too often when you get it out, it’s an ugly mess that’s been sitting in some bar fridge, aging in a way that kills the brightness and mucks the flavor. That’s the biggest problem, but also easily solvable (make your own! Or go somewhere that makes it with care). The second problem is that most folks restrict it to only the summer months, but a rich, red-wine-based Sangria in the fall (and even winter) months helps deliver citrus and taste and a refreshment that adds a smile to the season/s. Third, when people do make Sangria at home, they don’t use this old family recipe of mine. Too snooty of me, saying that? Maybe. You can either tut-tut me, or make this recipe – I think you’ll act properly. Because you’re a problem-solver!

And while you’re thinking, put your peepers on this groovy Sangria photo from my pal Sara. If that doesn’t get you craving Sangria, well, I’m not sure what to think of you.

sangria

Sangria, recipe from Wine Cocktails

Serves 6

Ice cubes
1 orange, cut into wheels
1 lime cut into wheels
1 lemon cut into wheels
6 ounces simple syrup
4 ounces freshly-squeezed orange juice
2 ounces freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 bottle dry red wine, a Pinot Noir works well, but experiment
6 ounces brandy
Other fresh fruit for garnishing (oranges, limes, lemons)

1. Place the orange, lemon, and lime wheels and simple syrup in a large glass pitcher. Muddle well with a muddler or wooden spoon.

2. Add the orange juice and lime juice, and muddle just a touch more.

3. Add the red wine and the brandy, and stir well (bring a guest stirrer in if needed). Place the pitcher carefully in the refrigerator for two hours or more, but no longer than a day.

4. Add ice until the pitcher is full, and stir slightly. Pour into six stemmed wine glasses or goblets and garnish with fresh fruit.

March 24, 2017

What I’m Drinking: The Rosé Squirt

You’ve probably noticed, spring has sprung. And I’m probably going to be, or already have been, talking springtime talk, and springtime drinks, and frolicking in meadows. But today, instead of that, I’m just cutting right to the chase: this is a dandy, refreshing, light-on-its-feet drink, which you should make for yourself, your friends, and then yourself again. It’s springy.

rose-squirt
The Rosé Squirt, from Wine Cocktails

Ice cubes
1 ounce maraschino liqueur
3 ounce dry rosé wine
Chilled club soda
Maraschino cherry, for garnish

1. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Add the maraschino liqueur and rosé. Stir briefly.

2. Fill the glass almost to the top with chilled club soda. Stir again, a bit more than briefly. Drop a cherry on top and serve.

February 24, 2017

What I’m Drinking: The Doninoni

There’s no need to yell at me – I realize with the title here, I’m nearly breaking my own soapbox (to stretch a metaphor to the breaking point), or favorite soapbox, as admittedly there are many I like to stand upon. But this one, it’s the one where bartenders make up new drinks and then just name them some bastardization of an existing classic drink. C’mon bartenders, be creative! Though, in this case, bartender heal thyself, as this drink name is partially a play on the classic Negroni. But it’s also a play on my favorite Italian winery, Donini, and really, The Doninoni is so much fun to say! And changed enough (as opposed to, oh, the numerous Strawberry Margaritas I made in college, or something like the Appletini for gawd’s sake) to make me not too egregious, right? Right! If you disagree, drink two of the below and call me in the morning.

doninoni
The Doninoni

Ice cubes
1-1/2 ounces Nat’s gin (I used the gin wife Nat made at Scratch, cause she did such a good job – read more about making gin at Scratch)
1-1/2 ounces Donini Tarragoni (if you sadly can’t get this, another slightly-dry but full-bodied Umbrian red could suffice)
1-1/2 ounces Campari
1/2 ounce grenadine (go homemade or go home)

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add everything. Shake well.

2. Add a few good ice cubes to an Old Fashioned or comparable glass. Strain the mix into the glass and over the ice.

September 20, 2013

What I’m Drinking: Perseverance

Sometimes, you (or I – though if this doesn’t happen to anyone else I’ll eat my hat) forget about a drink that you actually really like. There are so many drinks out there! Then you come back to it like an old friend after that first sip and think, why did I not drink this for so long? I recently had this moment with the Perseverance, which is a recipe featured in Wine Cocktails. It’s actually a nice end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall drink, so fit my mood as well. Tastiness.

perservere

Perseverance

Ice cubes

1 ounce vodka (I think Rocket vodka is good)

2 ounces chilled Maryhill Rosé Sangiovese

1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka, rosé, maraschino, and bitters. Shake well.

2. Strain the Perseverance equally into two cocktail glasses.

September 7, 2012

What I’m Drinking: The Lord Charles

This regal number is going to make the transition from summer to fall an easier one. First off, it could, honestly, simply, be consumed in summer and loved by all good countrymen. However, it has enough of a presence to not be all flighty as some summer drinks. Next, it’s called the Lord Charles, and darnit, that means it’s a bit serious like fall. On the flip side of that, remember that Lord Charles was also the name of a famous ventriloquist dummy, so a bit silly as well. See how it straddles the line without fear? With one, or two or three, of these in hand, you’ll move from season to season without a hitch. This recipe’s from Wine Cocktails by the way (a book I suppose you have—unless you’re square).

Ice cubes

2 ounces Malbec

1 ounces Simple Syrup

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 ounce dry sherry

Chilled club soda

Lemon twist, for garnish

1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Malbec, simple syrup, lemon juice, and sherry to the shaker. Shake well.

2. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the Malbec mixture over the ice cubes. Fill the glass with club soda, almost to the rim.

3. Twist a lemon twist over the each glass and drop it in. Stir briefly with a scepter and serve.

August 16, 2012

Wine Cocktails! Protecting Your Breasts! Woman’s World!

It’s summertime (still—honest) and the living is wine cocktails-y. At least it should be cause wine cocktail are refreshing, and un-snooty, and fun, and delicious, and all that. And recently, as if me saying it aloud and in digital form wasn’t enough, I did a little interview with Woman’s World magazine, so it’s in print. And print is forever. So, pick up the most recent issue of said magazine. I also have the page with me here below (but the whole issue is fun, naturally), which has some wine cocktails talk, two recipes from the book Wine Cocktails, notes about how wine and wine cocktails are healthy (including protecting breasts, which I’m all for and which is just another reason why cocktails are the definition of awesome), and something about Ladybug Bling–which can’t be bad. So, read up:

July 24, 2012

What I’m Drinking: The Rosé Squirt

At my wonderful Locatails class last weekend at the wonderful Pantry at Delancey, one of the wonderful assistants (there was a lot of wonderful last weekend) asked me in passing about drinks made using rosé. I was going to round a few up for her, then people started coming in, I started talking, and somewhat forgot. Until now, when looking at the weather and realizing that we might, actually, be in for some more sun this week in Seattle. And when the sun’s out, a light-but-interesting drink like the Rosé Squirt is in (said drink from Wine Cocktails doncha know). So, now, I’m belatedly answering the question from last weekend and getting a wonderful drink on.

Ice cubes

1 ounce maraschino liqueur

3 ounce dry rosé wine

Chilled club soda

Maraschino cherry, for garnish

1. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Add the maraschino liqueur and rosé. Stir briefly.

2. Fill the glass almost to the top with chilled club soda. Stir again, a bit more than briefly. Drop a cherry on top and serve.

June 22, 2012

What I’m Drinking: The Italian Spritz

This is another summer favorite featured in Wine Cocktails (following up the Cactus Berry below), a continental number that’ll go down in a lovely manner while you sit outside under the bright bright sun. It’s also a drink that can be enjoyed year round and is a standard (many would say the standard) in the pre-dinner hour, the apertivo hour, the time when Italians gather at the bar for snacks and a little imbibing. It has been known to cause some disagreement (not too heated mind you, but friendly disagreement) due to the garnish. Depending on where you’re at, you might get a green olive, an orange slice or twist, or something else altogether. I go for the orange slice, but am friends with many who go other routes. There’s no need for tempers during the hot months. In the spirit of this friendliness, this recipe is for two.

Serves 2

3 or 4 ice cubes

3 ounces Aperol

6 ounces chilled prosecco

2 orange slices for garnish

1. Add 1 or 2 ice cubes to two flute glasses (skip this if your Prosecco is super chilly). Add the Aperol.

2. Fill the glasses with the prosecco and stir gently. Garnish with the orange slice.

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