Hello Readers! I hope you are enjoying that springtime weather, I know I am. I am so ready for summer and all the warmth it brings; I’m over not being able to go anywhere without a coat. I myself am always cold, but since it is getting warmer out, I would like to share a story of how I discovered Wine Spritzers and Sangria. For most of my adult life, I always observed that red wine seemed to be for the cold season. You never drank that full-bodied Malbec on a hot day because the sun was meant for a crisp and cooling Moscato, right? True, but if you prefer red wines, you don’t have to forgo it just because the snow melted! There are many ways to enjoy a nice red in these coming months, but you may have to change your “wine moral code” by adding a couple ice cubes…
My Aunt, for example, is a woman who loves red wine, and by “loves” I mean, someone needs to hook it up to her via IV. I don’t think I have ever seen her drink a glass of white, to tell you the honest truth. But she is also a woman who loves summer, and the outdoors. So how could she enjoy both? She makes a delicious drink called a Spritzer. For her this means a lot of wine, a couple ice cubes, and the smallest amount of sprite I have ever seen anyone pour. She shouldn’t even be aloud to call it a spritzer, but just a glass of red with some ice.
Regardless of its content, she finds a way to enjoy that glass of red, while basking in the sun on the shores of our beautiful Colorado lakes or just sitting on her back patio. I had never even heard of a spritzer until I went on a camping trip with her and her fiancé, but from that moment on, I loved them.
I have learned to make spritzers a couple of different ways, but a typical red wine spritzer consists of the following:
- Fill glass 1/2 way up with ice
- Pour wine until glass is half full
- Fill remainder of glass with club soda
- Garnish with raspberry and mint leaves (optional)
Now my aunt uses Sprite instead of club soda, so you’ll just have to play around and see what you like best. There is no correct answer for what you prefer.
Another summer beverage to make with red wine is one of my favorites, Sangria. The first time I had Sangria was in Spain and I could not imagine life without it at this point.
One of my favorite recipes for Sangria is:
- 1/2 apple, cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 orange, rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed (plus more for garnish)
- 3-4 Tbsp (41-55 g) organic brown sugar (or 3 Tbsp (37.5 g) organic cane sugar)
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) orange juice, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) brandy, plus more to taste
- 1 750 ml bottle dry Spanish red wine*
- Ice to chill (~1 cup)
- Add apples, oranges and sugar to a large pitcher and muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon for 45 seconds.
- Add orange juice and brandy and muddle again to combine for 30 seconds.
- Add red wine and stir to incorporate, then taste and adjust flavor as needed. I added a bit more brandy, orange juice and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
- Add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve as is, or with a bit more ice. Garnish with orange segments (optional).
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, though best when fresh
So for all of you red wine lovers out there, I hope this has helped expand your horizons on how to enjoy your favorite beverage throughout the seasons. Feel free to explore and find your favorite recipe for these drinks. No one person is the same, and no one drink should be made the same!
Happy Drinking! (Drink responsibly!)