By Michelle Locke Associated Press
The wine cooler has a bit of an identity problem. Is it a wine spritzer? A wine cocktail? Sangria?
And what about that wild child moment in the ’80s when it was the hottest thing on the party scene?
Luckily, this cocktail conundrum is easily solved. As Gertrude Stein might put it, wine cooler is wine spritzer is wine cocktail is sangria.
And the versions being whipped up today have nothing in common with the cheap, mass-produced products of 30 years ago.
Summer is the perfect time for wine coolers. Don’t go crazy and uncork an expensive bottle of wine for coolers, but don’t use the cheapest stuff, either. For red wines, Spanish wines are, not surprisingly, a good choice since sangria is a Spanish invention. Tempranillo makes a good choice.
Here are a few suggestions to make your wine cooler-spritzer-sangria-cocktail pitcher perfect.
4 ounces sauvignon blanc wine
1 ounce silver or blanco tequila
Juice of 1 lime
3 ounces grapefruit soda
Combine all ingredients in a tall, ice-filled glass. Stir gently, then serve immediately. Makes 1 serving.
3/4 cup watermelon chunks
1/3 cup frozen peach chunks
1/2 ounce lemon juice
6 ounces prosecco sparkling wine
In a blender, combine the watermelon, peaches and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Using a mesh strainer, strain into 2 sparkling wine flutes, then top with prosecco. Makes 2 servings.
Dark island cooler
1/2 vanilla bean
4 ounces cabernet sauvignon wine
1 ounce spiced rum
2 ounces pineapple juice
Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a tall glass. Add the wine, rum and pineapple juice, stirring to combine. Add ice and top with seltzer water. Makes 1 serving.
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
2 ounces St. Germaine elderflower liqueur
8 ounces rose wine
2 sprigs fresh mint
In a blender, puree the strawberries until smooth. Using a mesh strainer, strain into a cocktail shaker. Add the elderflower liqueur and rose wine. Add ice, then shake to combine. Strain into 2 tall glasses filled with ice. Top with seltzer water and garnish each with a mint sprig. Makes 2 servings.
Recipes by Alison Ladman