Erin Doman on June 17, 2016 0 Comments Summer, a time when things slow down, people embark on vacation, the temperature rises and relaxation time becomes standard. When it’s hot outside, you need a cold, refreshing cocktail to help cool you down. While chilled white wine can often do the trick, start thinking about new ways to combine the old standards with these unique summer wine cocktails. If you’re a believer that the best part of the season are the delicious beverages, it’s time to try one of the wine cocktails listed below, put on your sunglasses and flip flops and dream about those long, balmy nights. 1. G.G. Fizz This combination of sweet white Gewürztraminer and the bubbly Cava creates a thirst-quenching, effervescent drink that is fun to drink. Perfect for those hot days spent by the pool, the G.G. Fizz brings out the hidden aromas of ginger from the Gewürztraminer wine with the addition of actual ginger. Think of this drink as a grown up ginger ale. A great food pairing to enjoy with this drink would be something spicy and flavorful like a zesty pad Thai chicken. The low acidity of the wine mixture helps bring balance to the palate and shows off the lychee, pineapple and grapefruit tastes. Ingredients: 3 oz. of Gewürztraminer 3 oz. of Cava ¾ oz. of simple syrup ¼ oz. of crushed ginger 1 – 2 dashes of sriracha (optional) Directions: Muddle crushed ginger and simple syrup together in the bottom of a glass and mix thoroughly. Pour in Gewürztraminer and then strain the ingredients into a new glass filled with ice. Top with Cava and add sriracha if desired. 2. Tinto de Verano For those clear summer evenings spent in the backyard with nothing but the summer sky staring down at you, a glass of Tinto de Verano can be the perfect companion. Traditionally enjoyed in Spain, this drink is a simpler version of sangria that can take a dry red wine and cool it off for the warmer days. You may want to try a specific wine from Spain for this drink, like a young Garnacha, but really any dry red wine will do. For a food pairing, try a light, crispy gourmet pizza like sausage fennel pizza with a balsamic glaze. The sharp balsamic and fennel can help lure out the smooth strawberry and hibiscus of the wine. Ingredients: 4 oz. of dry red wine 4 oz. of lemon lime soda Lemon slice for garnish Directions: Combine the wine and soda in a tumbler filled with ice. Add the lemon slice on top. 3. Strawberry Peach Sangria A twist on the traditional sangria recipe, this combination focuses on the specific fruit flavors of strawberry and peach. You may want to choose a dry Chardonnay with this recipe. Elevate your summer dinner party with this delicious drink recipe. A complementary food pairing with this delicious drink could be a mild grilled fish like halibut, prepared simply, which can awaken the wine’s subtle fruit flavors like apple and pear. Ingredients: 1 bottle of dry white wine 6 oz. of orange muscat wine 4 oz. of peach schnapps 8 oz. of strawberries cut into slices 3 peaches cut into slices 1 lemon cut into slices Directions: Combine all the ingredients together in one pitcher. Pour over ice. 4. Wine Mojito If you’re craving a mojito, but are looking for an even smoother alternative to the traditional rum base, try substituting a white wine for the rum. Choose a peppery Sauvignon Blanc to bring this drink together. A great party drink, it’s something that is not as sweet, but offers a bit of zest to drinkers’ tongues. With the high acidity of this drink, it’s best to pair it with a tangy salad like cucumber dill yogurt, which can bring out the green, grassy flavors of the wine and the mojito ingredients. Ingredients: 1 bottle of dry white wine 8 oz. of sparkling lemonade 2 limes cut into slices and juiced 2 oz. of mint cut into pieces Directions: Combine all the ingredients into a pitcher. Serve over ice. 5. Wine Slushie For an immediate cool-down, a wine slushie gives guests the experience of an icy smoothie with the punch of alcohol. Go with a wine that has a lower alcohol content, like easy to drink white zinfandel, for best results. Add a straw, prop your feet up and enjoy. Consider serving your slushies with a thick, juicy Maryland crab cake. The tangy spice of the seafood can cut through the wine flavor and bring out hints of strawberry and vanilla. Ingredients: 12 oz. of any preferred wine Directions: Pour wine into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Take wine ice cubes and put into blender, mixing into desired consistency. Add additional chilled wine as you adjust the thickness. 6. Moscato Wine Punch For a party setting, nothing beats a fizzy punch that the grownups can enjoy. A sweet Moscato wine can liven up the fun for your guests in this simple to prepare drink. An easy and complementary menu with this drink would be focused on Asian dishes like a spicy Szechuan chicken. The brightness of the wine is drawn out with the heat of the food and allows the taster to find the sweet flavors of peach, apricot and orange. Ingredients: 2 bottles of Moscato 1 can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate 8 oz. of lemon lime soda Fruit for garnish Directions: Pour the wine and soda into a punch bowl. Add the frozen lemonade and fruit. 7. Mulled Tea Punch This drink is a twist on the traditional southern sweet iced tea, with the addition of Burgundy wine. It may be a hit at gatherings or cookouts. It can go nicely with some grilled hot dogs or hamburgers, bringing out red berry and black cherry flavors. Ingredients: 1 bottle of red Burgundy wine 5 iced tea bags 15 whole cloves 3 cinnamon sticks 3 cups of light brown sugar 2 ½ quarts of water 1 container of cranberry juice cocktail Directions: Use a cheesecloth to make a spice bundle with the cloves and cinnamon. Brew the tea by boiling the water in a large metal pot and then adding the tea bags. Remove from heat and let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes. Begin to heat the tea up again and slowly add the wine, the sugar and the cranberry juice. Add the spice bundle and continue to heat until steaming. Remove from heat and let chill in the refrigerator overnight. Serve over ice. Wine cocktails are fun ways to try new combinations of ingredients that can be sure to please your guests and your taste buds. For your next party or get together, consider trying some of these wine cocktails for the perfect mix of refreshment and pleasure.