IT’S taken its time, but I think I can safely say that summer is just around the corner.
It’s so close I can almost taste it!
With that sentiment in mind then, this fortnight’s column is dedicated to wine-based cocktails – guaranteed to give you that summer feeling, even if the weather doesn’t.
Sangria is synonymous with Spain.
The wine and juice fusion loved by especially loved by holidaymakers, is a classic go-to.
But it doesn’t need to just be all about red wine. White is the new red.
Dry and crisp wines are best to use for this, such as Albarino (Rías Baixas) or Sauvignon Blanc.
Once chosen, it’s time to get creative. Berries, apples, stone fruit, spirits and liqueurs are all welcome, but if you need a little more guidance to start look no further:
1 lime, thinly sliced into rounds
1 lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
60 ml apple brandy
1/2 green apple, cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
1 ripe peach or nectarine, thinly sliced
1 cup (166 g) sliced strawberries
1 750 ml bottle dry, crisp white wine, chilled
Add lime, lemon and sugar into a pitcher and muddle
Add apple brandy and muddle again, then add the rest of the fruit and stir
Continue stirring while adding the wine
Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding more sugar or fruit
Add ice or frozen berries
Agua de Valencia
According to legend this cocktail was invented in 1959 when a group of Basque travellers asked Constante Gil, bartender at Café Madrid de Valencia, for something more exciting than their usual ‘Agua de Bilbao’ – the bar’s best cava.
Gil rose to the challenge and concocted what then became known as ‘Agua de Valencia’.
So popular was this new drink, that the group continued to order it every time they re-visited.
200 ml orange juice
50 ml gin
50 ml vodka
1 750 ml bottle semi-seco Cava
Place orange juice, cava, vodka and gin into a pitcher
Add sugar to taste
Chill before drinking
A popular drink for festival goers in Andalucia, it is the traditional beverage served at Feria del Caballo in Jerez and Feria de Abril in Seville.
Quick and simple to make, it takes the star of the south – Sherry – and provides an interesting alternative for Tinto de Verano lovers.
Fino or Manzanilla Sherry
Traditionally made with one-third Sherry to two-thirds soda.
Pour Sherry and soda into a pitcher and add sugar, mint and lemon to taste and stir until sugar dissolves.