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.

White Sangria

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:

Ingredients

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

Instructions

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.

Ingredients

200 ml orange juice

50 ml gin

50 ml vodka

1 750 ml bottle semi-seco Cava

Sugar

Instructions

Place orange juice, cava, vodka and gin into a pitcher

Add sugar to taste

Chill before drinking

Rebujito

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.

Ingredients

Fino or Manzanilla Sherry

Gaseosa/Sprite/7UP

Sugar

Mint

Lemon

Instructions

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.

Add ice

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