This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Excelsior Wines for IZEA and is for viewing only by those of legal alcohol purchasing age. All opinions are 100% mine. Please always remember to drink responsibly!
Memorial Day is the gateway to summer and a perfect time to get into the groove with a long weekend full of friends, fun, grilling and great drinks. My interest in cocktails definitely spikes with the onset of the hot weather months. Long, blistering days and mild, balmy nights seem to call for thirst quenching refreshment. With so many fresh ingredients available in summer, mixology opportunity is only limited by the imagination!
This year it’s time to mix it up for Memorial Day barbecues and picnics. Beer is great but there are many more options to explore! I’ve been experimenting with creating wine cocktails in anticipation of our holiday weekend plans. My latest project has been playing with Frontera wines from Chile (imported by Excelsior Wines). Frontera produces a wide range of wine types from sweet Moscato to light, bright whites and full bodied reds. The wines are well-priced, available in grocery stores as well liquor stores and really offer something for everyone, for drinking by the glass or to mix up into an unexpected libation.
I hopped on their website and watched all of the Frontera Cocktail Recipes. The videos are short, easy and make cocktails with simple ingredients probably in your pantry and fridge right now. These are not your Mother’s wine spritzers circa 1983 but forward-thinking, cool recipes that will have you looking at wine as a Happy Hour ingredient in a whole new way.
The first cocktail I made was the Al Fresco with only four simple ingredients: Frontera Chardonnay, cucumber, lime and simple syrup. It’s a fresh, original cocktail that is quick to make, and sure to please and impress your guests. The cooling cucumbers (I used miniature cukes) and tangy limes are cooling partners to the fruity, slightly sweet Chardonnay. It is a cocktail that can be made for many people without much effort so your time is spent with your friends, not slaving over your drink-making. Don’t believe me? This video shows you how to make it…..
Pinot Noir is undoubtedly a favorite wine of mine. It is a fruitier red wine making it a great choice for something like Sangria (wine, usually red, that is full of fruits which infuse flavor into the wine). I’ve featured many Sangria recipes on Boulder Locavore, there is no denying it’s a summer favorite. However, inspired by the simplicity of Frontera’s cocktail recipes, I wanted to whip up something that tastes like the best of summer, showcases the wine in a new way, and at the same time is definitely a cocktail. A Summer Solstice cocktail to be precise. It’s fruity, refreshing, fizzy and will be sure to keep you chillin’ even on the longest day of the year.
I was elated to find the first of the season’s peaches and Bing cherries at the store this week. There really isn’t any more quintessential summer fruits than these. Gently muddled with Pinot Noir, shaken and strained over fresh ice in a tall, cool glass then filled with Blood Orange Italian Soda for some fizz. Need I say more?
Summer Solstice Wine Cocktail
- 12 Bing Cherries , pitted and halved
- ½ very ripe Peach (no peeling required), quartered
- 8 ounces Frontera Pinot Noir
- Blood Orange Italian Soda to fill , chilled
- In a shaker or quart Mason jar, combine the cherries, peaches and Pinot Noir. Muddle to release the fruit flavors.
- Add 5-6 ice cubes, shake vigorously to blend.
- Strain equally into 2 12-14 ounce Collins glasses filled with crushed ice. Fill with Blood Orange Italian Soda. Note: Collins glasses can be placed in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to make them cold and frosty before filling them.
Frontera wine is also great for drinking by itself. It’s even a simple glass of wine can be dressed up for a holiday or occasion. A simple bamboo skewer with raspberries, blueberries and star fruit slices puts a patriotic touch on some chilled Frontera Sauvignon Blanc for the holiday!