This is a cross post with the Mixoloseum blog. Every month the members of the CSWOG (Cocktails and Spirits Online Writers Group) posts on several interesting topics related to the world of cocktails and spirits. From after this post i`m not going to cross post but i will always write an update here on my blog when i post on the Mixoloseum blog.
Wine in cocktails dates back to somewhere in the in the mid-19th century and were very popular in the 60s and the 80s and then they seemed to have more or less dissappeared – until now that is. Now they are slowly becoming popular again but its not the old style wine cocktails we are talking about, the new winetails are innovative and uses fresh fruits and spices. A wine cocktail both cleanses the palate and is refreshing before dinner.
Wine as cocktail ingredient also lovers the alcohol content and makes cocktails more food friendly and wine cocktails-food pairing is an interesting subject. If reduced to a syrup some of the acid content is toned down and the flavors becomes more concentrated, that way it can be used in small quantities to add a specific flavor component to a cocktail. Interesting area of experimentation!
And don`t forget the grapes! Checking what types of grapes the wine is made of and their taste notes and pairing those flavor notes with similar and complementing flavors in the mixers and spirits creates harmony and balance.
Thus i have tried my best to do that and the wine i have used here is a dry organical wine from Sicily with taste notes of grapefruit, pineapple,honey and white pepper and these i have paired with fresh pineapple, ginger and white rum.
Personally i`m very fond of sparkling wines and in my opinion a little topping of a lively sparkling wine makes for a happy wine cocktail, especially now in the spring and summertime.Red wine is naturally better suited for fall and winter and white and rosé for the spring and summer.
Here is a light and refreshing summer drink with a sturdy ginger flavor.
1 oz white rum (i used Elements Eight)
1 oz fruity white wine (i used Kalis grillo)
2 thin ginger slices
3-4 pineapple chunks
0.5 oz ginger syrup
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
Top with a fruity sparkling white wine
Garnish pineapple stick and something green ( i used a fig leaf)
Muddle ginger, pineapple and ginger syrup in shaker.Add fresh lime juice and rum, shake. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice and top with sparkling white wine. Garnish with pineapple stick and the leaf.
This drink is perfect on a warm sunny day before or after a hot meal.
The next drink is a simple take on the Caipirinha just adding the same white wine with citrus and pineapple notes as i used in Casablanca plus a topping of some sparkling rosé.
½ lime cut in quarters
1 tsp fine raw sugar
1 oz cachaca (i used Leblon)
1 oz white wine with citrus fruit notes
1 oz jamaica (or sub 0.5 oz hibiscus grenadine)
Top with sparkling rosè wine
Muddle lime and sugar, add cachaca, wine and 0.5 oz jamaica and shake over ice and pour into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Top with sparkiling rosè wine and remaining jamaica.
Garnish with lime wheels.
To make the lime wheels: Stick a chopstick through a lime and start cutting the lime all the way down to the stick in a spiral manner all around.The difficulty with this garnish is to cut even slices that aren´t too thick..you need a thin sharp knife to begin with (which i don`t have for the moment)
5 dl water to 2 handful of dried hibiscus flowers
9 cl agave syrup
Boil for 5 minutes
Cool for 2 hrs
Strain and bottle and keep in the fridge, it will be fresh for about a week.
My conclusion is that wine cocktails are fun to make and tasty to drink. Cocktails with wine may also attract people who don`t drink wine into appreciating it and vice versa, get winedrinkers into cocktails – a win for both the wine and spirits industries and the drinkers.
I surely will come back in the fall with some winetails based on red wine and fall fruits. I hope though it will will take looong before the fall sets in…i love the summer!