Summertime, I think, is wine cocktail time. Why? Because they tend to be super refreshing, easy-to-make, flavorful, and a little lighter on their feet than some other drinks. As summer is starting to wind down, I figured that having a few good wine cocktails at the ready over these next few weeks would be a good idea—it never hurts to try and draw summer out as long as possible. The following four recipes are all from Wine Cocktails: 50 Stylish Sippers that Show Off Your Reds, Whites, and Rosés, and to make things a bit easier, I’ve gone with all Maryhill Winery wines today (there’s no need to stress during shopping). Maryhill is in Goldendale, WA, and makes a variety of tasty wines that work wonderfully in cocktails, and that won’t break the bank.
Perseverance: As the sunny days wind down, and the thought of the long winter looms, this drink becomes more important—we must persevere through the gray months! And a few of these certainly help matters.
1 ounce vodka (I think Rocket vodka is good)
2 ounces chilled Maryhill Rosé Sangiovese
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Peychaud bitters
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka, rosé, maraschino, and bitters. Shake well.
2. Strain the Perseverance equally into two cocktail glasses.
Queen Charlotte: Everyone needs to feel like the queen at some point. So, put on your tiara, make one of these bubbly and bouncy drinks, and sit outside in the sun and gaze at your domain. It makes for a pretty dandy day.
1 ounce vodka (Sound Spirits Ebb+Flow goes well here)
1/2 ounce grenadine
3 ounces Maryhill Columbia Valley Syrah
Chilled 7Up or Sprite
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka, grenadine, and red wine. Shake well.
2. Fill a diamond-, ruby-, or garnet-encrusted goblet three-quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the red wine mixture equally over the ice in the glasses. Top with 7Up, until just about a half-inch below the rim.
Muskrat: This fruity and minty favorite is delightful when using Maryhill’s Viognier white, which has a lot of fruit flavors itself, including pineapple, citrus, apricot, and pear. Yummy. Oh, when I have this I usually sing the song Muskrat Love by Captain and Tennille. You can, too, if you want.
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounces apricot liqueur (Rothman and Winter Orchard apricot liqueur is great here)
8 ounces chilled Maryhill Viognier
1. Add the mint leaves and pineapple juice to a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Using a muddler, muddle the mint and juice well.
2. Fill the cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the apricot liqueur. Shake well.
3. Strain the mixture into a white wine glass. Top with 4 ounces chilled Viognier. Stir briefly and serve.
Kitty Highball: This one’s incredibly easy to make, which means it’s a swell choice after you’ve had a long day inside the office when the sun is shining outside, and you want a refresher double quick. I’ve had it with, interestingly, claret, but Maryhill’s Winemaker’s Red works nicely here. Its berry flavors and pepper and oak accents mingle well with the ginger ale.
3-1/2 ounces Maryhill Winemaker’s Red
Chilled ginger ale
Lemon twist, for garnish
1. Fill a highball glass three-quarters full with ice cubes. Add 3-1/2 ounces red wine. Top with ginger ale, until almost to the top of the glass. Stir 6 times.
2. Twist a lemon twist over the glass, and drop it in.