By Angela L.
In my spare time I like to come up with my own recipes for drinks. This is a recipe that I came up with while waiting for my Italian dinner to finish baking. I thought about some of the key ingredients that are in a lot of Italian drinks or foods for example vanilla, lemon, and white wine. What I came up with was something called Italian Sparkle. Its light, has a hint of vanilla, and it adds to any dish.
The Italian Sparkle
¾ bottle of dry white wine
1 ½ oz of Ginger Ale
10 oz of club soda
1 ½ oz of Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup
¾ oz of lemon juice
2 oz of Apricot Brandy
Mix in chilled pitcher
Chill champagne flutes or wine glasses
Garnish the flutes or glasses with lemon slice
Serves – 8 champagne flutes
As usual, I got some press releases espousing various drinks or cocktails for Father’s Day. But this one caught my eye. Okay, my Dad wouldn’t like it (he’s a rum & coke kinda guy), but I think I would. And I know a few dads who might enjoy this too.
I know … it’s using a sparkling pinot grigio. Before you get all snobby and roll your eyes, just remember that we’re adding all sorts of things to it – the sparkler is just a top off.
So, compliments of a press release from VOGA Sparkling Pinot Grigio, here’s a cocktail for Dad. Happy Father’s Day.
- 1 cube of sugar
- 4 dashes of angostura aromatic bitters
- 1/2 shot of bourbon whisky
- Top up with VOGA Premium Sparkling Pinot Grigio
Coat the sugar cube with bitters and drop in to the glass. Pour bourbon whisky into chilled glass and top with VOGA Premium Sparkling Pinot Grigio
It’s summer and I think Sangria is a wonderfully yummy summer beverage. It doesn’t require (should never use) expensive wine and it’s fun to make. Not only that, but the soaked fruit is sort of a fun bonus that you can’t get when you buy pre-made Sangria in a bottle.
Alternatively, I also recommend a Sangriatini – one of my favorite drinks that can easily be made by the glass instead of by the punch bowl.
But back to that punch bowl … here are three versions I like to make for summer parties: red, followed by pink and white after the jump. The red version – Sangria Rouge – is my favorite.
Oh, and Sangria goes great with Paella!
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup OJ
1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate
1/3 cup lime juice from concentrate
3/4 cup brandy (but really, just dump in the bottle if you have room)
2-750 ml bottles of medium-dry red wine, chilled (burgundy or 3 Thieves jug wines work well)
Fruit slices: Orange, peach, plum, other fruits
1. In pitcher or bowl, combine sugar and juices.
2. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Cover and chill.
4. Just before serving, add wine and fruit.
5. Serve over ice.
1 cup OJ
1/2 cup sugar
1-1.5L white zinfandel (what else is it good for?)
1 btl brandy
1/4 cup lime or lemon juice
1 lime, thinly sliced and seeded
1 orange, thinly sliced and seeded
16-20 ice cubes
1. Combine OJ and sugar in small pan.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.
3. Pour into a 2 quart container with tight-fitting lid.
4. Add wine, lime or lemon juice, and fruit.
5. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours to blend flavors.
6. Place ice cubes in small bowl or large pitcher.
7. Pour mixture over ice.
1 bottle Spanish white wine (I recommend a bottle of Naia)
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup peach brandy
6 tbsp thawed lemonade concentrate
8 oz sliced peaches
1 cup sliced green grapes
1 cup sliced red grapes
1. Mix together wine, sugar, brandy, and lemonade until well mixed.
2. Add in the fruits and refrigerate overnight. (Nicely alcoholic fruits at this point.)
3. Serve the next day from a large pitcher filled with ice.
So I know it’s Cinco de Mayo. But let’s talk about more important things … like the Kentucky Derby.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved the Kentucky Derby. Between the horses and the hats, I’m in absolute heaven. So I thought I’d share with you, over the next three or so days, some of my favorite Derby drink recipes.
We’ll start with perhaps the easiest, which is Bourbon Slush. With any of these drinks, make sure you use a nice bourbon. The quality of the bourbon affects the quality of the drink, no matter how you mix it. For this particular recipe, I like to use Woodford Reserve from the special Derby edition bottle.
I got this recipe from my old friend Kate, and it is by far the best slush I have tasted or made. I tend to make it the night before a party to ensure a good amount of slushiness.
Kate’s Bourbon Slush
Step 1: Tea
2 1/2 cups boiling water
2 peach tea bags
1 cup sugar
Combine the boiling water and tea bags.
Once the tea is set, remove the bags and pourinto a large plastic container. (There must be room for the tea to expand once in the freezer.)
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Step 2: Those yummy flavors
6 cups cold water
1 large can, frozen lemonade
1 small can, frozen orange juice
2 cups Kentucky bourbon
Add remaining ingredients to the tea.
Stir until all ingredients are well blended.
Freeze in plastic container, covered, for 6 to 8 hours, sometimes longer depending on your freezer. Spoon into glasses and top off with Sprite or 7Up.
It’s Derby season and as many of you know, I love the Kentucky Derby. While Derby itself isn’t until May (have you picked out your hat yet?), Woodford is already promoting their $1000 Mint Julep Cup.
You can now purchase this gorgeous Mint Julep cup online, made by my favorite jeweler, Tiffany’s. They even come with a sterling silver straw to sip that julep. Cups are first come, first serve to the first 103 people (there have been 103 Derby winners born in Kentucky) to, um, pony up that $1000. Cups come in a Tiffany blue box, of course, and are set in a Woodford Reserve casing made from the same wood as Woodford Reserve barrels. All proceeds from sales of the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup benefit The Heart of a Horse Foundation and you can pick up your cup at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.
Once you have that cup in hand, you can get your mint julep. Since you’ve paid $1000 for the cup, you might as well have the most exotic mint julep in the commonwealth.
– Bourbon Smoked Sugar from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, KY represents the union of flavors that result when Woodford Reserve barrels are combined with raw Demerara sugar. The bourbon-soaked barrel staves are utilized during the smoking process to impart a sweet, caramel flavor and the essence of smoked oak.
– Rare Chocolate Mint grown in San Diego, California. This unique mint adds a tantalizing touch of spring freshness to the classic Mint Julep.
– Ice made of rainwater captured on the pristine island of Tasmania, Australia, where the air is scientifically proven to be the purest in the world. The air travels over Antarctica and 10,000 miles of ocean reaching the western part of Tasmania called “The Edge of the World” where it is collected without ever touching the ground.
So go ahead and try to be one of those 103 lucky people. I will probably be at home on my couch, wearing a fancy hat and cheering on my favorite horse, drinking a mint julep made from Kentucky ice.
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