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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Drinkie Sunday: Whining About Wine

By Tom

Cocktails are something I rarely indulge in these days. I'm not quite sure whether that is due to a more delicate constitution or just a desire to be less drunk. It doesn't help that we in Los Angeles are so spread out. I've been out to dinner in Highland Park and thought about a second one of Villa Sombrero's excellent Margarita to wash down their equally excellent tableside-made guac, but then the thought of three freeways and the curves of Coldwater Canyon going home makes the idea of being even one sheet to the wind less than attractive. So for me these days, it's wine. It's even worse then you think: it's wine spritzers. Yes, I have started quaffing at parties that classic of the bell-bottomed, key-partied 70's. Why? If you mix them correctly you can sip for hours (even days) without consuming enough alcohol to be impaired, yet you look like your "drinking".

The recipe is dead simple:

In a tall glass filled with ice, pour:
a splash of white wine
club soda
add a slice of lime

That's about it. The trick here is that the wine should be a cheap one, like a Barefoot or a even a Gallo. Watering them down doesn't hurt them and you aren't wasting money. Don't use something really good or expensive; that's like adding Diet Coke to your Courvoisier. Don't use something like Vendage, which will still taste awful even when diluted.

Actually, stay away from Vendage, period. When we had book signings at the store I worked at we would serve it because we were cheap and knew that even the most hardened boozer would not ask for a second glass of this tooth enamel removing swill. So only serve it people you don't like.

What are your tips for a light, summery cocktail when you want something but don't wast to commit to full-on booze?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weinschorle is a wonderful mix of wine and carbonated water. You can use good quality wine, it's simply diluted, not distorted, by the water. It's more popular than actual wine in Germany. And of course, here in Florida, we love our mimosas (fresh OJ and good Prosecco only!)

7:38 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Thanks for the tip!

12:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous Wordbird said...

I'm a fan of shandy - beer or lager (or even alcoholic cider) mixed with lemonade (think Sprite, not the trad cloudy stuff). So refreshing on a hot day.

Otherwise, I do like a long long G&T - one measure of gin and a lot of tonic water and plenty of ice in a big glass.

And I'm very fond of proper soft drinks - ice tea is delicious and these modern juice mixes like apple and raspberry are fabulous. I often choose them over something alcoholic, even when I don't need to worry about driving home.

3:00 PM EDT  
Blogger kareng said...

Hmmm...I'm a big fan of the full-on booze cocktails, LOL!, but if I'm being good I usually enjoy something light and sparkling, like a dry Prosecco or Cava.

Or if I want to go completely non-alcoholic, then ginger beer with a slice of lime is delicious in summer.

5:17 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wordbird, I drank shandy during university, the best, and no going home too weebled to study the next day. I agree, too, for non-alcoholid, a good Indian or Jamaican ginger beer and tonic water really hits the spot.

6:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous ElizabethC said...

There are some wonderful aperitifs out like Lillet and Cocchi Americano, along with some great vermouths like Dolin bianco. On the rocks with a twist, light and tasty and wonderful with French food!

6:56 PM EDT  
Anonymous perfume said...

I think The trick here is that the wine should be a cheap one.

5:45 AM EDT  

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