Hurray for Sissy Drinks! (Two refreshing wine cocktails)

24 Aug

This summer has been too damn hot and (in my part of the world) humid for normal alcohol consumption. On a normal day, I am not a sipper. I am a gulper. Of water, of tea — hot or cold –, and wine, my beverage of choice. Add the hazy, hot, and humid factors and you would think that I was a camel, sucking up everything wet the oasis has to offer.

But that kind of hurry can’t be applied to alcohol. I would keel over and instead of being relaxing or fun, the scene would just get ugly. So in the summer, especially in this summer, I have resorted to what I like to call sissy drinks. Low alcohol, lots of non-alcoholic liquids added, over lots of ice.

You may laugh, you may make unfavorable references to the era of Bartles & James, wine coolers and the like, but it works for me. Especially when you can get a bottle of Portuguese vinho verde with a convenient screw top for $4.99 at my local liquor store and make it last for days , with no craziness, no pain, and no dehydration. Sounds good, right? And anyway I suspect you may already be throwing cubes of ice into your white, or (gasp!) red, in secret. Room temperature in my house right now is 81°. That is no temperature at which to serve wine.

Vinho verde, or green wine, is a very light, slightly fizzy, and somewhat citric wine from the northern regions of Portugal. It only has 9.5-10 percent alcohol usually, compared to 13 or 14 percent in most of the wines I see today. It runs from about $5 – 8 a bottle around here. You can, of course, drink it straight, but it makes for a friendly blending wine too, and at that price, I don’t feel an underlying obligation to treat it with any reverence. This is a cheap date!

So the first recipe is a basic cooler with vinho verde. The second is a very simple Orange-Mango Wine Spritzer (yes, I have said it, spritzer. Spritzer, spritzer, spritzer. And I am unashamed.) that we served at a summer barbecue as a refreshing welcome drink that takes the edge off without being too strong. It was very well received (Nancy and Pat, this one’s for you!). Both recipes are, of course, very flexible, so play with the proportions until you find what you like!

Stay cool!

Vinho Verde Wine Spritzer (by the glass)

1 part Vinho verde

1 part Seltzer

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

Pour all ingredients into a glass full of ice, stir, and enjoy.

Orange Mango Wine Spritzer

1 bottle sweet white wine

2 Cups orange mango juice, plus a squeeze of fresh orange juice

Squeeze of fresh lemon

¼ Cup seltzer

(optional garnish: lemon/orange slices)

In a pitcher, mix wine, orange mango juice, and lemon. Top with seltzer. Garnish with fruit. Serve over ice.

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15 Responses to “Hurray for Sissy Drinks! (Two refreshing wine cocktails)”

  1. Kathy June 29, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    When I was in Spain, I sneered at Tinto Verano — red wine with orange soda. It seemed actually like a bad American idea. But then it reached 100 degrees and you just can’t keep it up with straight wine or chilled sherry. So I tried it: brilliant!

  2. cecilia June 29, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    I love the vinho verde, we used to drink it all the time in Portugal and it cost one and a half euros if i remember rightly! I have NEVER seen it around here.. I am going to find it next time i go to the big city! I really love these ideas..Would i find seltzer at the supermarket? I have not seen that either.. oh dear, i amin the backwoods… c

  3. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy June 29, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    Reblogged this on Hot, Cheap & Easy and commented:

    The summer is here. Here’s how to have wine on a summer Sunday without messing up your Monday!

  4. spicegirlfla August 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    I know vinho verde very well! And indeed it was a light refreshing wine during my summers living in South Florida. It’s inexpensive so mixing it lightly was always a nice change, though I didn’t mind have a chilled glass straight up!

  5. thewindykitchen August 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    I love vinho verde! such a great summer wine!

  6. Tammy August 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    orange mango sounds lovely.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      It is! I don’t drink much juice, but for the occasional cocktail or ice pops for the kids, it’s great!

  7. ceciliag August 25, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    I love these sissy drinks, and you are right it is hard not to just knock them back when you are thirsty and it is time for a wee drinkie! c

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy August 25, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      I very much want to play on the word “wee” as related to drinking pitchers of refreshing beverages, but I can’s seem to put it together right. So I’ll leave it to your imagination!!!

  8. Karen August 25, 2012 at 4:17 am #

    When weather is hot, you do want to have a refreshing drink served over ice. Your cocktails remind me of sangria.

  9. Mad Dog August 25, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    It sounds very refreshing, but I’m not sure I could drink more than one 😉

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