Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring,
My summer wine is really made from all these things…
~Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood, Summer Wine
In the heat of summer, the two biggest things on my mind are how to make the most of the season, and how to stay fresh when the sun beats down. A dip in the lake, an ice cream treat , an ice cold drink, a spot in the shade and a blast of air conditioning now and then – all of these things suit me just fine.
I’ve been wanting to make a drink based on Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s song, and since summer fruits are in abundance I thought it the perfect timing for a summer wine of my own. I like sangria, but I sometimes find the red version too heavy for my preference in the hottest days of summer. So, I decided to make a sparkling wine cocktail loosely based on the concept of sangria. Not to worry, this one won’t knock you out completely like Nancy’s did to Lee, and you’ll probably wake up with your silver spurs and wallet in tact (please drink responsibly, people!), but it’s wonderfully tasty and refreshing – just the ticket for a hot summer day like today!
Sparkling Summer Wine
750 mL sparkling wine (I used a Moscato D’Asti as it’s what many of my friends prefer), chilled
750 mL bottle of gingerale, chilled
2 oz St. Germain
1 oz peach schnapps
Your favourite summer fruits (I used strawberries, Bing and Rainier cherries, nectarines, and red and green gooseberries)
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
Cut fruit into bite sized pieces and pit cherries (if applicable).
Heat the lemon juice, zest and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely disintegrated and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool, then pour over your fruit and mix well. Note: I let the fruit and lemon syrup macerate in the fridge overnight, but this step really isn’t essential.
In a large pitcher or bowl, combine fruit, sparkling wine, gingerale, St. Germain, and peach Schnapps. Add a handful of fresh mint and serve.