Memorial Day weekend is finally here and I couldn’t be happier. It’s really a long haul from President’s Day to Memorial Day when you work a standard Monday – Friday job, so I truly appreciate this 3-day weekend. I thought this would be the perfect time to wind down with a nice drink, and the amazing strawberries my mom brought up on this weekend’s visit seemed like they would be perfect for a simple drink idea I’d been mulling over for a couple of weeks.
I call this a cooler because it’s really not a sangria. Not enough fruit & different juices are involved with the wine to make this a true sangria. However, I’ve always thought that a nice White Zinfandel would go great with some fruit to make a nice little punch on a hot summer day. Because white zin is already a slightly sweet little wine, I wanted to play with that and add some more sweetness with some fresh, juicy strawberries (really, it was very serendipitous that Mom should bring them this weekend). Some lemon juice for sass & some ginger ale for sparkle, and I knew I had the makings of a refreshingly sweet little drink.
Again, there is no need to go for the uber expensive wine, especially when you’re making a fruity punch with it. A modestly priced wine will still be delicious, though you should try your best to buy the sweetest, juiciest strawberries out there so that they infuse the wine with their lovely flavor. Other than that, not much to note on this one! Just relax & enjoy.
White Zin-ful Strawberry Cooler (serves 4; total cost per serving: ~$1.15)
Combine the wine, ginger ale, and lemon juice in a large pitcher half-filled with ice and stir well. Lightly wet the rims of each glass with a bit of lemon juice (the easiest way to do this is rub the remainder of the lemon you just squeezed for the juice around the edge of each glass). Dip the rim of the glass into the bowl of sugar and give it a little twist. Presto! You have a nice sugared wine glass rim.
Place 1/4 c of strawberries into each glass. Using a ladle or cup with a spout, gently pour the wine mixture into each glass, taking care not to ruin the sugared glass rim. If you like, add an extra squeeze of lemon juice to each glass. Take the whole strawberries & slice them almost completely in half, leaving the top with the greens intact. Roll each strawberry in the sugar, place on the glass rim, kick back, relax, and enjoy!