Beer is usually the defacto drink for the standard Fourth of July barbecue, but there are plenty of other beverages you can enjoy while chilling out in the open air and celebrating your country. Like wine coolers.
These fruity beverages are perfect for your summer barbecue – but skip the pre-made versions that you find at the local supermarket. A great homemade wine cooler is only a few pieces of fruit away, and there won’t be any weird ingredients thrown into the mix. Check out the recipes below for our red, white and blue wine coolers and raise your glass when the fireworks start to go off.
To be fit for summer, you’ll want to skip over the traditional red wines you find at the liquor store. A wine cooler is supposed to be served chilled, and you should use a light vino as a base. If you want to stay patriotic, reach for a bottle of rosé as well. It’s more fit for the season than a pinot noir or cabernet, and with a few raspberries thrown in, it will be a tasty summer drink that will get people talking at your picnic. Muddle two or three raspberries in a glass (don’t use too many, you’ll be overpowered with saccharine) and then pour in your favorite rosé. Fresh, light, tasty – this simple drink practically screams summer. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear it over the fireworks.
White wine coolers are very easy, and also very pretty. Choose a drinkable white like Pinot Grigio and avoid labels like Chardonnay, since the oak will not gel with the fruit you are going to add. Once you have your bottle picked out, add whichever fruit is your favorite, just make sure to mash it up a bit before you pour the wine in. For a white wine cooler, we suggest getting some fresh peaches and muddling them in a glass. Pour the white wine in, stir, and you’re good to go. Natural fruits sometimes aren’t as sweet as the labels you’d find in the store (especially fresh peaches), so if you want to up the tasty quotient, throw half a spoonful of sugar in before you stir.
Think you’re witnessing a trend? You’re right. Fruit + wine = summertime deliciousness. For your blue cocktail, spice up your glass of Prosecco with 3-5 muddled blueberries (since they are smaller and less sweet, you can use more). While you can use a standard wine label – again, Pinot Grigio is ideal – a little bubbly wine from Italy makes this homemade wine cooler stand out from your typical picnic fare.
Red, White and Blue
Want to get all those Fourth of July colors in one beverage at the same time? It’s easy, and this is one summer wine cooler that you can make in batches to save time. Take a handful of blueberries with a handful of strawberries and throw them into a pitcher. Muddle them up, fill the pitcher with ice, and pour a full bottle of Pinot Grigio into the mix. To make your pitcher extra pretty, throw a few whole blueberries and strawberries into the top of the mix and push them 1/3 of the way down. Gorgeous. This is one concoction that will make you want to reach for another glass. Well, go for it – you’re celebrating freedom, after all.