Enjoying a glass of your favorite wine is a simple classic, but as the days of summer get hotter, it’s nice to enjoy cool drink and treats, so we found some fun cool ways to enjoy your favorite wines on even the hottest days of summer. Making cool treats and drinks with wine doesn’t require fancy equipment, just some basic kitchen appliances, but it does require some creativity. Using your favorite wine in a cool recipe lets you play with and explore the flavors and characteristics of the wine whether you are adding it to creamy custard base or mixing it with fruit and herbs to make a popsicle, or considering if its better shaken or stirred. With just a few minutes in your kitchen, you can turn your favorite wine into your new cool favorite summer treat.
Wine Ice Cream
Adding wine to ice cream not only adds the flavor of the wine, it also makes a creamy, soft, easy-to-scoop treat. The alcohol in the wine lowers the freezing point of the ice cream, so measuring correctly ensures you don’t end up with wine soup instead of wine ice cream. When pairing your wine with the type of ice cream you want to make, chose a wine that will enhance the flavors. For instance, adding a Cabernet Sauvignon to a dark chocolate ice cream is a good pairing, as the wine has bold enough flavors to contrast and stand up to the chocolate; likewise a classic vanilla ice-cream will go well with the classic oaky and buttery flavors of Chardonnay. You can use sweet, red or white wines, desert wines or fortified wines to make a delicious wine ice cream. You can keep your ice creams simple, or you can be creative with add-ins and play off of fruit and nut flavors that are present in the wine.
Basic Wine Ice Cream Base
- 3 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups half and half
- ½ cup wine
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and half and half together in the top of a double boiler and cook until the mixture thickens. Add the wine and process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
How to make Wine Syrup
A wine syrup is a simple reduction of wine with some added sugar to make a concentrated, thick sauce. Wine syrup can be used in place of plain vinegar to add more flavor and elegance to any food or drink. You can use wine syrup as a topping for fresh fruit, on salads, vegetables or meats, on desserts and ice cream. You can make wine syrup easily with only wine and sugar, or you can add spices and herbs to add additional flavors.
Simple Wine Syrup
- 3 Cups Red or White Wine
- 1 Cup Sugar
Bring wine and sugar to a simmer, allow it to reduce by half. Allow the mixture to cool before using.
Like wine ice cream, sorbet is softer and creamier, and less icy than regular sorbets. With sorbet you can have fun with flavors by poaching fruit in the wine, adding spices and then blending the mixture to make a fun and tasty sorbet. You can use either white or red wine, dessert wine or fortified wines, and use any type of fruit and spices that pair with the wine you are using; classic combinations include cabernet sauvignon, pears, black pepper and cinnamon and Gewurztraiminer, peaches and vanilla.
- 1 ½ cups wine
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 2 cups fruit
- Spice to taste
Poach fruit in the wine until fruit is tender and the wine is reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Allow to cool and blend to make a puree, then process in an ice cream/sorbet maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Wine popsicles are a great way to enjoy your favorite wine on a hot day. As you want your popsicles frozen, you’ll use a ratio of 3:1, 3 parts fruit juice/puree to 1 part wine. Classic pairings for popsicles include berries and merlot, peaches and sparkling wine, citrus and sauvignon blanc. To make your popsicles really pop, you can add different colors of fruit, layer red and white wine, or add fresh herbs like mint.
Basic Wine Popsicle Recipe
- 1 ½ cup fruit puree
- ½ cup wine
Mix wine and fruit puree together and pour into popsicle molds, freeze until solid.
White Wine Cocktail
The possibilities of wine cocktails are absolutely endless and offer a way to enjoy all kinds of wine with classic cocktail fixings and garnishments, from a simple spritzer to a shaken fancy drink. Not only can you use red, white, desert, fortified, still or sparkling wine to make cocktails, you can also add your favorite wine syrup in place of simple syrup to any cocktail recipe for a twist. A few ideas, include:
- Wine Spritzer - wine and club or lemon-lime soda
- Wine-tini - wine, vermouth and a twist
- Sparkling Wine cocktail - sparkling wine, white wine syrup, bitters, and brandy, garnished with a maraschino cherry
- Gin & Wine Cocktail - gin, lemon juice, white wine syrup, and sparkling wine.
- Sangria - wine, fresh sliced fruit, citrus juice, brandy and wine syrup with ice.