Craft Wine Cocktails?
About 15 years ago a good friend and cocktail connoisseur made me a “proper” whiskey sour. He vigorously shook the usual citrus, sugar, bitters and bourbon I was used to with an egg white. The thick, frothy concoction was the closest thing to cocktail heaven that I ever drank. Sometimes re-ferred to as a Boston Sour, this new version changed how I prepare and drink cocktails, and is now changing how I drink wine. After that proper drink many years ago I was consumed with the craft cocktail and classic cocktails. Well-made distilled spirits mixed with fresh, inspirational ingre-dients became my hobby, and seeking out the best bars when I travelled was my habit. I even have a couple friends for whom I created drinks for their birthdays and then named after them. I am a good friend, and maybe a bad influence. I have used wines, vermouths and other fermented spirits as ingredients accompanying distilled spirits. For example, floating a little red wine on a proper whiskey sour is a New York Sour. Sweet Vermouth is an important ingredient in another of my favorite drinks, the Manhattan. Vermouth, I have found out, is a fortified wine.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because I have discovered the art of making some of my favorite cocktails using specialty wines. Made with agave and orange wines, these drinks are free of dis-tilled liquor and have a lower alcohol content so we can prepare and serve them at Wine on a Dime! Recently I surprised some of our patrons and toted out the ingredients for 10 wine-based cocktails. We sampled them and picked the top 5 or 6. There were a few that will never see the light of day again (yuck!), but most were delicious and a few fooled our patrons! The top choices included the Margarita, the Bloody Mary, the Moscow Mule, and the “Guava ‘Gave.” All are made with house-made mixers and fresh juices. Just like the craft cocktails I love so much, proving that I no longer have to choose between my old friends and my new ones.
The good news, my friends, is that now you will have the opportunity to try these cocktails your-self. I will be serving a bunch of these along with the The Dime’s amazing selection of wines and beers on Friday February 21, 2020, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Mark your calendars and bring your thirst.