Wine coolers are such a great idea, but somewhere along the way they've gone horribly awry. Fruit + wine should be delicious, but a commercial wine cooler is cloyingly sweet and artificial tasting. And just yucky.
The genius Lee Brothers, Matt and Ted, set out to right the wrong, and created these delicious, fruity, and balanced drinks. These are incredibly simple and fresh: strawberry puree, a splash of vodka, and a dry Reisling. They are incredibly refreshing, and have a nice sweetness, but not in an overpowering way.
When I have friends over for dinner, or throw a party, I like to have kind of a "signature drink," whether its a mixed drink, special bottle of wine, or a fun and fruity frozen drink. I think this would be ideal, because the fruit mixture can be made ahead of time, and when its party-time, just mix it with wine and you're good to go. In fact, the longer you let the flavors meld in the refrigerator the better. I can't wait to play around with more fruits this summer. I think peach would be especially delicious!
Strawberry Wine Coolers
Simple, Fresh, Southern by Matt Lee and Ted Lee
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
- 2 ounces vodka
- generous pinch of kosher salt
- 2 750-mL bottles off-dry white wine, such as an American Reisling, chilled
Puree on the highest setting for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is frothy and smooth.
Strain the puree through a fine-mesh seive into a pitcher (and eat the pulp!), pressing the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1-2 hours.
To serve, fill wine glasses with ice, and divide the mixture among them, filling each glass about half-full. Top with remaining white wine, and stir. Garnish with the reserved strawberries, and serve.