These days, the phrase “wine cocktail” doesn’t just refer to sangria: Mixologists are more frequently adding wine (and beer) into their creative concoctions. Think Mimosa Gone Wild. Sounds trendy and fun, doesn’t it?
Unless, perhaps, you’re a purist who finds yourself holding a bottle of your favorite vintage in one hand and a shaker of ice in the other, thinking, Why the heck would I adulterate a perfect glass of wine?
The Sage Riesling Cocktail is one reason to take the plunge. Imagine you’re sipping a Finger Lakes Riesling while dining on a roasted sage-rubbed chicken with slices of lemon stuffed under its skin. Now remove the chicken from the picture: You’re left with the perfect ingredients for a cocktail. The acidity of the lemon and the wine combine seamlessly to highlight the minerality of this region’s grapes, while the almost-bitter sage adds a fresh, savory note. A touch of simple syrup provides just enough sweetness to balance the acidity.
The resulting cocktail is a refreshing summer drink that will claim its place on your patio table next to the lemonade, iced tea, and yes, sangria.
Makes one drink
5 ounces Riesling (Try Lamoreaux Landing Dry Riesling or Bloomer Creek Tanzen Dame)
1⁄2 of a lemon wheel
8 small sage leaves or 4 big ones
1⁄4 ounce simple syrup*
Muddle 1 ounce of the Riesling in a pint glass with the lemon, sage and simple syrup. Transfer mixture to a shaker and add the remaining Riesling. Shake with ice until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
*Heat 1⁄4 cup hot water on the stove top or in microwave. Add 1/3 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool before using.
Recipe by Amelia Sauter, Felicia’s Atomic Lounge.