Red White & Blue Spritzers
Happy Fourth of July Weekend everyone! How are you celebrating? With hot dogs and grill marks and watermelon, I hope. Growing up, I spent my entire summer in a little place called Hemlock Farms where my family had a cottage. It was the definition of “summertime, and the living’s easy.” My brother and I would do spend hours together, swimming in the lake, walking to the golf course, wiping sugary peach juice off our chins. As the teenage years crept up, the wholesome fun of my youth (and now, of my adulthood) bored me. Sneaking popsicles was replaced by sneaking beers, and evening swims came second to hanging out with older boys. My parents worked in NYC during the week, and would come back to Hemlock on Friday nights to spend the weekend with my brother and I, who were occupied by camp and a live-in nanny the rest of the time. When my parents arrived, the questionable behavior was traded in for quality-time. We'd go fishing with my father, piercing worms onto hooks and wishing, waiting for the local striped-bass to bite. My dad was the ultimate renaissance man. Not only did he fish, but he also knew how to clean the fish and then cook the fish. I was always grossed out by the smell and process, but dad was unfazed.
Fourth of July was marked by abundance. A cornucopia of food, drinks, people, laughter. We would host a huge BBQ at our home and invite over my grandparents, aunts, cousins, and family friends over. Dad skewered pounds of various meats onto lengthy metal sticks, cooking them over the blistering heat of the manghal. My mom would make sangria, a drink that doesn’t seem very patriotic to me, but for her, it was the bees knees. As soon as I turned 21 (ok, maybe a few years earlier), the sangria responsibility was handed off. I loved getting creative with what fruits and mixers I would add, finding some resemblance to cooking in cocktail-making. The more rum I added, the naughtier I felt, holding the bottle over the jug for a few seconds too long, remembering my younger years sneaking out to the docks. God I love that place. The memories covered in a marinade of crumby sand and the unforgettable scent of sunscreen.
This year, my Fourth of July looks a little bit different. With the wedding just 4 months away, Brandon and I wanted some quality time away from the hustle and bustle. We snuck away to Miami for a weekend of nothingness. I know, there’s South Beach, and Bal Harbour Mall, and Wynwood, but don’t you ever just want to partake in the art of nullity? Waking up late, eating too much, dozing off on the beach, walking it off, floating in the ocean. Flipping through the pages of an empty novel that somehow satisfies the part of my brain I want to activate today. An easy read, a "beach read." Simultaneously focusing, and not focusing at all. Those are my big plans this weekend. And big plans such as these require a beverage in hand that’s simpler than sangria. No extra work, and better yet, no extra thoughts about what fruits and herbs make the best match in a jug of vino. I take a crisp white wine, a Sancerre or New Zealand Sauv (avoiding the oaky ones) and pair it with red and blue berries. Top it off with a squeeze of lemon juice, and a splash of flavored seltzer, and sip. Crisp, acidic, surprising from the occasional blueberry that slides into my mouth down the wine water slide. Patriotic in color. This is how I July 4th this year.
Red White & Blue Wine Spritzers
Strawberries, diced into confetti
White Wine, chilled
Seltzer, I love flavored Grapefruit (Pamplemousse) La Croix, but any will do
as there is no recipe for my weekend, there is none for this spritzer. Pour yourself a hefty glass of chilled white wine. Squeeze in about 1 tsp of lemon juice (1 wedge). Add a spoonful of your berry confetti and a some blueberries. Top with sparkling soda. Sip, sip, sip, and get ready for the fireworks.
* if using strawberries as a garnish, I recommend slicing the berry first (3-4 slices depending on size) and then spearing a the whole strawberry, in slices, on the rim as shown above. It looks more original and is easier to eat :)
**I don’t like sweet beverages, but if you wanted, you could add a spoonful of simple syrup or grenadine (which will make your wine pink) for a sweet spritzer.