NAT KING Cole so eloquently and elegantly described the time we enjoy meeting and greeting family and friends in our chosen sunshine homes as those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of summer. Nothing sets the tone and style of these gatherings more than the enjoyment of that first drink, be it a barbecue lunch or dinner in the first shade of the evening. Many of us have house favourites, but we thought you might like a few alternatives to add to your repertoire and show below a few of the welcome drinks that have given us pleasure in recent years.
Into a champagne glass, place a thinly sliced strawberry, a generous teaspoon of Brandy, half a teaspoon of sugar and top up with very cold Várzea de Gouxa Rosé (for only 1.80 euros a bottle). It looks good, tastes good and certainly gets you off to a good start.
Summer Wine Punch
6 cups peeled and chopped fresh fruit such as strawberries, peaches, mangoes or pineapple; 2 tbsp caster sugar; 2 bottles chilled white wine such as Várzea de Gouxa; 4 tbsp Cointreau; 2 tbsp Maraschino liqueur
Place 4/5 cups fruit in large jug or punch bowl, sprinkle with sugar and stand for one hour. Cover the fruit with enough ice to half fill the bowl or jug. Pour over the wine, liqueurs and stir. Decorate with the remaining fruit. Serves 10-12.
Summer Cooler by the Pool
Put two fingers of Warre’s Nobility Dry White Port in a long glass with lots of ice, a slice of lemon and fill with Tonic. Lay a spring of mint on the top and the tension of the day slides away. If you wish, the taste can be altered by changing the Port for Muscatel.
This looks so pretty and gets everyone going!
Dash of Blue Curacao, dash of Amaretto, dash of lemon juice and chilled Mural Bruto Espumante.
Combine Curacao, Amaretto and lemon juice in a champagne flute, stir and then slowly top with chilled champagne. Float some white rose petals on top, if desired. Watch the sunset and make your wish!
1 measure dry Sherry, 1 measure dry Vermouth, dash of Maraschino, 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, 3 measures of white wine such as Segada Branco.
Mix well with ice in a mixing glass and pour into large goblet or highball glass and top up with soda.
Jeremy’s Port in a Storm
1 1/2 measure of Fine Ruby Port, 1/2 measure of Macieira and 2 measures of light red wine such as Alquiere. Mix all in a glass jug, add ice and a twist of lime.
Bellini is a delicious mix of Champagne and peach purée. Skin and stone fresh ripe peaches and purée. Put the purée into the bottom of a chilled glass and top up with chilled Muros Antigos at a ratio of one-third purée to two-thirds Champagne. Perfect aperitif before dinner in the moonlight by the pool!
• All the wines mentioned above can be purchased from WineMine with a 10 per cent discount, subject to availability, if you come to The Warehouse between June 5 and June 9, from 9.30am to 1pm. For further information about the wines featured, contact Anabela on 282 441 036 from Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1pm, or Peter on 916 160 701.