Not Your ’90s Wine Spritzer

Festive wine-based bevvies for summer sipping


French 75
Named after the French 75mm WWI field artillery gun, this gin-and-bubbly-based cocktail packs a wallop. Using grilled lemon slices as garnish brings a nice smoky element to summer soirées. Makes one cocktail.

1 ½ ounces London dry gin
½ teaspoon superfine (bakers) sugar
½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
3-4 ounces brut Champagne
1 lemon, sliced into ¼-inch rounds (makes enough garnish for 4-5 cocktails)

Method
Flash grill lemon slices over med-high flames, turning once to get good grill marks and some char on both sides. Remove from heat and reserve until ready to make the cocktails (can be made several hours in advance).

To a shaker with ice add the gin, sugar and lemon juice. Shake until tin is frosty, and strain into a chilled Champagne flute. Fill to the brim with Champagne. Garnish with a grilled lemon wheel.

StrawberryPeach Punch featured image
A cross between white sangria and lower-alcohol punch, this fruity beverage is a pretty addition to any party. Pro tip: To keep the punch from getting diluted, use an additional bottle of wine (instead of water) to make large ice cubes with pieces of fruit and mint leaves frozen into them. Makes about 10 cups.

1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
2-3 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 cara cara or navel orange, sliced into rounds
½ cup limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
½ cup orange curaçao or triple sec
1 bottle dry light white wine (such as Vinho Verde)
8-10 fresh mint leaves
2 cups chilled club soda

Method
At least two hours before serving (or the night before), add all of the fruit and booze to a large punch bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until just before serving. Right before the party starts, add the club soda, mint leaves and festive ice cubes.

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