Wine Wednesday: Alcohol-Free summer cocktails

The heat is really doing a number on everyone and sometimes you just don’t need or want a ‘cocktail’.  However, it’s always wonderful if you want to offer your guests a little something to cool them off.  How about a variety of cocktails that are refreshing as well as non-alcoholic?  These are elegant coolers for those hot and steamy nights.

Green tea cranberry – Serves 4

Ingredients

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

4 green tea bags

1/2 cup chilled unsweetened cranberry juice

Ice

3 cups chilled seltzer

Directions

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely. Steep tea bags in 2 cups boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove bags. Let cool completely. Divide tea, cranberry juice, and the simple syrup among 4 ice-filled glasses. Top with chilled seltzer.

With cilantro sprigs, which add a herbaceous note to this tart cocktail, and gin, this is definitely the grown-up version of a soda-fountain favorite.

Lime Rickeys with Cilantro  – Serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 cups Limeade

3/4 cup gin

5 tablespoons superfine sugar

3 limes (cut into rounds)

3 cups club soda

Ice

Lime wedges and cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Directions

Combine limeade, gin, sugar, and limes in a large pitcher. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Add club soda. Serve over ice. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.

Rosy Raspbery Spritzer – serves 4

Ingredients

1/4 cup raspberries

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon superfine sugar

3/4 teaspoon rose-water (kalustyans.com)

2 cups chilled rose wine

3 cups chilled seltzer

Directions

Lightly crush raspberries with sugar and rose-water. Divide among
4 glasses. Stir in wine. Top with seltzer.

Honey-Vanilla Spritzer – serves 4

Ingredients

2/3 cup honey

1/2 cup water

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Ice

4 cups chilled seltzer

Directions

Bring honey, water, and vanilla bean to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook, stirring, until honey dissolves. Let cool completely. Strain through a fine sieve (there will be some seeds). Stir in lime juice. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Top with seltzer.

A great way to celebrate your love.  If you do decide to add a ‘splash’ of something to these, please remember to drink responsibly.

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