While I’m always trying to come up with recipes you don’t have to go to the store to grab all the ingredients for, this cocktail is for those hard weeks.
You know the weeks where you’ve paid rent, you haven’t gotten groceries, and you just don’t know what to do with all the random stuff in your fridge. This is a cocktail that uses up all the booze and fruit you’ve got lying around (including that last few drops of red wine you hung on to for some reason). It’s delightfully simple but tastes so complex you might even enjoy a glass or two next payday.
Some people call this cocktail Old Glory and drink it solely on the Fourth of July (because of the red, white, and blue theme), but I found it was just too tasty and too easy to be enjoyed only once a year. Plus, it’s extremely versatile, and you can adapt the beverage to fit whatever you have in the fridge or freezer. Let’s say you’ve got no blueberries, but you do have blackberries go ahead and swap them in. Maybe you’ve only got frozen fruit, well that’s fine too! As long as you have a little fruit, a little citrus, some vodka, and a few drops of red wine then you are good to go.
The red wine might seem odd at first, but once you taste this supple, sweet sipper it makes perfect sense. The red wine acts to soften the cocktail. If you like a more boozy cocktail, then pour a little less red wine (say one ounce instead of two), or if you find it’s a bit too strong, go ahead and pour more. Like I said this is a versatile cocktail that you can pretty much dump everything but the kitchen sink into. I’ve had it with white wine, sparkling, and even port. I’ve also dumped in frozen raspberries, fresh dragon fruit, and leftover pineapple. You can even swap in lime or grapefruit if you don’t have any ripe lemons.
This cocktail is the chance to give yourself a break –– to kick up your feet, knock back a drink, and leave the hard week behind for a moment or two. This recipe is a great place to start, but if you find yourself missing an ingredient, feel free to get creative.
Prep Time: 5 min
Makes: 1 serving
- 1 HANDFUL OF BLUEBERRIES (OR BLACKBERRIES)
- 1 OZ. LEMON JUICE
- 1 OZ. SWEETENER (CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR, GRANULATED SUGAR, HONEY, SPLENDA, ETC.)
- 2 OZ. VODKA
- 2 OZ. RED WINE (PINOT NOIR WORKS THE BEST, BUT ALMOST ANYTHING WILL DO)
Garnish: 1 FRESH STRAWBERRY (OR WHATEVER YOU’VE GOT LEFT)
How much can you deviate from the recipe? That’s largely up to you and your taste buds. I’ve successfully made this recipe with different boozes (like gin) different citrus (grapefruit) different sweeteners (one desperate time a packet of Splenda) and all manner of fruit. Some of them were great and others weren’t as great, but I still enjoyed them all. Experimenting with ingredients is the best way to find out what you enjoy, and there’s no better time to get creative than after a long, hard week.
One of the key things to remember when building a cocktail is the rule of cocktail ratios: 2 parts spirit, 1 part acid, and 1 part sweet. For example, a Gimlet is 2 oz. of gin, 1 oz. lime juice, and 1 oz. simple syrup; a Whiskey Sour is 2 oz. of bourbon, 1 oz. lemon juice, and 1 oz. simple syrup; and a Margarita is 2 oz. Tequila, 1 oz. lime juice, and 1 oz. agave nectar (if it’s made right). Once you’ve nailed that foundation, you can start to experiment with all manner of ingredients, combinations, and flavors.