Here in Los Lunas, New Mexico it’s hot. Like, 5th ring of hell hot. The last week of June it was over 100 degrees every day.
I love wine but when the summer is this hot, it’s time to cool things down so I’ve created a series of terrifically delicious Gin based cocktails based on the Tom Collins. Variations on a theme, if you will.
First up is the Albuquerque Breaking Blue Collins!
Here’s the recipe:
In a glass of ice, mix the following in this order.
1.5oz shot of gin
I don’t measure the other stuff, so flavor to taste.
On top of the gin add a splash (or 3) of lime juice.
Top off with Sparkling ICE Blue Raspberry – it comes in a skinny bottle and most grocery stores carry it with the flavored sparkling water. (see photo below)
Stir. Don’t add anything else until you stir!
Garnish with half a slice of lime – be sure to rub the lime all over the mouth of the glass, leaving behind as much pulp as possible.
Add two maraschino cherries.
Last step – pour in a small amount of cherry juice from the jar. Make sure that the drink has already been stirred because if you stir it after the cherry juice goes in, it defeats the purpose. The cherry juice will sink to the bottom, creating a lovely layered effect.
Fair warning: if you drink one, you will want another!
On sale for $5.99 at Walgreens ($10 at Albertson’s), this is a very nice red blend from South Eastern Australia.
As always, I’m a fan of the screw cap, especially when the contents are this good. Vanilla, dark fruit, smooth finish with a touch of smoke. A great deal at full price and an even better deal at half price! Pairs great with dry rub BBQ pork chops and steamed vegetables. Also acceptable curled up in a blanket on the couch with a bag of chips. No matter how you pair it, one thing is for certain, Lindeman’s Red Blend turns down the volume on the lingering stress memories from the day.
After an underwhelming first sample from St. Clair Vinyard, I decided to give them a second chance. St. Clair is in New Mexico after all and I wanted to like their wines.
A Cab-Zin blend is pretty basic, how could they screw it up?
Well…..where there’s a will, there’s a way.
This Cab-Zin is medium-light bodied at best leading with bright notes of cherry that are too bright. Xavier said it tasted sour. Completely devoid of any of the deep dark, chocolatey goodness that one would expect from this type of blend. It doesn’t really even look dark in the glass but on the plus side it did get a little better after being open for about an hour and there was no extra charge for the headache I woke up with this morning.
You know you’ve chosen poorly when the conversation at the dinner table sounds like, “If you hate it, we still have that box of Franzia.” It’s like staying at a hotel and laminating that it’s not as nice as Motel 6.
If you’re looking for a good New Mexico wine this, my friends, is not it.
While I am working on my various websites this morning, Luna is on a mission to romp through the house, jump on top of the cat, chew the power cord to my computer and be puppy-helpful. She is ten weeks old now and we’ve had her for two weeks.
Xavier had been wanting a puppy since forever but puppies and 4th floor apartments in Maryland just don’t mix. Every Saturday morning we would go to Petco and play with the puppies that were up for adoption and every time we would have to leave them there. Now that we have a house with a yard, Xavier finally got his puppy!
Of all the budget-priced wines in the $5 – $6 range, Fisheye from south eastern Australia is by far my favorite (and I’m cheap, so I’ve tried most of them). Every Fisheye wine that I have sampled is smooth and tasty and this 2016 Pinot Noir is no different.
It truly makes me happy to spend only $5 on a bottle of wine and not regret it in the morning.
This Pinot Noir is just a touch spicy with a hint of cinnamon over a smooth base of medium red fruit and a bit of oak. Check out the beautiful ruby red hue!
Other pertinent facts: 13.5% alcohol, pairs well with pepper-jack cheese and Club crackers, no headache. Did I mention $5?
On sale at Walgreens for about $8.99, Primal Roots California Red Blend is packed full of toasty oak, vanilla, and chocolaty goodness. Although not a “chocolate-flavored” wine, I thought the chocolate-ness was particularly pronounced. Xavier and I paired it garlic-rosemary burgers and steamed vegetables.
Primal Roots Red Blend is comprised of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Merlot and you can’t go wrong there. While it seems that Primal Roots only makes this one blend (according to their one page website), this would be a perfectly good choice to bring to dinner party or to give as house warming gift, or a birthday present, or a Christmas present, or a Valentine’s Day gift, or for an anniversary, or….well, you get the point.
If you’re on your way to my house, best be stopping off at Walgreen’s on the way.