Lifestyle

Simple party cocktails

at the Wine Rack

With Christopher Reckord

Wednesday, December 25, 2013    

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Last week's article on apéritifs stirred some discussion with friends from Grace Foods about cocktails. I challenged them to come up with a few quick cocktail recipes that I could suggest to readers to use this season.

Our Guest Mixologists

Sharice Fernander is a brand manager at Grace Foods. In these cocktail experiments she was ably supported by Assistant Brand Manager Zoe Alexander, who loves to experiment with all types of food and drink recipes in the Grace Products "testing labs".

Sorrel Malbec Sangria

Sangria has become popular recently, as it offers many benefits to the host at cocktail and dinner parties. It provides the opportunity to offer something different and interesting as the host can easily modify the traditional recipes, and get very creative, which is what Zoe and Sharice did with their Sorrel Malbec Sangria. In essence, the basic Sangria recipe calls for red wine with chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy. Zoe suggested that by using the Trivento Sweet Malbec, she removes the need to add a sweetner. Sharice and I tasted Zoe's special Sangria consisting of Grace Tropical Rhythms Sorrel Ginger and it will certainly be a drink of choice if you make it.

Sparkling wine cocktails

Sharice and Zoe suggested two very different but equally delicious Prosecco-based cocktails. One of the most famous Prosecco-based cocktails is called a Bellini, which is a mixture of Prosecco, sparkling wine and peach purée or nectar. Many variations of this drink exist under a number of names; for example, the Tiziano is a similar popular Italian cocktail that uses grape juice instead of peach. Since we are doing cocktails for the season, we used one of the Grace Sorrel Blends with very pleasant results — we called it the Sorrel Tiziano — simple to make and very refreshing.

Classic Italian Sgroppino

Our final party cocktail was a little bit more involved, but very unusual and very delicious. It is often used in meals as a digestive, and is the Classic Italian Sgroppino. It is a classic beverage from the Veneto region in northern Italy that uses lemon gelato, Prosecco and vodka. Italian lemon gelato is more like a sorbet and doesn't include any milk- based products. The consistency of this cocktail should be a little runnier than a slushie.

Lots of fun was had with Sharice and Zoe as we experimented with these cocktails. Please try them this season. All the ingredients are readily available.

Christopher Reckord — Businessman, Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord@ gmail.com. Follow us on twitter: @Reckord

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