Few folks feel like drinking light, fruity concoctions in the midst of winter darkness. But once green returns to the scene, some peoples’ palates change. The crock pot gets shelfed in exchange for lighter edibles like salads and vegetables and alcoholic beverages might start to feature fruit and / or fruit juices.
Here’s what the OnMilwaukee.com editorial staff has to say about summertime drinks featuring limes, strawberries and the like.
Molly Snyder Edler
Pick: Limeade and white tequila
Sound bizarre? That’s what I thought the first time my friend / neighbor offered me this drink a few summers ago and then, after one or possibly two, I declared it my fruity fave. Patron is my white tequila of choice, but really most of the clear tequilas work like a charm. I’m a big fan of Simply Limeade, available at most chain grocery stores, but, like the ‘quila, really any limeades will do.
Pick: Wine with fruit
I normally don't overdo it on the fruity side of alcohol. All that sugar is the death of me in the hangover department. But if my sweet tooth does get the better of me, my favorite way to handle it is to add a few pieces of frozen fruit -- peaches, strawberries, mango -- to a chilled glass of white wine. It's subtle, not overly sweet and when the fruit melts, it's a nice little treat to eat when the glass is empty.
Few things in life are more refreshing on a summer evening than a fresh steak taco (or anything else of the grill) and a frosty glass of sangria. There are a bazillion recipes for the stuff and everyone makes their own variation. I'm partial to the Prickly Pear Sangria at one of my Arizona haunts, but you can mix a representative brew of your own by combining a bottle of red wine (it doesn't have to be great) along with a quarter-cup each of brandy and triple sec, a couple tablespoons of fresh lime and orange juice, a quarter cup of sugar and a whole bunch of cut up fruit (apples, oranges, lemons, mangoes or anything else that strikes your fancy). Put it all in a big glass pitcher, cover and let it chill for a few hours. You can add a little sparking water just before serving over ice with a fruit garnish and you are good to go.
I've been wracking my brain because the phrase "fruity libation" doesn't immediately conjure anything positive for me. I don't like cloying fruity beers and I don't enjoy wines made from any fruit other than grapes. But then I realized that in summer, there is no better aperitif enjoyed on a patio than a nice chilled glass of limoncello. This beloved European warm weather libation is made in Italy, France and Malta from lemons, which are, yes, fruit! But don't let the taste fool you, it packs a punch, so go easy, partner.
Pick: Screwdriver (yes, really)
I'm not a wine guy, so I won't be mixing up any sangria any time soon. I don't drink Corona or any of the beers that suggest you add a wedge of lime, either. The closest I get to fruity libations is, the occasional Weissbier with a squirt of lemon or a gin and tonic with a big chunk of lime. Come summertime though, especially during long days of festing, picnicking or just throwing back beers with friends on the patio, I do enjoy mixing in the occasional vodka with orange juice -- adding a orange slice for a little extra flavor -- into the rotation. Simple and refreshing.