On our Spain hiking trip, Peter and I swilled tinto de verano at every opportunity. It is the perfect wine-y refresher when it’s hot. (Beverly and I drank a lot of it on our earlier trip too, even though it wasn’t quite verano in April.)
For years, I thought tinto de verano was just red wine and lemon soda. Turns out there are subtleties–such as a splash of sweet vermouth, or of sweet sherry. And if you walk into a bar in Abrucena, Almeria, the woman proprietor offers to add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the top of it, for a beautiful perfume.
An excellent guy we met, who’d worked in the French wine industry for a decade, and clearly had a palate, explained the logic of the drink to us. “The base is all about dry–dry red wine, plus the driest soda you can find. In fact, they often use diet soda, because it’s not so sweet.”
Diet soda? We hate diet soda. Except, apparently, for when it’s mixed with red wine and vermouth. And at home, we certainly like Fresca.
Pues, here we are, in the heat of summer in New York City. And we are cheerfully drinking the official summer drink of Winslow Place: the Winslow Red, aka Tinto de Winslow, aka the Sangria of Queens.
I highly recommend: equal parts cheap-ass red wine (we buy $7 liter bottles of Greek red, to make it more authentically local) and Fresca, with a slosh of sweet vermouth on top. Pour over ice and garnish with lemon and orange slices. Makes an excellent pitcher drink.