SPONSORED It is hot, hot, hot! The dog days of summer are here and there are just a few necessary refreshments that you must have for summer: a light, refreshing white wine and some super easy cocktails with one common ingredient. There is no better quaff for July than the white wines of Vinho Verde on a steamy evening. Vinho Verde is the D.O.C. region on the lush, northwest coast of Portugal. The name Vinho Verde, or "green wine," refers to the youthful style, not the color. These wines aren’t made to be hyper-complex. They should be consumed young, they are effortlessly drinkable so all you need to do is sip and enjoy. They are light, dry and have a gentle effervescence that makes them a little more fun.
Try the favorite Gazela Vinho Verde with its lip-smacking tartness, and flavors of green apple and lime. New to the shelves is the J.M. Fonseca “Twin Vines” Vinho Verde, which I am enjoying for its gentle floral notes alongside the vibrant acidity. Add a slice of lemon to your glass for a weekend aperitif. I love drinking Vinho Verde al fresco and very cold, paired with an arugula salad sprinkled with chevre, sea salt, and a lemon dressing. Both of these wines have screw caps—a bonus for picnics and bringing along to parties. Also noteworthy: these wines are a steal! Find these wines (and more just like it) all for $7 or less, so you can feel good about sharing. If you prefer a thirst quenching cocktail, but are getting a bit tired of the gin and tonics you’ve been slinging since the first thaw, it’s time to pick up some ginger beer. Think of ginger beer as a pantry staple during the summer months to make a variety of spicy, delicious and soooo easy cocktails—made seemingly exotic with this one simple ingredient. (Look for Reed’s or Gosling’s at Surdyk’s.)
Mix dark rum and a wedge of lime in a highball glass for one of my Caribbean-inspired favorites: The Dark & Stormy. Mix with vodka and lime juice for a Moscow Mule. (I should mention that Surdyk’s Flights serves a great one if you are heading to the airport on vacation!) Or mix it with the venerable Pimm’s and some cucumber wedges for a Pimm’s Cup. Right now, I am loving ginger beer mixed with pale ale to make a light and delicious shandy. The key to keeping cool in the hot days of summer is to keep it simple, and super refreshing! (Is anyone else extremely thirsty right now?) Cheers to summer! —Lindsey Coleman, @surdyksliquor