Chill Out: Fresh ways to enjoy wine when the mercury climbs

During the dog days of summer, it’s natural to reach for a cool glass of white wine. But what if that old standby is not quite doing it for you? What if you’re looking for something a bit colder, something with an irresistible icy punch that will help bring down your internal temperature in an instant? Read on for some sippable treats that are downright arctic:

Freeze Out

Call it a wine slushy or Frosé (frozen rosé), this trendy drink is popular for a reason. While many local wineries have added this frosty beverage to their offerings, you can also DIY it – all you need is a blender. Once you’ve mastered the concept, there are many directions you can go, adding honey, liqueurs, fresh herbs, or frozen fruit. One tip: Choose a full-flavored, full-bodied Pennsylvania wine since the cold will zap some of a wine’s more subtle charms. Here are a couple of fun summer recipes to try.

Dessert for Two’s Peach Wine Slushies: For the ultimate in seasonal splendor, grab some local Pennsylvania peaches, freeze them, and blend them with your favorite ice-cold fruity white. This refreshing cocktail has only two ingredients, so you won’t even break a sweat.

Bon Appetit’s Frosé: This simple concoction has you freezing the wine in advance, and then throwing it in a blender with strawberry syrup and lemon juice.

From Calculus to Cupcakes’s Blackberry Merlot Slushy: We wouldn’t want to leave out all you red-wine lovers. This simple combination of fresh blackberries, sugar, and merlot would make an ideal dessert substitute on a steamy August night.

Punch It Up

Of course, the Spanish have been making chilled wine punches for ages — sangria is a necessity for life in one of Europe’s hottest climates. The best thing about this fruity classic is that it’s endlessly customizable: make it red, make it white, throw in whatever fresh fruit you happen to have on-hand, and the party is on. Here are a couple of enticing sangria recipes for your next warm-weather shindig.

Food and Wine’s Watermelon Sangria: This sangria screams summer with the vibrant pop of watermelon — it also packs a punch thanks to the addition of vodka and Cointreau. Choose a dry white, like a PA Seyval Blanc or Chardonnay, and serve with melon-ball skewers so everyone will know exactly what’s making this drink sing.

Serious Eats’ Lusty Red Sangria: Looking for something a bit more classic? This recipe incorporates all of the iconic sangria fixin’s: sliced apples, fresh citrus, and a bold red wine (think Merlot, Syrah, or Chambourcin).

Mix and Match

Interested in getting even more creative or looking to inspire the whiskey or gin drinker in your life? Well then shake up one of these ice-cold cocktails made with PA wine.

Bon Appetit’s Rosé-Aperol Spritz: Aperol Spritz — a bubbly combination of wine, sparkling water, and the bitter Italian apéritif — is undeniably the cocktail of the moment. Give your version that Riviera-comes-to-the-Commonwealth energy by starting with a base of sparkling Pennsylvania rosé before adding a surprise twist: passion fruit juice.

Imbibe’s New York Sour: We won’t hold the name against this stunning combination of rye, lemon juice, and simple syrup, topped with a levitating layer of dry red wine (pour it over the back of a spoon so the wine remains on top). Imbibe’s version also features the optional addition of egg white for more body and texture.

3 Italian Sisters’ White Wine & Gin Cocktail: Are you a gin drinker looking for something a bit more exciting than a trusty G&T? This summery cocktail combines gin, white wine, mint syrup, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Look for a punchy Pennsylvania gin such as Bluecoat or Faber, and pick a crisp, dry white such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc that will allow the botanicals in the spirit to shine.

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