Cold cup of cheer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chardonnay, Sparkling wine, Fermentation, Champagne

Long, hot summer days, even longer balmy evenings, bank holidays and annual holidays can all combine to generate some much needed extra volume, and...

Long, hot summer days, even longer balmy evenings, bank holidays and annual holidays can all combine to generate some much needed extra volume, and the good news is that summer is here. Even so, it would be wrong to assume that extra trade will just walk through the door ­ we need to give them a reason to come in and to stay. Long, cold drinks made with wine ­ cold cups, to use the proper term ­ whether mixed individually in the glass or in a large bowl or jug, seem to suggest more of a party spirit and, by enhancing a mood, lend a greater sense of occasion to a summer gathering. Sparkling wines seem to match a summery mood more than others, but there is no need to go to the expense of stocking Champagne when the market is awash with less expensive "methode champenoise" wines from elsewhere. As the name implies, these are wines that are made by the same method as Champagne, but are produced by the rest of the wine-making world. There are ways of making wines sparkle, other than the "methode champenoise", and it has to be said that these are generally even cheaper, but they don't perform anywhere nearly as well in long drinks. Similar criteria need to be kept in mind when choosing non-sparkling wines for long drinks, but there is a happy medium. Wines that are very cheap will produce an inferior tasting drink, but by the same token, it would be a shame to mask the qualities of a fine wine in a cold cup. The general idea then is to go for the more fruity styles of wine such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Chenin Blanc for whites and any reds that are not too hard or contain too much tannin. If you are unsure about a particular wine, taste it first to ensure that it will be suitable. For any cold cup, all the ingredients and equipment, such as bowls, jugs and glasses should be chilled before use and any drinks that are meant to be sparkling should have the sparkling element added at the last moment before serving. If you intend to use ice cubes, remember that they will dilute the drink as they melt ­ this could result in the last people to be served having a rather watery drink. A good alternative is to keep the bowl cool by placing it in a larger bowl and surrounding it with ice. Adding salt to the ice will lower the temperature even further. Sparkling Fruit Cup You will need two bottles of well-chilled Riesling, 50ml brandy, one bottle sparkling white wine such as Cava and 8oz of cleaned and hulled fresh fruit, such as raspberries, strawberries, sliced peaches or melon balls. Pour the Riesling into a large jug or two smaller ones, stir in the brandy and then add the sparkling wine. Add the fruit and there you have it ­ enough for around 15 or 16 glasses. Florida Fizz You will need one measure of apricot brandy, a similar measure of unsweetened orange juice, a small measure of Grand Marnier and some sparkling, dry white wine. Put the apricot brandy, orange juice and Grand Marnier into a champagne flute and stir well, and then top up with the sparkling, dry white wine. Serves one. Buck's Fizz (Don't do a Spoonerism with this one!) One part chilled fresh orange juice. One part chilled Champagne, or Cava if you want to keep the price down. Pour the orange into a chilled glass or jug and top up with an equal amount of fizz and serve.

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