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Monday, July 15, 2024 83° Today's Paper


This drink is inspired by the summer season

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New York Times photo

A drink built and named for summer, Spain’s effervescent tinto de verano (summer red wine) matches the season’s easygoing nature. At its most traditional, the recipe sticks to just three ingredients: ice, red wine and citrus soda. (La Casera, from Spain, is most classic, but 7Up and Sprite also work.) This version includes an option for a bright lemon-lime syrup mixed with soda water to stand in for the classic’s soft drink, plus a pour of vermouth for rounder, herbal notes. But, should you prefer your tinto de verano adhere to tradition, feel free to add more red wine in place of the vermouth. While the below recipe will yield a balanced, light and fizzy tinto de verano, there’s no need to get overly caught up on perfect measurements, the drink readily adapts to personal preference — and eyeballing ounces.

Tinto de Verano

Ingredients for the lemon-lime syrup (optional):
• 1 lemon, peeled
• 1 lime, peeled
• 3/4 cup sugar
• Pinch of fine sea salt
• 3/4 cup/6 ounces fresh lemon juice (from about 2 1/2 large lemons)

Ingredients for the drink:
• Ice
• 2 ounces dry red wine
• 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth (optional)
• 4 ounces lemon-lime soda, such as La Casera, 7Up or Sprite (or use 3/4 ounce Lemon-Lime Simple Syrup, plus 2 to 4 ounces soda water)
• Lemon wheel, for garnish

If making the lemon-lime syrup, place the citrus peels in a small saucepan, and add the sugar and salt. Use a muddler or the end of a rolling pin to break down the mixture, working the sugar mixture into the peels until they start to express their oils. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Heat over low, stirring frequently, just until the sugar dissolves. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and set aside to steep for 1 to 2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the solids. (You should have about 1 cup syrup. The syrup can be stored, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 weeks.)

In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine the wine, vermouth and syrup, if using. Cover and shake until cold, then strain into an ice-filled highball or wineglass. Top with soda (or soda water), and mix gently to combine. Garnish with the lemon wheel and serve.

Total time: 20 minutes, plus 1 1/2 hours for optional syrup, makes 1 drink.

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