Rosé season is in full swing, and while there’s no absolute need to do anything more than open a cold bottle and pour yourself a glass, why not take your rosé game up a few levels by integrating it into some delicious rose summer cocktails?
Perfect for a long day of drinking, the rosé spritz is little more than four ounces of rosé over ice, topped with soda water. Add an orange twist if you want a little something else.
I’m surprised this version of the summer favorite goes ignored as often as it does, because frankly I think rosé is easily the best sangria. The key is to pick your fruit with some care: I aim more for red berries and stone fruits like peaches and nectarines, while mostly avoiding citrus, as I find that those flavors tend to clash with most of the rosé I like. Watermelon also can make for a nice addition.
While many sangria recipes would call for brandy, I actually like to add a bit of white rum when I make rosé sangria, as again I find it pairs better with the flavors already in there.
Getting the balance right on this drink is tricky, especially since I generally prefer a slightly more flavorful rosé, perhaps from Spain or Italy. The choice of tequila is crucial as well; I find younger tequilas tend to work better, or even a joven Mezcal can be delicious. I start with three ounces of rosé, and then add an ounce-and-a-half of tequila, a half-ounce of Cointreau, and an ounce of lime juice, then shake the whole thing and serve over ice; salt is optional, but awesome.
One of the great summer cocktails can take on a whole different dimension when you work rosé in there. Instead of an ounce each of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth, I use two ounces of rosé, an ounce each of gin and sweet vermouth, and a half-ounce of Campari, then gently stir it and serve it on the rocks. If you use a real dry rosé (like from Provence or somewhere similar), the drink is instantly recognizable as a Negroni, yet somehow different. If you’re feeling especially brave, use a sparkling rosé!
This is, of course, only the beginning. If you’re creative enough, you can find dozens of ways to use rosé in cocktails — both classic and modern.