Grapefruit Sunset + Cucumber-Melon Cooler

Without fail, summer peaks and starts to wind down before I know what happened. So to squeeze as much joy as possible out of my favourite months, I try to make every day memorable or celebratory in some way. That means stopping to smell the roses – pausing to take in the incredible turquoise colour of the pacific ocean on a bright, sunny day – and creating beauty in daily rituals – say, using my favourite blue plates and cloth napkins to serve BLTs al fresco.

I particularly cherish the sweet, balmy nights of August. On such an evening, nothing is better than sharing an impromptu meal with friends, putting fresh flowers on the table and sipping on a summery cocktail (preferably on the patio) in a pretty glass.

I’ve got two perfect August-evening cocktails (well, WINE-tails, actually) for you today, both featuring Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio.

I am excited to work with this brand because, not only do I find their wines delicious and approachable (well-balanced – not too sweet, not too dry – just really drinkable and easy to enjoy), but I really love their credo – upgrading the everyday. Making the day-to-day special. Doing the little things that turn an ordinary moment into an occasion. It really resonates with me!

The first wine-tail is a Pinot Grigio-Grapefruit Sunset – freshly squeezed grapefruit juice stirred with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, topped with crème de cassis for the graduated “sunset” appearance. The grapefruit brings forward the wine’s light citrus notes in this perfectly not-to-sweet cocktail.

The second is a cucumber-melon cooler – cucumber and ripe honeydew melon blended with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio and strained into an ice-filled glass, garnished with cucumber rounds, a little wedge and a mint sprig. It’s crisp and refreshing, like the wine itself.

Let me just say that these wine-tails are perfect summer sippers – not-too-sweet, cold and fresh after a full day in the sun.

I’d suggest pairing either wine-tail with fresh, summery fare, such as:

– Finely julienned zucchini sauteed with good olive oil and angel hair pasta, finished with lots of chopped fresh mint and parsley, and toasted hazelnuts.

– Grilled salmon topped with a nectarine salsa.

– Chicken skewers marinated in citrus and chile, finished with chopped fresh cilantro.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, chilled
  • 1 cup Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, chilled
  • 1 oz creme de cassis
  • Grapefruit slices, for serving

Preparation

  1. Stir together grapefruit juice and Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio in a spouted measuring cup. Divide between two glasses. Top each with 1/2-oz creme de cassis and let it settle for a minute to give the graduated “sunset” appearance. Garnish with grapefruit slices.
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