Monday, August 08, 2005

Pretty in Pink

What could be lovelier in the summertime than a frosty pink drink. Whether it's Carrie Bradshaw's Sex and the City Cosmopolitan martini or a glass of rose wine, there's something frivolous and festive about drinking pink!

I confess that my earliest wine-drinking memory is of a glass of Gallo Rose. Way too sweet for my taste now, it paved the way to learning more about wines: to a picnic in a park with a chilled dry Tavel rose from southern France -- a perfect summer wine -- and finally on to Bonny Doon's fruity, but oddly named Vin Gris de Cigare (look for the flying saucer or cigare on the label). A friend's ex-husband once made an incredibly fragrant and very dry homemade strawberry wine. And for several years now, I have been enamoured of a pretty salmon pink sparkling wine from New Mexico called Gruet Methode Champenoise, Blanc de Noirs. It, along with a video of Enchanted April and some salty snacks, has been my companion on more than one cold New Year's Eve!

On a spring visit to New York several years ago, I decided to go in search of the perfect Cosmopolitan. I must have had them at four different places -- including a memorable visit to the legendary literary hangout Elaine's where I was accompanied by an old flame, a notoriously cheap rock writer. We were seated in Siberia (the dining room behind the bar--it was a dead night!), my friend, the big spender, ordered water and I chose the Cosmo. EIGHT bucks! It almost glowed with a deep garnet red hue and, as soon as I put my arm down on the table to try to steady the glass, which was dangerously full, the table went tilt and it spilled all over the white tablecloth. I must say, in his defense, that my friend immediately got some righteous NYC attitude, calling the waiter over to replace my drink. It hadn't been our fault that the table was uneven, he demonstrated in my defense. The waiter came back with another and moved to take away the first, but my friend waved him away. Upon getting the check, I was happy to find that I had only been charged for one drink. Of course, my friend insisted that I give him the receipt so he could write my drink off on his taxes!!!

(slightly altered from and with acknowledgement to its original by Dale DeGroff)

1 1/2 oz. Citron Vodka
1/2 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
1/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
splash Cranberry Juice

Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an
orange peel.