Tinto de Verano

I love red wine. But I have to admit that splitting a bottle with Anthony on a weeknight (or any night) is becoming impossible. I don’t know if it’s my advancing age (yup, all 28 years) or just a shift in my body, but I simply cannot put away half a bottle of red anymore. Unless, of course, I want to wake up feeling like my mouth is stuffed with gauze and a tiny person has taken up residence in my skull for the sole purpose of banging on my brain like a bongo drum.

It’s true, ladies and gentleman, I’m becoming a lightweight. Which, given the fact that my metabolism decided to retire after I hit 25, is probably a good thing. But now we’re faced with an unforeseen problem: what do we do with leftover red wine?

Sure, we could get one of those vacuum-saver wine things, but I prefer a good challenge. We cook with day-old (or week-old) wine a lot, but here’s our new favorite use for it: Tinto de Verano.

This simple drink is popular among Spaniards, and perfect for warm weather drinking when 1) You want something tasty and refreshing and 2) Are too hot/sticky/tired to put a lot of effort into it.

Tinto de Verano

Makes 1 drink.

We use the Mexican soda “Jarritos” in the Toronja (grapefruit) flavor to make this. It’s available in many grocery stores and at Latin American markets. You can also use Spite, 7UP, Squirt, or even ginger ale.

2 ounces red wine
1 ounce sweet (red) vermouth
2 ounces grapefruit soda
1 lemon wheel, for garnish

Mix the wine and vermouth in a rocks glass. Add ice, top with the soda, and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon wheel.