Recently I took my son to the county fair. There were the typical sights – games, rides, livestock, a petting zoo and (of course) booth after booth of fair food. Fair food is the reason I love summer fairs. The blooming onions, the corn dogs, the barbeque, the deep fried oreos! Walking around with my 2-year old, I seriously wanted a little of everything, but, truth is, I just can’t eat like that anymore. Remember back in high school, when you and your friends could eat all that stuff and feel fine? Great, even? Yeah, 15 years later that’s just not the case anymore. Sure, I indulged – because that’s just what you do at the fair – but even the next morning I felt…blech. I thought of all those teens walking around, texting with one hand, eating turkey legs, snow cones and donuts with the other, and I was envious. They probably woke up the next morning with plans to go back for more! Meanwhile, I was reaching for the Tums. Thank goodness the fair only comes once a year.
It wasn’t long after the fair that I found myself with a different kind of craving. I’m pretty much a water girl (with the obligatory glass of wine a few times a week), but every once in a while I get a crazy taste for a cold soda. I prefer classic Coke but at the time I had none. What I did have was a ton of Izze fruit soft drinks leftover from my son’s birthday party. Suddenly, I remembered a recipe I’d pinned on Pinterest involving clementine soda and red wine. Perfect. It’s incredibly simple: fill a glass with ice, fill the glass about 1/3 full of clementine soda and fill the rest of the glass with sparkling red wine. It’s bubbly, it’s sophisticated and it’s not too sweet. A warning though: it goes down mighty easy. Before I knew it, I was sipping the last drop and in need of some food – fair food would’ve been great. “A sparkling red wine?” you may say. Yes, they exist and yes, you can get one at Ponte. The 2011 Vernaccia Nera is ideal for this drink. It’s very lightly sweet with flavors of blueberry and vanilla. I think you’ll enjoy this drink on these final warm days of summer with friends or as an afternoon treat just for Y-O-U.
And so, today, when I think of all those teenagers at the fair who were scarfing on corn dogs, candy apples and milkshakes, I think of this adult-only beverage. Finally, something I can indulge in and they can’t. Ha!
Sparkling Clementine and Red Wine Spritzers
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 4 drinks
- 1 bottle 2011 Ponte Vernaccia Nera
- 2 cans or bottles of Clementine soda – I used Izze brand
Fill glasses with ice. Fill each glass 1/3 full with clementine soda. Top with wine and serve immediately.
–What is your favorite fair food?