Cook | Wine cocktails for a summer Friday night

When I was 24, I moved to Montana for graduate school, fully intending to meet a cowboy and settle down on a ranch. Instead, I met my husband, the only other Jewish person in my teeny tiny eight-person class. Like me, he was teaching writing to undergraduates while he worked on his own fiction. Unlike me and everyone else in our program, he also had another job. On weekends, he worked as a bartender in an 1,800-person town

30 miles from Missoula. I used to drag my girlfriends out there on Friday nights to visit him. We’d pile into a car and take the dark windy roads south, eventually parking in front of the Plum Loco — one of two bars on an otherwise silent main street.

He made a mean drink then, and still does. This summer, we’ve been playing with wine cocktails. As we head into the last weeks of summer, try these on a Friday night. They’re totally worthy of a Kiddush.


Barefoot Rainbow Punch

Inspired by

Serves 4

2 strawberries, cut in half

41/2-inch pieces pineapple

41/2-inch pieces kiwi

4 blackberries

12 oz. Riesling (1½ cups)

6 oz. lemonade (3/4 cup)

2 oz. triple sec (¼ cup)

1 cup ice

On four half skewers or toothpicks, thread strawberries, pineapple, kiwi and blackberries. Combine Riesling, lemonade, triple sec and ice. Strain into four wine glasses. Garnish with rainbow fruit skewers.


Cantaloupe Cooler

Serves 4

½ cup cantaloupe chunks

2 Tbs. orange juice

8-12 mint leaves

16 oz. (2 cups) cold Prosecco

4 lime wedges

In a food processor, pulse cantaloupe and orange juice until as smooth as possible. Place 2 Tbs. cantaloupe puree in the bottom of each wine glass. Add 2-3 mint leaves per class and press leaves against sides of glass with metal spoon to muddle. Pour Prosecco over cantaloupe, garnish with a wedge of lime.


Classic Sangria

Serves 6-8

1 750-milliliter bottle fruity red wine

4 oz. (â…“ cup) brandy

¼ cup orange juice

3 Tbs. agave

1 cup apples, peeled and cut in chunks

4 clementines, peeled and sectioned

1 lemon, sliced in thin circles

1 lime, sliced in thin circles


In a pitcher, combine the red wine, brandy, orange juice agave and fruit. Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours. Serve in wine glasses over ice.


Watermelon Rosé Slushy

4 wine slushies

3 cups seedless watermelon

2 cups rosé wine, divided

2 Tbs. lime juice

1 Tbs. sugar

In a blender, combine watermelon, 1 cup of the rosé, lime juice and sugar. Blend till smooth. Freeze in ice cube trays. When frozen solid, pop cubes from tray and fill blender ¾ full. Add 1 cup rosé for a full blender’s worth of watermelon cubes. Blend until slushy.


Strawberry Red Wine Popsicles

Yields 6-8 popsicles

16 oz. frozen or fresh strawberries, trimmed as needed

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs. honey

1 cup sweet red wine

In a blender, combine the strawberries, balsamic, honey and wine until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze till solid.

Josie A.G. Shapiro, who won the 2013 Man-O-Manischewitz Cookoff, is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet.” Her columns alternate with those of Faith Kramer. Her website is


Josie A.G. Shapiro

Josie A.G. Shapiro won the 2013 Man-O-Manischewitz Cookoff and is the co-author of “The Lazy Gourmet.”