Looking Forward to Summer Days

It was an easy-going long weekend here; the heat built as the days went by and I started to think about cool summer drinks.  I tinkered around in the kitchen with the goal of producing a refreshing wine cooler.  The first attempt was not so good;  I knew that when my husband told me it tasted like a “whiskey sour”.  Too much liqueur and not enough fruit flavor in the mix.  Then I remembered the fruit purees stashed in the freezer and from there it was easy.  This drink combines white wine, orange juice, passion fruit puree, and simple syrup.  Mix up a big pitcher and keep it in the refrigerator for those days when you need a light and refreshing beverage.  The color and flavors are bright and sunny, just like the weather.  Enjoy!

Orange and Passion Fruit Wine Cooler

1 bottle dry white wine, such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup passion fruit puree **
1/2 cup simple syrup*

In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients and stir well.  Chill, then serve over ice, garnished with a slice of orange.
**I purchase Sicoly brand fruit purees from L’Epicerie .  I use them for drinks, desserts, buttercreams, candy and the like.  If you live in an area where passion fruit is abundant, just use the flesh of the fresh fruit.  Simply scoop it out of the skin and press it through a sieve to remove the seeds.  Some Latin markets stock frozen passion fruit puree, but lacking that, I’m pretty sure you could still make a fine cooler with passion fruit nectar.
*Simple syrup is made by combining equal amounts of water and sugar and bringing the mixture to a boil.  Cool the syrup and store it in a jar in the refrigerator.  Simple syrup can be infused with fresh herbs or spices.  I especially like mint. 

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