You might argue that spritzers and shandies are not cocktails, but that is just classist nonsense! 🙂 Besides, not everything needs to be prepared by a fancy mixologist. These cheap and cheerful mixes may be some of the best things to drink during these late great summer days.
Bon Appétit has a rich list of articles and photos paying homage to red sauce restaurants in America. You likely know this type of joint. It has:
The oversize portions. The red-and-white-checked tablecloths. A carafe of the house red. Old-school Italian-American restaurants, a.k.a. red sauce joints, are the kind of institutions you’ll find, with very few deviations, in just about any city in America. But as we discovered upon reaching out to dozens of writers, chefs, and celebrities, these restaurants are about a lot more than a plate of penne alla vodka. Whether or not you’re Italian, red sauce likely means something to you—about family, or home, or history, or politics, or class, or citizenship, or selfhood, or otherness, or all the above, or a million other things. And that’s what this package is all about. Welcome to Red Sauce America.
For a feast of this type of dining, see here: Welcome to Red Sauce America – Bon Appétit.
So sez this: 3 Campari Cocktails You Don’t Need a Gazillion Ingredients to Make | Bon Appetit. For anyone wanting to get started making cocktails, this is a good guide for this. Next thing you know you’re well on your way to being a bartender! At least for your friends. Enjoy.
For those of you looking to branch out beyond whites, roses, and heavy reds (for BBQ), here’s a good list: Chilled Red Wines to Drink All Summer – Bon Appétit.
Beaujolais is the obvious choice for Gamay, but lots of new world producers make wine with that grape. For Carignan, you may have to look around: if you can find a place that stocks a good selection of French wine, look in the Midi section. Also check out the Spanish wine section. The challenge there is it can sometimes (often times?) be blended with heavier reds. Ask the staff for help if you want something lighter. As for Zweigelt, the challenge there is finding it at all. If you can, get some.
If you want to know more about carignan, check out this from Winefolly.com:
I think it is great that fast food courts and other eating areas have seen a rise in places serving grain bowls. They are a nutritious alternative to many other meals there.
However, they aren’t cheap, and to be honest, it’s not that hard to make your own grain bowls in 6 easy steps.
Start with this: Healthy Lunch Bento Box Ideas – Bon Appétit | Bon Appetit.
Then cook some grains, roast some vegetables, saute some greens and prepare some proteins. When you get to work, toss on the acid and the dressing and you just saved yourself some money and a trip to the food court.
It doesn’t get simpler or greater than a Gin and Tonic. Ideal for hot weather, but good all year ’round. Enjoy your drink and your weekend.
For amateur cocktail makers, here all the info you need:
Gin and Tonic Recipe, from Bon Appetit