Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Cocktails, Gin, Wine | No Comments

A Cooler California Cooler

I am old enough to remember (but not legally drink) the original California Cooler of the 80s. It was made from actual wine, not “malt beverage” and clouded with real fruit pulp. Basically a white wine sangria in 12 oz. bottles. I will say without reservation that they were delicious. But the evolution of the wine cooler did not fair well. After the brand changed hands, the new owner made the Cooler clear, polished, and pretty much boring.

White wine sangria with fresh fruit and homemade triple sec.So, tonight we celebrate the original form of the California Cooler, but with a little added kick from gin. Our California Gin-gria is simple to make, deliciously refreshing, and like its inspirational cousin, a big crowd pleaser.

Gin-gria (Small batch – makes about 6 drinks)

1 bottle of dry white wine (we used a Pinot Grigio)
1 cup triple sec (we made our own)
3/4 cup gin (vodka if you’re a ginophobe)
Roughly chopped fresh fruit. Get creative. We used oranges, red grapes, strawberries and nectarines. Other good ideas might be mango, peaches, limes, grapefruit, pineapple – it can all work. Avoid frozen fruit though. That would be a mess here.

Make this white wine sangria cocktail recipe ahead, chill well, then pour it into a big punchbowl or divide it into several large jars or pitchers for refill stations around the party. If you need further inspiration, refer to this awesome and totally rad 80s commercial for the original:

What are we celebrating? Go see!

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