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I am not a fan of adding anything to wine. But last night while flipping through a book on wine cocktails, the enticing photographs of frosty glasses and refreshing offerings mixed with the unbearable heat gave me the desire to explore.

The Mimosa, which mixes champagne and orange juice, has been around since the 1920s and is a staple at late-morning brunches, so the wine cocktail is not a new concept. It’s simply a mixed drink using wine as the main ingredient.

In A.J. Rathbun’s book Wine Cocktails, 50 Stylish Sippers That Show Off Your Reds, Whites and Roses, he introduces modern, innovative mixtures using cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, port, sherry, Riesling and even sake.

I must admit that “ice cubes” dropping into any wine glass — frosty or not — was a painful pause, but the end mixture was a refreshing look at wine … with a twist.

The Blue Wave

  • 4 green apple slices
  • 2 orange slices
  • 2 kiwi slices
  • 3 ounces Hpnotiq (see note)
  • 5 ounces dry white wine
  • 2 ounces fresh orange juice
  • 6 frozen green grapes
  • 4 ounces chilled ginger ale
  • Combine sliced fruit in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Use a muddler or wooden spoon, muddle well. Fill the shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the Hpnotiq, white wine and orange juice. Shake well. Add 3 grapes to each of 2 cocktail glasses. Strain wine mixture into wine glasses over frozen grapes and top each glass with 2 ounces ginger ale. Serve immediately.
  • Makes 2 cocktails.

Note: Hpnotiq is fruit liqueur that is a blend of vodka, tropical fruit juice and cognac.

Vanilla-Pear Mimosa

  • 3 ounces vanilla-flavored vodka
  • 1 1 /2 ounces pear nectar Italian Prosecco, chilled
  • Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the vodka and pear nectar. Shake well. Strain equally into 2 fluted glasses. Top off each glass with Prosecco.
  • Makes 2 cocktails.