Summer Drinks on a Budget

For me, one of the best things about summer are the long days where you can relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand. However, no one wants cocktail hour to turn into hours when, before you know it, you are waking up all sunburned at 8pm alone without your friends. And we all know what I’m talking about. We’ve all decided to take a beach stroll in the late afternoon and passed a few lone stragglers who are asleep and red as a lobster with beer cans littered around their chair.

I have vivid memories seeped into my mind of my mother shaking her head as we passed such sleeping strangers on the beach, and vowed I would not be one of them. I would stay classy, yet still fun. Is it possible to be classy, fun, and cheap on the beach? Why yes! The perfect solution is a wine spritzer, which, as a bonus, just about every fitness magazine would tout as its summer beverage of choice due to its low caloric content. Spritzer you say? As it turns out, this is the perfect beverage to disguise a very cheap bottle of wine.

Summer beveragesOne of my first experiences with spritzer occurred when my mother was in town visiting. I’m not sure if a reggae bar was what she had in mind when she agreed to go out with us after a nice meal, but I’m pretty sure she was questioning my life choices when the bartender told her that their wine options consisted of “white, red, or pink” gesturing to boxes of wine stacked in the fridge.

Ever creative, my mother didn’t skip a beat and said, “Ok, why don’t you give me half a glass of the pink wine and top the rest with club soda and a lime.”

“You know, that actually sounds good,” the bartender responded. And I have to agree. My friends and I quickly followed suit.

So, when I was at the beach this past weekend celebrating the Engaged Grad Student’s upcoming nuptials, I knew just what beverage to suggest for our evening cocktail hour on the beach. Something fun, something light, and something that would allow us to save room for a nice meal out later. And, as my mother demonstrated, one of the best parts about a wine spritzer is that you don’t even need a nice bottle of wine for it. For our drink of choice I chose a cheaper bottle of pinot grigio (about $6, but any wine will do), a bottle of sparkling water, a lime, and some raspberries for a garnish, because hey, we were on vacation, so we decided to splurge a little. The drink surpassed all expectations, and everyone agreed this beverage was the perfect end to a day at the beach!

White Wine Spritzer Recap:

1 bottle of white wine: $6

1 bottle of sparling water: $1

Lime: $.69

Total: $7.69/ $1.54 per person

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