The best drinks for summer
Summery food, meet summery drinks.
Clam bar stars, smoked salmon and fried seafood find their affinity with sauvignon blanc. Try the balanced 2013 Domaine de la Perriere Sancerre ($25), which has a hint of lemon zest; and the 2012 La Petite Perriere Sauvignon Blanc ($13), a citrusy, forward bargain. Also well priced: the lively 2013 Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc ($14).
Prosecco, the Italian sparkling wine, is celebratory and refreshing. Prosecco Altaneve ($29), a fruity and refined bubbly, is especially appealing as an aperitif or with appetizers such as cured meats and shellfish cocktails. A fine, off-dry choice: Mionetto Organic Prosecco DOC ($16), with tropical fruit notes.
Effervescent Angry Orchard The Muse ($15 to $18) is a hard cider to boost any picnic. The Muse is a bit sweet at first and follows up dry. The producer's Green Apple, Crisp Apple and Apple Ginger ciders ($8 to $10 six-packs) are satisfying, too.
Consider a tea-infused cocktail, or an iced-tea upgrade. Mighty Leaf Organic Earl Grey, for example, works in a vodka martini; Citrus Chamomile, with gin. Steep four pouches of the whole-leaf tea with the contents of a 750-ml bottle for two or three hours, then add a favorite juice or liqueur. Mighty Leaf's Calypso Mango, Ginger Peach, Marrakesh Mint and Organic African Nectar all yield excellent iced teas. A 15-pouch individual sampler is about $10. Pouches for a half-gallon of tea are $6.25.
And there's WTRMLN WTR: cold-pressed juice from watermelon. Healthy, tasty and no seeds. Serve the thirst-quencher chilled. A 12-ounce container is about $6.