White Whining

I don't generally drink, but last week I needed a drink. A stiff one. 

We were just getting ready to kick-off the 4th of July weekend celebration and I wasn't feeling all that "celebratory." 

Our a/c went out in the house Thursday night. The repairman came Friday to diagnose the problem and, as my luck would have it, we needed a new compressor. Unfortunately, he said that because of the holiday weekend, we likely wouldn't have a new compressor in until Wednesday. 

Really, Wednesday? It's Texas. It's hot and it's summer. That just wasn't going to work. So David did as he does and got on the phone. I've got to say, that some of his best work is done on the phone.

Most of Friday afternoon was spent in the pool with the dogs, but that's about the only relief we had. 

David's phone magic worked. First thing Saturday morning the repair company called and said the words David longed to hear, "We're on our way and should be there in about 20 minutes."

By noon Saturday morning we had a brand-new compressor! The house was cooling off, the dogs were no longer panting and we were smiling once again.

In preparation for our holiday backyard cookout with my cousins and their spouses and kids on Monday, I decided to test the mango-cucumber wine cooler recipe I had planned for the occasion. Just to make sure it was all I thought it was going to be.

Even though I served this on the 4th of July, I think it would be good for any occasion, really. Or no occasion at all.

Buen provecho!
Mango-Cucumber Wine Cooler
The Cowgirl Gourmet found this recipe in the July 2011 issue of Bon Appetit

Print recipe

Perhaps it was the fact that this is a drink an American couple serve at their restaurant in Tulum, Mexico, or maybe it just spoke to me in ways most alcoholic beverages don't, but I was drawn to this drink. It was a magnetic connection. This is basically a white sangria. You could easily replace the mango for cantaloupe or peaches, but don't touch the cucumber and mint as they are essential.

Serves 6

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 750-ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc
1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, quarter the cucumber and then cut into 1/4" slices or if you use regular cucumbers, cut them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds first
1 mango, pitted, peeled, finely diced
12 sprigs fresh mint, divided
1 cup ginger ale

In a large pitcher, stir sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water until dissolved. Add wine, cucumber, and mango. 

Remove leaves from 6 sprigs of mint and stir into pitcher. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours and up to 6 hours. I let mine sit for 24 hours and the fruit was not mushy, but had melded beautifully with the wine.

Stir ginger ale into pitcher. Fill 6 large wineglasses with ice. Divide wine cooler among glasses. Garnish with remaining 6 mint sprigs.

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