A Summer Refresher

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I am a terrible bartender. Even when I follow cocktail recipes, they turn out horrible. My husband says it’s only because I pick out terrible recipes, but I’m not completely sure that’s the problem. But I have given up on trying to make drinks containing herbaceous liqueurs, like Saint Germain, Pernod, Chartreuse, and Galliano. I guess I’m not hip enough to enjoy those flavors!

During the summer months, I make a lot of sangria, and I’m actually pretty good at sangria. Or, at least I think I am. When my older daughter is at my house, she always needs to “fix” it. And she always makes it better. Must be something about that summer she lived in Spain…

Because I don’t love strong alcohol flavor, I don’t ever use brandy in sangria, which is traditional. I like to use sweet wines instead.

I’ve mentioned Quady Vineyards in a post before, because they make fabulous moscatos. I am aware that sweet wines are not terribly popular. In fact, they’re probably drunk by white Zinfandel fans. But their moscatos are superb!

I used an orange moscato, called Electra, in my strawberry tiramisu recently, and for the sangria I made today, shown above, I used Quady’s Red Electra. (The sangria turned out fabulous!)

On the Quady Winery website, they write that Red Electra was “first released in 1993, is garnet red, tastes of succulent cherry, berry, and peach, and has a slight sparkle. Try it with all kinds of desserts and cheeses including chocolate bon-bons, truffles, spiced holiday cookies, vanilla, and fruit. Red Electra is made by combining Orange and Black Muscat grapes, and fermenting them very slowly at a low temperature so they keep their delicious flavors. That’s why Red Electra tastes like a bowl full of cherries.

Just to make sure it would work well in the sangria, my husband and I taste-tested the Red Electra. It was like nectar of the gods.


Then I had an idea. I poured some Red Electra in a bigger glass and added some Fresca, which I had on hand because I always use it in sangria. Typically I don’t create cocktails, and it’s not surprising that my alcoholic “invention” consists of only two ingredients. But it got me thinking. Besides Fresca, what would Red Electra be like paired with Champagne, or Prosecco? I had some experimentation ahead of me!!!

So here’s my offering for a refreshing summer drink. I suggest three varieties depending if you like sweeter, less sweet, or unsweet. You could even add sparkling or soda water for two more varieties. I’m just so creative!!!

Red  Electra  Sparkler

3 ounces Quady Red Electra, chilled
4 ounces Prosecco, chilled, or
4 ounces Champagne, chilled, or
4 ounces Fresca, chilled

On the day this cocktail was “created” daughter happened to be visiting, and we did the taste test together. We began with 3 ounces of Red Electra, and added equal amounts of Prosecco, Fresca, and Champagne.

The drinks were on the sweet side with this ratio.

So that’s when we came up with the ratio of 3 ounces of Red Electra to 4 ounces of mixer. Plus, we added ice. Even though all of the above ingredients were fully chilled, the drinks needed ice for them to stay cold and refreshing.


We both picked our favorite combination, and it was the Prosecco version. The Fresca version was good, but it was “sweet” and still tasted like Fresca. The Champagne variety was good, but the Champagne seemed to disappear in the drink.

The Prosecco and Red Electra was a perfect match!

It was also the most refreshing – even without ice!

We made this cocktail on the first day of summer, and it topped out at 99 degrees that day!


I’m stocking up on Red Electra. It is quite versatile!

By Published On: July 6th, 201536 Comments on A Summer Refresher

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. chefceaser July 6, 2015 at 8:02 AM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

  2. Heather @ Sweet Precision July 6, 2015 at 8:06 AM - Reply

    This sounds wonderfully refreshing! I don’t like a strong alcohol taste either and I like your idea of using sweet wines.

  3. My French Heaven July 6, 2015 at 11:56 AM - Reply

    That certainly looks refreshing and delicious! We need to try using red Lillet for a Sangria sometime… Red Lillet with St Emilion red. Ha HA, my dad would have a heart attack ;0)

  4. thepaddingtonfoodie July 6, 2015 at 2:40 PM - Reply

    I’m with you Mimi. I adore sweet wines – the stickier the better. And there are always bottles of prosecco in my fridge. This is definitely something I’ll try next summer.

    • chef mimi July 6, 2015 at 5:26 PM - Reply

      Together they make a fabulous concoction!

  5. An Artsy Appetite July 6, 2015 at 6:46 PM - Reply

    Looks divine <3

  6. hotlyspiced July 6, 2015 at 7:07 PM - Reply

    I think sangria is a wonderful drink to enjoy in the heat of summer. The colour of your drinks looks divine. I know a lot of drinks that have Prosecco in them. Lovely to have that bit of sparkle xx

    • chef mimi July 7, 2015 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much Charlie! I’m sure you’re enjoying some sparkly drinks in Bali!

  7. Julie is Hostess At Heart July 6, 2015 at 10:29 PM - Reply

    This drink looks delicious to me! Of course, I may have to experiment. :)

  8. Debra July 6, 2015 at 11:35 PM - Reply

    What an appealing cocktail! I love the color and the combination is just fantastic!

  9. Jenny July 7, 2015 at 6:36 AM - Reply

    This drink looks so refreshing! Perfect for summer! I will definitely keep this recipe in mind!

  10. Our Growing Paynes July 7, 2015 at 11:37 AM - Reply

    I love how versatile sangrias can be and so refreshing. Great post.

  11. Daily Delivery Blog July 7, 2015 at 2:30 PM - Reply

    Reblogged this on Daily Delivery and commented:
    Refresher for Summer? Yes, please!

  12. The Gourmet Gourmand July 7, 2015 at 10:39 PM - Reply

    Oooo this looks SO fabulous! What a creative drink idea :)

  13. anotherfoodieblogger July 7, 2015 at 10:59 PM - Reply

    Fresca was one of my favorite sodas growing up. Did you know that the company now offers other flavors of Fresca besides grapefruit (which is the original flavor)? They also have these:

    Black Cherry
    Original Citrus
    Cherry Citrus
    Citrus Lime
    Grapefruit Mint
    Lemon Lime

    Think of the Sangrias you could do with all those flavors!

    • chef mimi July 8, 2015 at 7:21 AM - Reply

      wow. i had no idea. i’ve seen the peach, but that’s all!

  14. Bam's Kitchen July 8, 2015 at 3:31 AM - Reply

    I go go for one of those right now, it is so hot and steamy in Hong Kong and we are due for a typhoon. Feeling so retro with the Fresca… Love it!

    • chef mimi July 8, 2015 at 7:30 AM - Reply

      I know. I remember my mother drank it in the 60’s and 70’s. I don’t like it on its own, but it’s a great bubbly maker for sangria!

  15. Amanda | What's Cooking July 8, 2015 at 3:26 PM - Reply

    These look really good. I’m trying to get into bartending, but I”m afraid to open that door. I really like strong, smoky, spicy drinks, bu they have to be refreshing too, and not too sweet. Tough customer.

  16. dianeskitchentable July 12, 2015 at 4:42 PM - Reply

    Now doesn’t that look like the perfect drink on a day like this. We’re hitting the high 80’s, into the 90’s for the next few days. Love this.

  17. dishnthekitchen July 12, 2015 at 8:42 PM - Reply

    Mmmmm! This looks quite delicous…perfect for a summer’s eve.

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