Time to heat up the grill and cool down your reds!
It’s mid-summer, and we are enjoying being outdoors, the heat, the beach, and of course, a nice outdoor BBQ. Most people say that summer is for white wines and rosé; but, if you are a red wine person, what do you drink? I don’t know about you, but I am not up for drinking a room temperature Cabernet Sauvignon under the bright Florida sun.
Let’s start by clearing up the saying “red wine should be drunk at room temperature.” This is a saying, or a rule of thumb, that originated in Europe, where room temperature is about 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, not from 95-degree weather in Florida, so don’t be afraid to pop that bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in the refrigerator 30 minutes before drinking it.
Now let’s talk chillable reds. When a red wine is chilled, two things happen. First, the wine becomes less expressive and fruity, and second the tannins (that mouth-drying, chalky, sensation) intensifies. Wines such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Grenache (a lighter style), Barbera, and even red “fruit bombs” such as Zinfandel (also known as Primitivo) will be perfect candidates to enjoy chilled at your BBQs during this scorching summer.
Both Pinot Noir and Beaujolais are known for their light body, and fruit-forward character. Try Pinots coming from the cooler climates of California (Sonoma Coast, Santa Ynez Valley, Russian River Valley, etc.) and those coming from Oregon, especially from Willamette or Dundee. These tend to have flavors of red cherries and raspberries with some musty earthiness, a high refreshing acidity and low tannins. As we move into Barbera (the best coming from the Piedmonte region in Italy) and Grenache, the flavor profile changes as darker fruits begin to show. They tend to have a bouquet more reminiscent of dark cherries, strawberries, blackberries and violets. For Grenache, there is usually some wood aging, which will give the wine a little more tannins and sweet spice flavors, making it a perfect choice for a grilled skirt steak.
But what do we drink with a medium-done, greasy ribeye or NY strip steak? This is where Zinfandel comes in. These California wines are known for their fruitiness. They are sometimes referred to as “fruit bombs” because of their bursting bouquets of baked strawberries, dark cherries, blueberries and blackberries. They can vary from medium to full body (a good way to check is based on the alcohol level. A 13.5% abv will be lighter than a 15.5% abv.) But, their tannins are not as strong as a Cabernet Sauvignon, which make Zinfandels ideal to serve at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t be afraid to play with chilling some red wines as for the most part red wines are usually served way too warm. Just remember that you want a fruity red wine with low to medium tannins because as the temperature drops tannins appear stronger and some of the fruitiness goes away.
Written by SEBASTIAN VELEZ
Walking our tree-lined streets around town in the heat of the summer, SOMI Magazine visited three of our top restaurants in preparing this summertime feature. Our first stop was at Town Kitchen & Bar which is celebrating its twelfth year in SOMI; next was to Shula’s 347 Grill on Red Road which has been serving up great steaks and drinks for six years, and lastly a new destination, Mercado Negra, a backroom hideaway at TacoCraft on 73 Street at the ground level of the Municipal Garage.
You’ll find that summer that adds a fancier spin to cocktail hour. Get inspired with our three featured SOMI summer cocktails. And this year we’ve added other recipes gleaned from beverage industry and culinary sources. Try your hand at preparing and serving these tasty cocktails at parties and cookouts all summer long.
More than the creating of a particular specialty drink, it’s obvious that the experience, professionalism and commitment to excellence behind the bar is paramount and much appreciated.
LET’S HEAR FROM YOU
Over the summer, we’d like to know how you like the featured cocktails… Do you have another summertime favorite(s) at area bars and restaurants?Or perhaps you have you own summertime creation… Let us know. Please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Cocktail
SOMI’S BEST SUMMERTIME COCKTAILS
SHULA’S 347 GRILL
1 oz Hanger 1
0.75 oz St. Germain
1 oz homemade sour mix (I part each of strained lime and lemon juice, and simple syrup).
2 oz Limonata San Pellegrino
In a mixing glass add liquors sour mix and Limonata. Add ice, and pour into shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into rocks glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
SHULA’S 347 GRILL is named in honor of Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula, the winningest Coach in NFL history, with 347 victories! Shula’s 347 Grill follows a long line of successful restaurants, all founded on the same famous tradition of Shula’s Steak Houses. Shula’s 347 Grill has everything from gourmet salads to fresh specialty fish, and exclusively serves Premium Black Angus Beef® burgers and the best beef money can buy, The SHULA CUT® steaks. SOMI’s Shula’s 357 Grill is owned by the Grove Bay Hospitality Group, which is making its presence known throughout Miami and Miami Beach.
Shula’s 347 Grill is located at 6915 Red Road (SW 57 Avenue), and is open seven days for lunch and dinner. For reservations call 305.665.9661. Social hour is Monday – Friday, 4-7p,
TOWN KITCHEN + BAR
1.5 oz Gosling Dark Rum
1.5 oz Canton Ginger Liquor
Splash of pineapple juice
Shake vigorously and serve in a chilled martini glass with a pineapple wedge garnish.
TOWN KITCHEN & BAR, a “neighborhood joint” that’s been going strong since it opened in our town center twelve years ago. TOWN has unique appeal with its industrial design, large outdoor lounge area and two private dining rooms. The menu features CIA graduate chef Michael Altman’s “global comfort foods” in various portion sizes meant for sharing, and is known for its busy Sunday Brunch. The full liquor bar features signature martinis, a large craft beer selection, and over 40 wines by the glass. TOWN KITCHEN & BAR has received the Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” rated wine list for the past ten years.
TOWN is located at 7301 SW 57 Court, and serving lunch and dinner seven days, with Saturday and Sunday brunch. Daily happy hour from 4-7p. 305.740.8118. | www.townkitchenbar.com
MERCADO NEGRO AT TACO CRAFT
6 cubes watermelon
1 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz Corazon Blanco
.5 oz Gracias a dios joven
Mash solid ingredients, add liquids and shake all together. Strain and pour over ice in highball glass with a Tajin Rim.
Mezcal is the hottest spirit of the season and Mercado Negro is the place to get it! Located through a secret back door in South Miami’s TacoCraft, Mercado Negro is Miami’s first mezcaleria. The secret bar offers more than 50 different mezcals and a variety of other cocktails. Sophisticated intimacy meets urban edge in the cozy bar where traditional Hispanic murals adorn the walls and Latin music fills the air. Mercado Negro is open Thursday through Saturday 7PM – 3AM.
Taco Craft is located at 5829 SW 73rd Street. Call 305-668-5612 to make a reservation or to book private parties.
SUMMER SPECIALTY COCKTAILS AND NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER. DRINK RESPONSIBLY
1.75 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 bunch basil leaves (if in doubt as to how much, go heavy on the basil)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz sugar syrup
Place basil and lemon into a cocktail shaker. Gently muddle the lemon and basil “smashing” the ingredients. Add sugar syrup and gin and top up with ice. Shake vigorously (the phrase “Hulk Smash!” comes to mind). Double strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with basil leaves. www.ginfoundry.com
NEGRONI SBAGLIATO COCKTAIL
25 oz Sweet vermouth
25 oz Campari
1 c. Assorted seasonal fruit
25 oz Prosecco
Garnish: 1 Cinnamon
Add the sweet vermouth and Campari to a punch bowl and add large ice cubes or a large ice block. Add the fruit and top with the prosecco. Stir gently and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon. www.liquor.com
Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade
1 lb. strawberries
2 c. sugar
1 c. bourbon
1 c. ice-cold water
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. bitters
12 basil leaves
8 Basil sprigs
Place strawberries and a 1/4 cup water in a blender or food processor, and pulse until puréed. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add strawberry purée and 1 3/4 cups water, and heat until mixture just begins to boil, 5 to 10 minutes. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely, about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard solids. Chill syrup at least 1 hour.
In a large pitcher, combine syrup, bourbon, water, lemon juice, and bitters; stir for 1 minute. Add basil, and stir to combine. Strain into 8 tall glasses filled with ice. Garnish each glass with a basil sprig.
Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup white tequila
1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1/4 cup simple syrup, or more as needed
4 thin slices cucumber
1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise
Ice, for serving
Salt for glass
Mix together the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, cucumber and jalapenos in a large pitcher. Chill for at least 1 hour (the longer the margarita sits, the more the cucumber and jalapeno flavors infuse into the drink). Serve over ice in salt-rimmed glasses, if desired.