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    excerpted from Cocktails A-Go-Go: 100 Swinging Drinks from Bahama Mamas to Salty Dogs.
    Copyright © 2003 by by Susan Waggoner All rights reserved.

    yieldsYield: 1 servingtime---difficultyeasy

    De rigueur throughout the 1970s, the Wine Cooler was the perfect disco drink, refreshingly thirst-quenching and mild enough to keep you relatively sober. Today, the drink has become a well-known staple, as comforting and familiar as an old friend. And like old friends, this one sometimes gets taken for granted. The fact is, few people know how to make this simple drink properly. Americans especially are prone to adulterating it with all sorts of additives, including lemonade. A few minutes of thoughtful study will break you of these inclinations, and give you a whole new perspective on this timeless classic.

    Original Wine Cooler
    We begin our quest for the perfect Cooler in the land where it all began, Austria. There the drink is known as a Wine Spritzer, and strictly made according to the recipe below.
    Dry, acidic white wine that has been thoroughly chilled
    Soda water, preferably from an old-fashioned bottle.
    Fill a glass slightly more than 1/8 full with soda water. Top with chilled wine and enjoy.
    Disgusting practices like drinking with ice or perverting the drink with a slice of lemon are to be considered completely inadmissable!!

    Classic American Wine Cooler
    Because the only drink Americans can endure without ice drink's classic American version as well:
    White wine of choice
    Club soda or lemon-lime soda
    Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Fill 3/4 full with wine, then top with soda.
    Wine Cooler Variations
    Once you understand the basic concept, the Wine Cooler offers itself up for myriad variations, some of them surprisingly delicious. So - with many apologies to our Austrian friends - we suggest you branch out and try some of these:
    • Cherry Cooler: Cherry wine and cola.
    • Peach Cooler: Peach wine and lemon-lime soda.
    • Rhubarb Cooler: Rhubarb wine and club soda. (If you have rhubarb growing in your yard, cut a few ruby stalks to use as swizzle sticks.)
    • Apple-Cranberry Cooler: Apple wine and cranberry juice.
    • Strawberry Cooler: Strawberry wine and orange juice.


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