This post was sponsored by Lakeview Wine Co. What does that mean? I was provided two bottles of Fresh Wines and Le Monin flavour syrup to make the recipe below. I was not compensated financially, nor did Lakeview Wine Co. have input into the writing and editing of this post.
There was definitely something about today.
First day of school pictures were on repeat in my Facebook feed. Parents lamented the passage of time. I felt a twinge, too, of equal parts melancholy and pride as I scooped my daughter from bed this morning. ‘You’re not a baby anymore,’ I thought. ‘You’re not even a toddler and it won’t be long before my old body won’t be able to do this.’
It was a definite reality check. I felt like that mid-90s dance tune, Back to Life, Back to Reality, was the anthem of the day, this first Tuesday after Labour Day. The free-spiritedness of just 24 hours ago has given way to the seriousness of routine that will guide us through the next 10 months until the calendar officially declares we can shrug it all off for summer again.
I appreciate routine. I’m grateful for it, actually. I would love to turn the clock back two weeks to building a sand sculpture of a gecko or a gator (an artiste I am not) on the beach at Turkey Point for all its differences from my usual day to day. But I’m thankful — so thankful — that the usual is beginning again.
Louie, my editor-in-chief of a cat, has finally found my new office in the house after not coming upstairs for two months post-renovations. He’s resumed his rightful position on my lap, where he purrs as I type and — oh, he just left.
Well, we’ll get there. It’s only Day 1 of routine life again, after all. This will take practice.
That said, I feel a toast is in order for getting through Day 1 of being back to life, back to reality.
Even if we no longer feel it’s here, there are still two weeks of summer ahead. That means it’s still high season for drinks with fruit and umbrellas, and served as slushies. Few things are more summery to put in your glass, really. There’s a childish sense of delight that comes from sipping on flavoured crushed ice. It’s a reminder of raiding the piggy bank and heading to the corner store for some atomic-coloured concoction.
Granted, I was always a Coke slushy kind of girl. Still am. Beer slushies also hold appeal these days, and so do wine versions. There was a time, however, I thought wine slushies were just one big no-no.
Now I find myself grateful to those who shrug off the hoity-toitiness that can come with tippling in favour of mixing a vintage with ice and flavour syrup. In fact, some even encourage it, like the folks at Lakeview Wine Co. in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Their Fresh Perspectives Satin Red, a blend of Baco Noir, Gamay Noir, and Merlot, and Lakeview’s Fresh Adventures Crisp White, made up of Riesling and Moscato, arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago. Bottles Le Monin Tart Cherry and Hawaiian Island syrups were in tow. They also brought a couple trusty sidekicks: coloured straws and umbrellas. This was clearly my invitation to play with my wine and break with that routine of drinking it straight up because I held tightly to the belief that was the only way to do it.
And today, their presence is like being granted a few extra days vacation. Or, at the very least, a reward for surviving the first day back in Routineville.
So go break out the blender, already. (Stop at the LCBO for a bottle or two of Fresh wines first, if you don’t have any handy). Put on the flip-flops for old time’s sake, and raise a frosty Speigelau to surviving Day 1 of getting back to reality.
Fresh Wine Slushies
Wine slushies are a fun and fresh way to enjoy some tipple in an unpretentious way. Red or white, there's one for everyone. These recipes were provided by Lakeview Wine Co.
- *For the Aloha Adventures Wine Slushy*
- 9 ounces (1 generous cup) Fresh Adventures Crisp White Wine
- 50 mL (3 generous tablespoons) Le Sirop de Monin Hawaiian Island
- 2 cups of ice
- Pineapple slice (optional)
- *For the Playful Perspectives Slushy*
- 9 ounces (1 generous cup) Fresh Perspectives Satin Red Wine
- 50 mL (3 generous tablespoons) Le Sirop de Monin Tart Cherry
- 2 cups of ice
- Sweet cherries (optional)
*For the Aloha Adventures Wine Slushy*
Put wine, syrup and ice in a high-speed blender, mix until smooth but still thick, and pour into a wine glass. Garnish with pineapple.
*For the Playful Perspectives Slushy*
Put wine, syrup and ice in a high-speed blender and mix until it is smooth, but still thick. Serve in a chilled wine glass and garnish with a fresh sweet cherry.