Baker dates his acquisition of this recipe to “[t]he summer before several nations besides the Spanish undertook to alter the map of Spain to suit their own ideas.” I’m guessing that means 1935, just before the Spanish Civil War, which led to Francisco Franco’s ascent to power. As is often the case, Baker’s coy historical reference masks a period of terror—as many as a million people died in that war, and it was during the Spanish Civil War that Germany bombed Guernica, which inspired Picasso’s famous painting. All in all, 1939 was a rough time to be writing a cocktail book.
All of which stands in stark contrast to this drink, which Baker describes as “a Luscious & Pleasant Thing for Summer“:
- 1 cup “of Burgundy, of Valdepeñas from Spanish La Mancha, or any good Spanish vino tinto; any good claret” (Charles Shaw Merlot)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 small lime (3/4 oz lemon juice)
- 1 tsp sugar or grenadine (sugar)
- 1 dash orange flower water
Pack a goblet with shaved ice and pour everything into it, or blend everything with a cupful of cracked ice (I blended). Garnish with spiral lemon or lime peel and dust with nutmeg.
Er, Charles Shaw Merlot? Allow me to explain: I bought a lovely Spanish red with which to mix this drink, but it turned out to be corked. The Charles Shaw was, alas, the only other red wine I had at hand.
Nonetheless, I rather enjoyed this drink. I wouldn’t say you need to drop everything and go make one, but if you want to drink red wine in hot weather and aren’t in the mood for sangria, a Red Snow would do nicely.
Red Snow: ★★★★☆