Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Happy Hour: The White Zin Faux-garita

When life hands you lemons, make (spiked) lemonade. When life hands you a move during Hurricane Irene, no internet or TV, and a bottle of white zinfandel, make cocktails and submit your post via iPhone.

A couple of weeks ago, Hairpin commenter scully posed a challenge:

Diana, I have a cocktail challenge for you! Some relatives left me with a bottle of sweet, yuck white zinfandel (NOT lovely dry crisp rosé), and I don't know what to doooo with it. Obviously I cannot drink it straight, but it occurred to me that it might take the place of something like elderflower or maraschino in a nicely mixed cocktail. HELP if you can/dare!

Believe it or not, white zin can actually make for a good tequila substitute in a margarita (a faux-garita?), giving it lighter, slightly sweeter flavor. If you want yours with a little kick, though (and I did), only substitute out some of the tequila.

I played with — and drank — the ratios a bit. Here's the one I loved so much that I didn't even CARE that I haven't been able to watch Degrassi in two days. Not even a little. And I certainly wouldn't ask you to tell me what happened in the prom episode in the comments.

White Zin Frozen Margarita
5 ounces white zinfandel
2 ounces tequila
4 ounces triple sec
4 ounces lime juice
3 cups ice

Directions: Add ice to blender, and give it a few pulses so it breaks up a bit. Add rest of ingredients and blend until slushy (or desired) consistency. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass.

This recipe makes two to three servings, so share with a friend or just say you did. Or just drink it like no one's watching (out of the blender).

Pictured: Frozen and on the rocks.

Previously: The Chocolate Bramble.

Diana Vilibert is a freelance drinker and writer living in Brooklyn.

35 Comments / Post A Comment


I love that people still love Degrassi. <3


@slizzii What I want to know is which Degrassi she's watching- new Next Generation, classic Craig/Paige/Manny Next Generation or classic classic OG Degrassi High or even more classic OOG Degrassi Junior High (which I've been watching on Hulu Plus, lately, so good!)


I spent my one tropical storm experience watching Degrassi with friends. It would have been awesome with ZinGaritas.

This is like a version of margaritas my college friends and I make... Pour a bottle of corona and a can of limeade concentrate into a pitcher. Fill the limeade can with tequila and add that to the pitcher. Repeat as needed. Ideal for moving and vacations (and college) because you really don't need more than the pitcher.


@sam.i.am I literally made that EXACT SAME THING on Sunday night after a terrible day at work. Except we used two bottles of Corona and an uncertain amount of tequila (I just started pouring it straight into the pitcher until it looked good). Mix, pour over ice, and you're well on your way to making crappy day that much better.


I'm glad there was a cocktail post today, because last night I thought of the Worst Cocktail Ever, and I've been dying to share it: Qream & Redbull. I think I would call it a BullQream.


@punkahontas That just made me retch, then pause and muse "...perhaps?"


@Decca I think it might be better with Strawberry Qream?


@Ophelia We should probably add Cupcake flavored vodka too, and top it with Coconut Whipahol and Pop Rocks. Then drink it through a Twizzler.


@punkahontas I'm pretty sure you can only drink that while actively hooked up to an insulin IV?


@cherrispryte Yes, and it would probably be smart to have a trashcan nearby as well. But for the first 15 minutes, you'd be like WOOOHOOOO!


@punkahontas It also must be drunk from something with rhinestones on it.

@cherrispryte, don't worry, it won't stay down long enough to affect your blood sugar.


@Ophelia Both are excellent points! Do you know they make edible gems? We should put one or three in the bottom of the glass.


@punkahontas Those are SO PERFECT!!

Judith Slutler

@punkahontas Oh lordy.


@Ophelia OR stick them TO the glass with royal icing. That would be the most fancy! There is also edible glitter, which would sparkle up the Pop Rocks.


@punkahontas OMGOMGOMG - you could put it in a flask, and then decorate the flask with the gems and the glitter, and then WEAR IT AROUND YOUR NECK.


@Ophelia (you would need to attach a chain to the flask; maybe one of the pink plastic ones that charm necklaces used to come with in the 80s?)


@Ophelia Might as well just make it a candy necklace too?


@punkahontas Yeah, at that point, who are we kidding?

science is sexy@twitter

@punkahontas I bet it would curdle like an Irish carbomb you don't finish fast enough

:( :(

Olivia P@twitter

@punkahontas I cannot read any of the posts about Qream. As soon as I see the photos, my stomach turns and I have to keeping scrolling. Please, no more Qream!


I just spent my morning making pitchers upon pitchers of margarita (for work, alas) and so am sick of the sight/taste of them. But these look yum.


@Decca Your work sounds cool.

Tragically Ludicrous

Do you think this would work with "semi-sparkling white wine" that I inherited from a friend? It literally has no other description, and she said it was too sweet.


@Tragically Ludicrous Ooh! I say yes! But I'm the best person to ask because I like when my alcohol tastes like candy.

Diana Vilibert

@Tragically Ludicrous: yes, go for it!


@Tragically Ludicrous I would use it as a base for "Champagne" cocktails.... the brandy will help cut the sweetness.


Oh boy, a can of limeade goes a long way! Mix it with gin, pour it in a teacup and pretend you are a Fancy Lady who eats crumpets and jam.


this is the first time white zin has even looked appealing to me. i wish that it was happy hour already!


You're all very brave, but I can't really shake the idea that more drastic measures must be taken to make a sweet white zin drinkable.

Champagne is a good idea, except that it's throwing good money after bad. What about mixing it with a cider such as Magners? Or you could add grape juice and soda or sprite to make a sort of naughty Schloer? Heck, just mix it with Schloer to make hard Schloer.

I've been thinking about this a little too long because I have a bottle of this stuff in my fridge as we speak. Something must be done.


It's been almost 6 hours and *no one* has tried and commented on this yet?


Since apparently we can question/challenge Diana, I need help with the lamest drinking dilemma ever: What to order in bars that won't 1) make bartenders/other bar-goers look at me funny 2) won't cost a fortune 3) will make me look like the awesome Hairpin-reading sophisticate that I am.

(True story: Once I ordered an amaretto-and-soda in an NYC bar and it took the bartender a full minute to decide whether to garnish it with a lemon slice or a maraschino cherry. It was a weeknight. At an uncrowded west village bar. Clearly I am doing drinking wrong.)


@bluestargirl I need to know this too! I go into bars thinking I'll be adventurous but then I get nervous and flustered and just order a cranberry and vodka.


@totallyunoriginal Right? I don't want to pay for something I can make!


OH THE ONE DAY I CAN'T READ THE HAIRPIN B/C OF STUPID WORK!!! Diana, you are awesome. I will chill my white zin for the next two days and spring this cocktail on my friends at my labor day weekend party. I will not tell them the secret ingredient and when they are praising me I will show them this post. Thank you!!!

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