If you’re looking for some refreshing drinks for this spring and summer, Chile has a few solutions to add to your recipe box (or bookmark tab). These three Chilean drinks grace our tables, balconies, backyards, and barbecues as soon as the South American sun is warm enough to warrant it! And after you try them, they'll become a staple in your household too.
First up, Melon con Vino (Honeydew with White Wine). If you like a subtly sweet flavor with your crisp white wine, this is the drink for you. Simply put, this is a four-step operation. First, cut a hole in the top of a honeydew, then scoop out the seeds, then scrape the inside of the melon without piercing the rind, chop up the flesh and put it back in the melon. Finally, pour in (inexpensive) white wine, and sugar to taste. The resulting concoction is sipped through a straw, scooped with a spoon, and sometimes split open with a knife to get at the last bits of honeydew clinging to the rind. Depending on the size of the melon, it can pack quite a punch!
Next, try a Ponche a la Romana (Sparkling Wine with Pineapple Ice Cream). One of Chile’s traditional drinks is the terremoto, which uses a young wine, a splash of hard alcohol and pineapple ice cream. It’s usually consumed in dingy bars and accompanied by empanadas or Chile’s answer to the Italian antipasto, pichanga. Not this version, though. This is the more refined version. To make it, you'll need a wide, stemmed glass, but not a champagne flute. Fill the glass half full with sparkling wine and float a ball of pineapple ice cream (or sherbet, or sorbet for a vegan treat), then decorate the top of the ice cream with a few small pieces of canned pineapple. Toast and enjoy.
Finally, try a Borgoña. Borgoña is a type of Chilean sangria, and there are many variations, both with red and white wine, and mainly with either peaches or strawberries. Usually, the sliced strawberries macerate in sugar for twenty minutes and chilled white wine, and in Chile we’ll use anything from a boxed wine straight up through a low to mid-level bottled sauvignon blanc. You can make it in a pitcher for people to serve themselves (this is how it is often served at restaurants) or dole it out glass by glass, which assures a better fruit-to-wine ratio. Serve with a small wooden skewer if you prefer not to have people’s hands in their wine glasses, because they will definitely want to eat the strawberries.
Want a sip? Fill your glass with the recipe below.