This is my variation of a fruit and wine drink which is called a "Bowle" in Germany. You'll need ripe, soft fruit to make this drink, and mirabelle plums would be ideal. I used a local golden cherry plum, but Japanese shiro plums would also work. Any sweet plum that has yellow flesh would be fine to use. (The cherry plums in my photo are not ripe enough yet for this drink, but they ripen quickly.) Some of the photos show the first stage of this drink, while others illustrate the drink once various amounts of crème de cassis have been added. For both color and taste, I love the pairing of sweet purple cassis with the lingering tartness of even the sweetest yellow plums. I am also amazed by the hues you can create with this combination. It makes me think I should have trained for a career in drinks! Adding crushed ice is optional. Cheers! Prost! —Sagegreen
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Sagegreen is a professor of landscape architecture who might want to consider a career in bartending.
WHAT: A sweet, purple-hued drink to sip by the banks of the Rhine (or while watching The Sound of Music).
HOW: Soak sugar-coated yellow plums in a dry white whine overnight, and enjoy the next day.
WHY WE LOVE IT: You're already using summer's fruit to desserts and salads, so why not add them to drinks, as well? This is a sweet and super simple drink that we'd like to sip by a pool as the sun sets on Labor Day. —The Editors
ripe, sweet, and preferably yellow plums, depitted and cut into chunks
to 3/4 organic cane sugar, depending upon your taste and the tartness of the plums
milliliter bottle dry white wine, a Riesling or Riesling Sylvaner
Crème de cassis (anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1 ounce per drink)
Sprigs of lavender or other herb like mint, for garnish
After cutting your plums into chunks, combine them with the sugar in a large wide mouthed pitcher or bowl. Let the plums and sugar sit for about 30 minutes.Use sugar to taste, but you will need some sugar to make this work.
Next, pour in the entire bottle of wine.
Cover and chill overnight so the fruit absorbs the alcohol.
The next evening, ladle the chilled drink over crushed ice, if you like, in wide-brimmed wine glasses. Make sure each drink also has some fruit.
Add the desired amount of crème de cassis to each drink. One tablespoon will turn your drink a lovely pale plum color, and an ounce will transform it to a lurid purple. (Click through my photos to see the range.)
Garnish each drink with a fresh herb; I recommend lavender, but spearmint is also nice.