This is a drink that originated in Argentina. While visiting there, I asked my friend, Jimena, to tell me about some of the favorite wine cocktails of the country. She described this lovely drink that is primarily served during their summer months when watermelon is ripe (November – February in the Southern Hemisphere). Here it is modified with a few new ingredients and a new name.
The Torrontes Tango works perfectly as a cocktail before or after dinner, and looks similar to a Cosmopolitan. It works equally well as a romantic drink with someone special (tango music in the background), or with a group of girlfriends.
History and Background
The Torrontes grape is an aromatic white grape with a white floral nose and peach/apricot on the palate. It is similar to Muscat and Gewürztraminer, but with more delicate aromas. It is believed to be a cross between the Mission grape (also called Criolla Chica) brought from Spain to Argentina in the mid 1500’s and Muscat of Alexandria. Considered to be the signature white grape of Argentina, the most famous region for growing Torrontes is in Salta, which is located in the northwest part of the country with vineyards on the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
In Argentina they scoop out fresh watermelon and turn it into juice, and then mix it with chilled Torrontes wine. It is usually served as an aperitif, and is refreshing and delightful – especially because the white floral notes of Torrontes are lifted and enhanced with the luscious fruit of the watermelon. However, if Torrontes is not available, Argentinians will often mix the watermelon juice with other white wines.
Ingredients for One Serving
- 3 ounces freshly blended watermelon juice (seedless)
- 3 ounces cold Torrontes wine
- 1 cup of ice cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon Rose’s Grenadine
- 5 drops of rose water (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Watermelon Vodka (optional)
- Fresh rose petal as garnish
Cut fresh chilled watermelon into small cubes. Use seedless watermelon, or remove seeds before placing in blender. Pulse blender to turn watermelon into juice. Pour watermelon juice into cocktail shaker with ice. Add Torrontes wine. Shake (and do a little tango). Pour into chilled martini glass. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of Rose’s Grenadine. To embellish cocktail, add 5 drops of rose water and 2 teaspoons of Watermelon Vodka (optional). Garnish with rose petal. If romantic occasion, serve with a single red or pink rose.
Contributed by L. Thach