Forget the hard lemonade. With its refreshing flavors and medium-high acidity, Sauvignon Blanc is the drink you should be serving at all your upcoming cookouts. Serve it nice and chilled, or make it the secret ingredient in the cocktails you’re mixing up for guests this summer; check out the two recipes I’ve included below. After all, Sauv Blanc’s tasting profile features summery flavors such as zesty citrus, bell pepper, tropical fruits and freshly cut grass.

Sauv Blanc was first popularized in the region of Sancerre, located in France’s Loire Valley. In fact, the location became so synonymous with the grape that you’ll find French Sauv Blancs labeled only as Sancerre. (So when you drink a Sancerre, you’re drinking a Sauvignon Blanc, not a grape variety called Sancerre.) Sauv Blancs from this region charm drinkers with its elegant crispness and flavors of citrus, green apples and hint of cut grass, evoking memories of hot summer days.

More than 10,000 miles from Sancerre, Sauv Blanc’s ancestral home, is  New Zealand, its adopted country and arguably the region best associated with the grape. At any rate, it’s the country’s most planted and produced varietal. Compared with Sancerre, New Zealand Sauv Blanc is pungently aromatic, with tropical fruit, stone fruit and herbaceous flavors. Fun and bold, New Zealand Sauv Blanc is the perfect wine to drink at raucous barbecues or outdoor dinner parties that run late into the night.

Green Monster

Ingredients:

3/4 ounce simple syrup

3 wedges lime

4 thin slices jalapeño

3 ounces Sauvignon Blanc

Ice

Club soda

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Muddle the simple syrup, 2 wedges of lime, and jalapeño in a tall cocktail shaker. Add the Sauvignon Blanc, close the shaker, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Fill a collins glass or highball with ice, and pour the cocktail into the glass. Stir gently to mix, and top off with the club soda. Garnish with the last wedge of lime and black pepper before serving.

 

Summer Fizz

Ingredients:

3/4 ounce grapefruit juice

1/4 ounce simple syrup

Egg white

3 ounces Sauvignon Blanc

2 to 3 ice cubes

Grapefruit peel

Directions:

Combine the grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a tall cocktail shaker. Close the shaker, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds (the mixture should be foamy). Add the Sauvignon Blanc and ice to the mix. Close the shaker, and shake vigorously for another 30 seconds. Fill a lowball with the ice cubes, and strain the cocktail into the glass. Garnish with the grapefruit peel before serving.