Summertime means some grade-A R&R while grilling out all weekend. It’s as good a time as any to bust out your favorite boxed wines for no-fuss sipping.
If you’re feeling creative, take the inexpensive, widely available Tetra Paks to the next level with these Pinterest-worthy wine hacks and earn your rightful place as Life of the Party.
1. Make big-batch Sangria.
Sangria is a simple, delicious way to use boxed wine. Our Anatomy of Sangria guide will help you trick out your big batches.
You can also freeze leftover wine (ha!) in ice cube trays. Add a few cubes to your summery drinks for a flavor boost as they melt.
Box to Try: Maipe Andean Culture Malbec (Mendoza)
2. Use it in a cocktail.
An icon of Basque drinking, the kalimotxo (cal-ee-mo-cho) is often lambasted as “the poor man’s sangria,” and what’s wrong with that? Pouring equal parts cola and red wine over ice yields a tasty sip reminiscent of sangria, sans all that fancy chopped fruit. Feel free to add a squeeze of orange or lemon, if you’re feeling precious.
Box to Try: Bandit NV Cabernet Sauvignon (California)
3. Frozen treats.
Take a cue from Sicily and turn that three-liter box into a party-perfect serving of refreshing, boozy granita. Not as smooth as sorbet, it’s basically flavored ice with an air of elegance, and is incredibly easy. To make, mix ½ cup of simple syrup with 3 cups of wine (rosé or white are our favorites). Pour into a baking dish and cover in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 3 hours; using a fork, you’ll scrape the mixture and break up ice chunks every 30 minutes, until it is slushy. Serve in sorbet cups and enjoy. Of course, you can always mix up popsicles.
4. Make dessert.
Wine-poached pears (or any firm, poached fruit, for that matter) are a perfect accompaniment for ice cream or gelato. One of our favorites utilizes a dry red wine, though you can easily substitute it for white or rosé. Get the crowd-pleasing recipe >>>
Box to Try: French Rabbit 2011 Pinot Noir (France)
5. Cook with it.
There’s an old adage about not cooking with wine you wouldn’t drink, but with the improved quality of boxed wine, you don’t have to fear screwing up your meal. New World reds are a perfect great braise for short ribs, while cooking mussels in a white wine broth is a classic preparation worth trying. The best part? You have the perfect pairing already on hand.
Box to Try: Bota Box 2012 Shiraz (California)