Strawberry Lemonade Spritzer

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Strawberry Lemonade Spritzers are a refreshing mix of homemade strawberry lemonade, moscato and club soda. A perfect, sparkling sipper for hot days and nights!

I can’t believe it’s been an entire week since I was in adult Disneyland northern California, sipping wine and having lunch under the sun with the fine folks of Flipflop Wines!

Before I get into my trip, let me give you some info about the company. Flipflop Wines’ headquarters are located in Livermore, California, about 30 minutes east of the Oakland airport, in the impossibly picturesque Concannon Vineyard.

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Right. Their offices are in the vineyard. Talk about a desk with a view!

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When Flipflop asked me to come out for a quick blogger retreat to learn more about the brand and their wine varietals, I thought, letmethinkaboutitYES. For one, I have alwaysalwaysalways wanted to see California’s wine country (and am still kicking myself for not thinking to fly Ben out and stay through the weekend!) really wanted to learn more about wine, and the Flipflop brand and image really fit my personality and approach towards wine. Please know that I would never accept a trip or product just because it is “free”. ‘Nuf said.

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Flipflop’s motto, in a nutshell, is “To each, their own. Drink what you like. Have fun!” aka exactly how I feel about wine. I don’t know a lot about it, but I do know what I like, and don’t take it too seriously. Wine drinking should be fun! Flipflop’s wine varietals are affordable (usually between $7-9/bottle) and the brand really prides itself on providing quality wine for a value.

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I know what you may be thinking – quality wine for a value is an oxymoron. To tell you the truth, before my trip to Livermore I would have agreed with you. But I really think Flipflop has something special. Their wine is GOOD. Really good! A lot of that has to do with this guy – David Georges, Flipflop’s Vintner – who I’ll tell you more about in a minute. :)

Flipflop’s laid back approach towards wine is communicated visually, front and center on their wine bottles, which are brightly colored and sporting, what else, flip flops. The bottles also feature screw caps instead of corks which are not only convenient if you’re on a picnic, for instance, and don’t have a wine opener, but actually keep the wine fresher, longer.

What I really love, though, is what’s on the back of the bottle. An explanation of the wine’s flavor, suggested food pairings, AND the wine’s sweetness level. I am such a bonehead about different wine varietals, so this is an especially helpful feature in my opinion.

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I touched down in California around 1:00pm on Thursday, then met with the Flipflop team over dinner that evening. The next morning we headed to the vineyard to begin our day with breakfast and Flipflop Daiquiris. FF daiquiris are the new mimosa, if you ask me!

This was one shot Flipflop silver rum mixed with the juice from half a lime, torn mint, and 100% pineapple juice. It was 1,000% off the hook. I accidentally slammed mine…

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After breakfast we had a video conference call with Keith Woodley of Soles4Souls, a global, non-profit charity that collects shoes from brands and retailers with excess inventory, private shoe drives, etc., then distributes them to people in need all over the world. Last year they distributed over 18 million pairs of shoes. 18 million! Did you know in some parts of the world, children can’t attend school if they don’t wear shoes?

Flipflop has partnered and supported Soles4Souls since their brand launched a little over a year ago, and help  raise money and support the charity in various ways. I thought that was pretty cool.

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After the call, we got down to bidness. Cocktail hour. I know.

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Ben’s all why are you drinking cocktails at a winery? Well, Flipflop just had a soft release of their new silver and spiced Caribbean rums, which they wanted us to try before we got to wine tasting later in the day.

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We set up shop in the Flipflop testing lab, and brand ambassador James Moreland walked us through the tasting.

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After pouring us each a sample of their silver and spiced rums, he asked us to smell and describe them before sipping.

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Now, I am definitely not the girl who’s going to go into detail about the taste of the wine or rum she’s drinking. To me, it’s either good or it’s not. But, I decided to play along, this time. ;)

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After a sip I piped in that the silver rum had hints of vanilla and cinnamon, and that it didn’t have any burn. The flavor was there on the tongue, then it kind of lifted. Then I blushed. I didn’t love the spiced rum – too many captain & cokes in college…

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Next, James whipped up a few cocktails using the rums for us to try.

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Starting with a fresh Mojito. He muddled fresh mint leaves with sugar cubes and lime, then added a shot each of the silver and spiced rum, and topped it off with soda. SO YUM!

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One tip I picked up from him is to not over-muddle the mint, or it will turn bitter. Good to know!

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A Mango-Passion Fruit concoction was next…

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Followed by what might have been my favorite – a Chicago Fizz. That’s equal parts Flipflop’s Sweet Red Wine and silver rum, mixed with the juice of half a lemon. It was so crazy because it looked like you were going to have a sweet, berry-flavored cocktail, but it actually tasted like a lemon drop!

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After cocktail time, we headed outdoors for lunch. Probably a good idea. ;)

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We walked past budding grape vines,

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under a shaded arbor,

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then saw it all laid out in front of us.

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Seriously?!

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I felt like I was in a movie!

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The wine was quickly poured – a different varietal for each dish on the menu.

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Crisp Pinot Grigio for the spicy Caesar Salad, and deep Cabernet Sauvignon for the tender tri-tip steak.

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Cheers!

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Since I had to leave early to catch my flight back home, and would be missing the wine tasting in the afternoon, Flipflop’s Vintner, that is, their wine maker David Georges, took me aside for a private tasting session after we finished eating. This guy is GREAT!

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One thing I love about visiting company/brand headquarters on blogger trips is really getting to know the people behind the product. It makes me see the company in a whole different light. I could tell 2 minutes into our session that David is not only extremely knowledgeable in the art of wine making, but he’s also very passionate about making good wine, affordable. David is the person that picks the grapes and blends that end up as Flipflop wines, and he isn’t going to let just anything get put on supermarket shelves.

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David walked me through the history of each varietal of wine we tried, asked me what I liked and why, and basically we had a great conversation. I could have chatted all day!

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A couple things I learned (and don’t laugh if you already knew this):

1. Not all Rieslings are sweet. Rieslings can range from very dry to very sweet.

2. I hate Chardonnay, as it’s usually too, I don’t know…harsh?…for me, but I loved Flipflops’ blend. David confirmed that it is much more “user friendly” than other brands’ blends.

3. Pinot Noir is called the “Transparent Wine” because if the pinot grapes were planted in bad soil, or had a bad growing season, etc., you’ll be able to taste it in the wine. Basically it’s a very sensitive grape, therefore Pinot Noir is an extremely expensive wine to produce. One of David’s biggest challenges was making a great tasting Pinot Noir, that would fit the brand’s price point. Also, it’s pronounced Pinot No-ahhh. I still feel like a tool saying it like that, though.

4. Despite what Sideways says – Merlot is good!

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Half an hour later they had to practically pry the wine glass from my fist to send me on my way. 28 hours after I touched down, I had to take back off!

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Thank you x1,000,000 to the folks at Flipflop Wines for the spectacular, informative trip!

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Inspired by my little whirlwind getaway, I whipped up a Strawberry Lemonade Spritzer using one of Flipflop’s sweeter white wines, Moscato, to enjoy at home. You will LOVE this!

Strawberry simple syrup is combined with fresh squeezed lemon juice and sweet Moscato wine, then topped off with fizzy club soda. It is the perfect marriage of sweet, tart, silky, and fizzy!

Strawberry Lemonade Spritzer

Print this recipe!

Serves 1

Ingredients:
1oz (2 Tablespoons) Strawberry Simple Syrup
1-1/2oz (3 Tablespoons) fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
4oz (1/2 cup) Flipflop Moscato Wine
4oz (1/2 cup) club soda
ice
strawberry slices, optional

Directions:

  1. Stir strawberry simple syrup and lemon juice together in a wine glass. Pour in wine, then club soda. Add ice and strawberry slices, if using, then stir.

Off to enjoy one of these babies on the porch! :D

~~~~~

What’s your favorite wine varietal? (Sorry, I just heard the term “varietal” on my trip and am now obsessed with using it.)

I love me a good Cabernet Sauvignon in the fall and winter, but am all about ice-cold Rieslings in the spring and summer. Sometimes I like to mix Riesling with little Pinot Grigio if I’m feeling frisky. That’s probably a no-no in the wine world, but as I said, I like what I like!

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Comments

  1. kellyo 05.24.2012

    Looks like a great trip! And I’m with you, I like what I like!

  2. Love spritzers! SO jealous of your trip!

  3. Lakesheri 05.24.2012

    Oh boy! That is my kind of trip! Next time you need a girlfriend with you for any of the California wine countries, I’m your girl! And I am not too far away :)

  4. emily 05.24.2012

    i did not know that all riesling’s were not sweet! i usually hate them bc all the ones i have had are so sweet its like drinking syrup.:( so good to know! i also LOVE that this wine company puts the sweetness on the back of the bottle! so helpful!

  5. Melissa 05.24.2012

    I love love love Moscato. I know it’s a dessert wine but I drink it with everything. I tend to like the red best (Stella Rosa) but DH likes the white (Brecco Riella). I can’t wait to try Flipflop’s Moscato now.

  6. I love a reisling or a savignon blanc….. BUT I am a vodka girl, through and through!

  7. morgan 05.24.2012

    Good God, reading this just about did me in…I’m 4 months pregnant and can’t drink til November. But when I can, I’ll be running out to stock up on Flipflop wines!

  8. Anne 05.24.2012

    I love that you went to Livermore! I grew up in the city next to it, and it really is a great area! You should come back for another visit and see more!

  9. simplysarah 05.24.2012

    I’m sold! I’ll be looking for Flipflop next time I go to the wine store!

  10. Jackie 05.24.2012

    I got my first bottle(s) of flipflop today! I like really sweet wine, but can NEVER tell what wine is what. The fact that they have a scale on the bottle is awesome! Stocked up on some moscato and sweet red today! Strawberry lemonade spritzers sound like the perfect way to kick off a long weekend!! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. AC 05.24.2012

    I’m hoping flipflop wines are available in the DM area… ??

    • Iowa Girl Eats 05.24.2012

      Yes, they are! They have a lot of the varietals at Dahls.

      • randi 05.25.2012

        I was just going to ask where to find it around DM. Good to know Dahl’s carries it, any where else?

  12. Lucy 05.24.2012

    I have a bottle of Flipflop Chardonnay chilling in my frig as we speak! It’s one of the few that I really enjoy, so it’s great to hear that they take such care in making it. Great pictures, you lucky girl! Next time, ask them if they want a 30-ish mother of 2 blogger to join you (a new perspective on wine without the whine – I can see the story now : ))

  13. Michelle 05.24.2012

    Sounds like a great trip! For reds, I love Red Zinfandel because it’s super bold, but I also love a good Malbec or Chianti. As for whites, I love Sauvignon Blanc. It goes with so many things.

  14. What a great experience to meet the people behind the wine :) Can’t wait to make this in the summer in Hawaii, maybe with a pineapple simple syrup?

  15. Jeri 05.24.2012

    I love the back of their label, too! I know that even different wine varietals range from sweet to dry and never know what I’m getting so I always stick to the same old same old. Love that!

  16. Katelyn 05.24.2012

    Did you know one of your drink recipes is on Lauren Conrad’s website?!

    http://www.laurenconrad.com/cat/dine

    WOOOO!

  17. Teresa Cotton 05.24.2012

    What a wonderful trip you’ve had! I have enjoyed some Flip Flop wines @ tastings but will def try more!! Especially their rum!! And I will try the spritzer, too! Just so you know, my daughter came back from Spain last week and was craving a Sangria! Woe and behold her recipe was just like yours! Awesome!!

    Just sippin’

  18. Jennifer 05.24.2012

    How do I live 20 minutes from Livermore, but have never heard of this winery!?!?!? I will get some next trip to the store.
    My favorite wine in the world is the cab franc from del dotto winery in Napa. If you ever go to Napa, PLEASE go to their cave barrel tasting. You’ve never had wine until they tap the barrel in front of you in a deep dark cave. Amazing experience!
    Awesome post!!!

  19. Amanda Betts 05.24.2012

    This was SO hard to read. I’m pregnant so can’t drink until November. Can’t wait to try some of these wines when I can though!

  20. Amanda Betts 05.24.2012

    Oh yeah, I love a good Cabernet Sauvignon.

  21. Jill 05.24.2012

    What a great recap of your trip! Can’t wait to try some Flip Flop wines. I like a good Riesling too, and I didn’t realize there were different kinds.

  22. Andrea 05.24.2012

    Great recap of your trip! I’m jealous! I usually drink Riesling, but haven’t had Flip Flop. Will definitely have to pick up a bottle and try it soon…delicious AND affordable is right up my alley!

  23. Sharla 05.24.2012

    I’ve seen Flipflop in stores, but I have so little experience picking wines that I generally let someone else pick. Of course, then I don’t get any better when I don’t pay attention to what they pick. The trip looks fun and beautiful!

  24. Kim 05.24.2012

    I’m a Zinfandel girl! Do not confuse that with white zin…bleh! :)

    I want to be a food blogger when I grow up so I can take awesome trips!

  25. Kristen 05.24.2012

    What a great trip!! It’s really nice that Flip Flop focuses on making quality, affordable wines (since we know that’s not often the case!). I haven’t tried Flip Flop before, but I think I’ll have to give the Moscato a try – I love adding it to Sangria!

    If you do plan another trip to Northern CA, definitely try to make it over to the Napa Valley. Seriously, it’s a wine-lovers paradise. Vineyards as far as the eye can see, and really beautiful wineries everywhere! I’m from Northern CA, and even though I go to Napa a few times a year, I still pinch myself every time – it’s THAT amazing :)

  26. What an amazing trip! Those photos really do make it look like you were in a movie haha. I’m getting more and more into wine, wine tastings definitely help! I love learning more about each varietal. (Bonus points for using the word?!)

    I like sweeter wines so I usually enjoy some pinot grigio or some riesling. And I’ll never turn down a white zinfandel hehe! I need to branch out… but like you said, it’s what I like :)

  27. Micah 05.25.2012

    What a great trip! I want to go to wine country in California sometime. I love trying different wines, and like you, I know what I like and what I don’t like.

    I don’t have ONE favorite varietal. In the fall/winter, I tend to drink more pinot noirs. In the summer, I like the semi-sweet whites and blush wines.

    I’ve found several favorites from Iowa wineries. The wine tent at the Iowa State Fair is my new favorite thing.

  28. Cindee 05.25.2012

    I live about 1 hour from Livermore and have never heard of this place. I need to check it out! Looks like a lovely time. I am obsessed with Moscato.

  29. What a beautiful day you’ve had to be out in the vineyard! Cheers~

  30. Lori @ RecipeGirl 05.25.2012

    How fun! I always see the cute flip flop wine bottle when I’m picking out wines, but I haven’t actually purchased it yet. Will have to try!

  31. Cab – all the way. Hubster and I just got back from our first trip to wine country. I put together a few extensive posts, but if you decide to go and need some suggestions, let me know.

  32. Sara B. 05.25.2012

    I am off to Dahls tonight to stock up on some Flipflop! I love the info on the back of the bottles – I never know what kind of wine to pair with certain meats. Love it!

  33. [...] 1. Strawberry Lemonade Spritzers? You had me as Moscato, Kirsten! I pretend we’re on a first name basis since she’s also an Iowa blogger and lives in my hometown. [...]

  34. nicole 05.25.2012

    Um, YUM! I love strawberry lemonade. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this!
    And I think I might have to attempt it in cupcake form as well. :)

  35. I love this post! I’m useless when it comes to knowing anything about wine or spirits (I’m with you on the “it either tastes good, or it doesn’t” thing :)), so this is really good info to know. Glad to see there’s an affordable brand out there that actually cares about their wine, too!

  36. Michelle H. 05.25.2012

    I love a glass of pinot grigo or pinot noir. I have the same thinking of Chardonnay…but I figured out after visiting many wineries that I don’t like the oaked Chardonnays.

  37. Joanne M 05.25.2012

    Recently started following your blog and love it!! Love how you went to wineries in Livermore! I live in Pleasanton, next city over. We just moved here from the east coast a year ago. So beautiful here, feels like vacation every day!

  38. Diane 05.25.2012

    I’ll look for Flip Flop at the market! I’m currently into Sauvignon Blanc.

  39. Allison 05.25.2012

    Wow, it looks like you drank quite a bit of wine! Let’s hope you didn’t drive yourself to the airport. ;)

    Sounds like fun. I almost never drink alcohol b/c I’d rather eat a brownie or cookie then drink extra calories, but I will keep this brand in mind next time I’m looking for wine for a party or for a gift. I love that they have all that info about the wine right on the label – very helpful to people like me that don’t drink very often!

  40. Jill P. 05.25.2012

    First off, your writing is straight-up hilarious! I also adore sweet wines, Reislings and Moscatos, right now I’m really into Sauv Blancs, but they HAVE to be from New Zealand or they won’t have that incredible fruitiness! You should give them a shot!:)

    • Trisha 05.25.2012

      Ooops, forgot the end of that link. Blame it on the wine… ;)

  41. [...] I was catching up on my blog reading & turned my glass of wine into a version of Chicago Fizz, inspired by IGE. [...]

  42. [...] drinking a cocktail, lemonade, or iced tea. [like iowa girl eats: strawberry lemonade spritzer] [...]

  43. Callie 05.29.2012

    I made these this weekend and they were Seriously Good!
    I hadn’t made a spritzer before but after being either pregnany or nursing over the last 4 years they were the perfect drink for a light weight like me. Planning on stocking up on wine and making a big batch of strawberry simple syrup to get me through this Texas summer!
    Thanks for sharing!

  44. LeeAnne 05.31.2012

    My good friend’s bridal shower was under that same arbor. :) Concannon is a beautiful winery – glad you enjoyed your visit! (You’ll have to check out Wine Country—with a capital W and C, aka Napa/Sonoma, hehehe—on your next trip!)

  45. [...] ストロベリー・レモネード・スプリッツァー (レシピ:IowaGirlEats.comより) ストロベリー・シロップ・・・大さじ2 レモン汁・・・大さじ3 モスカト・ワイン・・・カップ1/2 ソーダ・・・カップ1/2 [...]

  46. Kayla Preto 07.10.2012

    I was sad to read this blog late as I live only 30 min. from Livermore! Livermore is great because it has the beauty and quality of the Napa/Sonoma wineries but in a quieter, less expensive setting!
    I’m a sweet wine girl, so if you liked Moscato/Riesling, I recommend you try Lambrusco Riunite. It is a sweet red wine served cold, and it is slightly bubbly so you get a little fizz. I love this with a good grilled steak! :)

  47. [...] Strawberry Lemonade Spritzers: Quite possible THE most refreshing patio drink I can think of. Perfectly fizzy and sweet. [...]

  48. [...] found this particular recipe on the website Iowa Girl Eats, which had me at the title because I myself am an Iowa girl that loves [...]

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