The 21 Best Wine Cocktails
You would never think of wasting the rich Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc in a cocktail. But lesser vintages can be given an entirely different appeal when blended with soda, citruses, or spirits.
There are wine cocktails and then there are the best wine cocktails, and in this article, we’ll explore the latter. Whether you want a cocktail to freshen up in summer afternoons, or need something to complement a roast of lamb dressed in seasonal vegetables and fresh herbs, we’ve got you covered.
For the base, pick up the driest Prosecco that you can find (Brut style). Get 16oz of Prosecco, 2oz of regular syrup, 2oz of lime juice (fresh), a small piece of ginger (peeled and chopped), some club soda, and mint leaves for garnish.
There is no science to this sparkling wine cocktail recipe. Grab a shaker and put the chopped ginger in first and muddle it. Add the syrup and lime juice and fill the shaker with ice and shake for half a minute.
Next, strain the mix into large wine glasses. Add the Prosecco and club soda and gently stir it. Add the mint leaves for garnish and ice to taste (optional).
If you like something citrusy with a touch of bitterness, this cocktail might be right up your alley. The ingredients include 2 sliced lemons, 1 sliced pink grapefruit, 2 cups of pink grapefruit juice, and some mint leaves (fresh).
Also prepare a 375ml bottle of dry vermouth, 2 bottles of Vinho Verde, and about a cup each of Suze Saveur d’Autrefois and pisco.
Mix everything except the Vinho Verde in a large bowl and leave it to chill for a few hours. Before serving, add the Vinho Verde and give the blend a light stir. Serve in ice-filled cups.
Merlot or Pinot Noir rosé works best for this cocktail. You’ll also need a ½ cup of sugar, 2½oz of lemon juice (fresh), and 8oz of quartered strawberries.
Freeze the rosé in a pan in the freezer for six or more hours. Boil the sugar till it dissolves and add the strawberries before removing from the stove. After about half an hour, strain without pressing the solids and let it chill completely at room temperature.
Scrape the frozen rosé into a blender. Add the strawberry syrup and lemon juice with some crushed ice and blend until smooth. Put it back into the freezer until you get a milkshake consistency, then blend some more and it’ll be ready to serve.
Adding gin to this champagne cocktail makes it more potent without affecting the taste. Aside from 1½ cups of gin, the ingredients include a few lime slices, a cup of lime juice (fresh), a ¼ cup of honey syrup, and a ½ cup each of Cappelletti, Angostura bitters, and champagne.
Dissolve the honey in 2 tbsp of hot water and add to an ice-filled shaker. Add 3 tbsp of lime juice, 6 tbsp of gin, 2 tbsp of Cappelletti, and a dash or two of bitters. Shake for half a minute before straining into glasses. Add the champagne and garnish with lime slices.
The Bellini cocktail is all about simplicity and a refreshing taste. Only four ingredients are needed: 6 ripe peaches, 1 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of lemon juice (fresh), and a bottle of Prosecco.
Cook the peaches until they soften. Cool them and then peel and chop. Place the chopped peaches in a bowl, add the sugar and lemon juice, and chill the whole thing. After that, blend the mixture for a minute or so and strain it into a jug. Add the Prosecco and stir. Serve in champagne glasses.
This cocktail goes well with shortcakes and strawberry desserts. What’s more, there are only two ingredients so it’s quick and easy to whip up.
For each serving, pour 1oz of Cassis liqueur into a champagne glass and add 5oz of champagne or sparkling wine. Gently stir it to get it ready for sipping.
Also known as Jote or Rioja Libre, this red wine cocktail originates from the Basque region of Spain. Call it what you will, but you’ll soon be mixing wine and coke.
You need 4oz each of cola and red wine (Pinot Noir, Rioja, or Cabernet). Grab an ice-filled tumbler and slowly add in the cola and wine while stirring lightly. Serve in chilled glasses with one or two lemon slices for garnish. This simple cocktail is an excellent match for spicy dishes like curry.
By design, mulled wine gives you a warm and cozy feeling that calms your senses during the cold months. The recipe is not set in stone, but this one should provide an explosion of flavors.
You need 2 bottles of California Zinfandel, a cup of brandy, some orange juice and zest, and sugar to taste. For the right wintery note, also prepare a couple of cinnamon sticks, 2 crushed nutmegs, and 12 cloves. Combine the liquids in a pot and bring it to warm. Then add the spices and cook slowly for a few minutes without boiling. Run it through a fine-mesh strainer and serve hot.
White Wine Spritzer
The popularity of white wine spritzers dates back to the mid-19th century. Whether for the winter or the summer, this basic wine cocktail works well with different foods, whereas some cultures consider it a must regardless of the occasion.
Start by pouring some wine into a glass and adding sparkling water (soda water may work even better). To spice things up, feel free to add lemon or lime slices and a few ice cubes. But if you’d rather not dilute it, the cocktail is excellent neat as well.
Glamour Girl Martini
Those who crave a fruity wine drink should delight in this cocktail. The ingredients are peach schnapps, pink Pinot Grigio, and cranberry juice. There is no right or wrong way to mix it all up, and you can add more or less schnapps and juice according to taste.
For a single serving, add the Pino Grigio, schnapps, and juice into an ice-filled shaker and shake heartily. Strain the mix into martini glasses and garnish each with a berry. A great thing about this one is that you can quickly make large batches for parties.
White Peach Sangria
The White Peach Sangria cocktail has a refreshing flavor profile with a distinct zest from all the citruses: sliced limes, oranges, lemons, and lemon-lime soda. You’ll also need mango rum, peach schnapps, and Pinot Grigio.
Put the sliced citruses in a glass first. Add the schnapps, mango rum, and Pinot Grigio into an ice-filled shaker and shake vigorously for a few seconds. Add one shot glass each of rum and schnapps and about 4oz of wine per serving.
Of course, you can adjust the quantities to your taste. Soon as the shaker starts sweating, you can strain the mix over the sliced citruses.
The ingredients of UK Sour bring a new dimension to wine cocktails. Cinnamon syrup is there for a touch of spices, Scotch whiskey for warmth, and apricot liqueur a fruity note. Red wine and lemon juice (fresh) bring all the flavors together for a memorable blend.
Start by adding a shot of single malt and top it with cinnamon syrup and lemon. Add a dash of the liqueur and gently float the red wine to preserve the colors. Make sure to pre-fill the serving glasses with ice to retain the two-tone appearance.
Instead of trashing a bottle of red wine that’s not up to your standards, use it to make this tasty and refreshing cocktail. Other than the red wine, you’ll need some lime juice, simple syrup, and rum.
Pour all the ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into your favorite stemware. The original recipe from the 30s calls for a tsp of syrup, ½ part lime juice, 3 parts rum, and 1 part wine.
The Something Blue
The Something Blue tastes as exotic as it looks. The ingredients are ginger ale, Hpnotiq liqueur, and white wine. There is no shaking or stirring with this one.
Build the cocktail with 2oz of Hpnotiq, 2oz of white wine, and 1oz of ginger ale in that order. The Something Blue works best in champagne flutes with a cherry on top.
Rosé Berry Bliss
Blueberries and rosé wine meet lemon-lime soda and pink lemonade in this cocktail. If you want to make a large batch, prepare a bottle of Clos du Bois rosé, a cup of blueberries, a 12-oz pack of frozen pink lemonade, and 4 cups of lemon-lime soda.
Put all the ingredients except the soda in a pitcher and allow the flavors to come together in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Serve in your favorite stemware with some soda.
Looking for a refreshing wine cocktail for brunch? You should try this one.
Fetch an ice-filled shaker and add 3oz or Cava or another sparkling white (Prosecco works fine as well) and 3oz of orange juice (fresh and pulp-free). Shake vigorously for a few seconds and strain into champagne flutes. Garnish with orange slices and voila - your brunch special is ready.
Rosé, Bourbon, and Blue
This cocktail is a true party drink that combines the power of bourbon and the fruity notes of rosé. You’ll need 1½ cups of rosé (fruity) and a cup of bourbon in addition to 7 tbsp of raw sugar, 2 cups of black tea, 2 cups of blueberries (fresh), a few lemon slices, and a cup of lemon juice (fresh).
Boil the sugar in water until dissolved. Move it to a food processor and add the blueberries and whip to a purée. Strain the purée into a pitcher and press the solids to get all the juice. Add the remaining ingredients and stir lightly. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and it’ll be ready to serve.
One could call the Sbagliato cocktail one of the most exciting wine drink recipes. Supposedly designed by mistake, this cocktail requires 1oz of sweet vermouth, 4oz of Prosecco (Brut-style), ½oz of Campari, and some club soda.
Pour the Prosecco into an ice-filled stemware followed by the Campari and vermouth and a good amount of club soda. Stir the mix lightly and garnish with a lime wheel.
This cocktail is best with champagne, but you can get away with a nice Prosecco. Other than that, you’ll need one cucumber, 2oz of simple syrup, 4oz of gin, and some club soda.
Shave 12 thin ribbons from the cucumber and slice the remaining part, followed by muddling the slices in a shaker. Add the simple syrup and gin, fill with ice, and shake until frosty. Strain the mix into 4 ice-filled wine glasses. Add the Prosecco/champagne (about 4oz per glass) and club soda and gently stir. Top it all off with cucumber ribbons for garnish.
Lillet Blanc Cocktail
Out of all Lillet Blanc cocktails, this one is perhaps the classiest. It combines Figaro (fig liqueur), 12-year-old Macallan, champagne, Lillet, and 2 drops of Aztec Chocolate bitters.
Add into a shaker a few ice cubes, 3½ tbsp of Lillet, and 1 tbsp each of Figaro and Macallan and give it a good stir. Strain into a tall wine glass before topping with champagne and bitters. Get ready for an explosion of savory notes.
This recipe is courtesy: Pawel Rolka, bar manager, Zuma, London SW7
Sparkling Lemon Cocktail
This refreshing cocktail is perfect for parties and summer evening get-togethers. You need 2 sliced lemons (without seeds), 2 bottles of chilled Prosecco, 1½ tsp of Angostura bitters, and 8 cubes of sugar.
Put the sugar cubes, bitters, and sliced lemons into a measuring glass and muddle until compact. Pour the mixture into wine glasses (should be enough for 8 glasses) and slowly add to each the Prosecco. Don’t rush or risk the drink foaming up and losing some of the taste.
The Art of Wine Mixology
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and surprise friends and family with some daring red or white wine cocktails. Don’t be afraid to experiment – adjust the ingredients and quantities to your liking as you go. And remember, with wine cocktails, half the fun comes from being bold with your mixing.