The brilliant idea of mixing wine with other ingredients and creating a cocktail has probably been around as long as this historic and beloved beverage has. The truth is, though, that ordering a wine cocktail at the bar used to be something that was ridiculed. Wine cocktails unfortunately maintained a ridiculous reputation for years. Most people didn’t associate mixed wine drinks with class, style, and sophistication. This stereotype carried on for years.
The good news is that the wine climate of today is much different. In a landscape that is constantly seeking new ways to serve different types of food and beverages, the classic mixed wine cocktail is making a comeback. For wine enthusiasts, mixing wine with other ingredients gives everyone a new way to experience the flavor and aroma of his or her favorite wine.
More potent than it appears, sangria is a classic drink best enjoyed while relaxing with friends or family on a hot summer day. For best results, a dry Spanish red wine like Grenache or Tempranillo is suggested. Depending on what fruit is in season or what fruit you have on hand, you can modify the flavors to fit your meal or setting.
- 2 bottles of chilled red wine
- 1 cup of brandy
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 oranges cut into slices
- 3 lemons cut into slices
- 3 limes cut into slices
- 2 peaches cut into slices
- 1 pint of strawberries cut into slices
- 1 cup of club soda
Mix wine, brandy, sugar, and fruit together in a large pitcher. Pour into glasses over ice and top with club soda.
When pairing food with your sangria, you’ll want to continue the Spanish food and beverage theme and serve your fruit-flavored sangria with tapas like albondigas, Spanish meatballs, or empanadillas, Spanish meat turnovers.
The mimosa is a staple beverage found in restaurants all over the world during brunchtime. The best type of wine to use for mimosa is a dry, sparkling white Cava wine that originates from Spain. Quick and easy to prepare, mimosas make a breakfast party even more elegant and enjoyable.
- 3 oz. of chilled sparkling white wine
- 3 oz. of pulp-free orange juice
- Orange slice for garnish
Fill a Champagne flute with wine and top with orange juice. Garnish with an orange slice.
Pair this tasty orange treats with your breakfast favorites, such as fluffy omelets or rich, buttery slices of French toast.
3. Mulled Wine
Mulled wine is best enjoyed in the colder weather months or during autumn or winter holiday celebrations. Warm-up by the fireplace with this hearty drink and enjoy the spicy, rich taste. The perfect type of wine for this recipe is going to be a rich red like Merlot or California Zinfandel. For an even more convenient cooking method, consider letting the wine heat up in your slow cooker.
- 2 bottles of red wine
- ½ cup of brandy
- ½ cup of orange juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 nutmegs split into pieces
- 12 cloves
- ½ cup of sugar
- Orange zest peel
Use a cheesecloth to combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into a pouch. Pour the wine, brandy, orange juice, and sugar into a metal pot and heat until warm. Add the cheesecloth spices and continue to warm slowly, but do not let the wine boil. When ready to serve, garnish with orange zest peels.
Mulled wine is best served in mugs since it is a hot drink. The spicy, cinnamon flavor of mulled wine pairs best with hearty cheeses and bread or mincemeat pies.
4. Kir Royale
Similar in makeup to the mimosa, a Kir Royale is a French cocktail made popular by Felix Kir, a French priest who was part of the resistance during World War II. Some variations use Chambord instead of crème de cassis, giving it an even brighter berry flavor. A dry sparkling wine like Champagne is best these wine cocktails.
- 5 oz. of Champagne
- 1 oz. of crème de cassis
Pour the crème de cassis in a Champagne flute and top with Champagne.
A food pairing suggestion would be to serve your favorite strawberry dessert, such as a mousse or shortcake, with this sweet drink.
5. Wine Spritzer
Simple and classic, the wine spritzer is a refreshing, bubbly drink that can be enjoyed in a variety of settings. Perfect for outdoor summer cookouts, a wine spritzer is a light drink that is sure to please even the most finicky guests.
With a spritzer, you can customize the flavors you want by selecting a specific type of wine. For a sweeter drink, choose a fruity rosé wine. Then, garnish with sweet fruits like strawberries or orange slices. If you’re craving something a little dryer, consider a white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. Choose a tangy garnish, such as a lemon slice, to top it off.
- 4 oz. of chilled white or rosé wine
- 2 oz. of club soda
- Chilled glass filled with ice
- Fruit for garnish
Pour wine and club soda over ice, garnish with fruit and serve immediately.
Wine spritzers are best paired with light foods, such as appetizers or salads. If you’re going with a sweeter, fruitier wine base, a great starter dish could be a crisp melon wrapped with tangy Italian prosciutto. For a spritzer made with a dryer, more citrus tasting wine like Sauvignon Blanc, try serving a salad filled with fresh chilled vegetables like asparagus and herbs like dill or cilantro.
You may have never even thought to mix wine with cola, but the Kalimotxo creates a unique flavor that brings life to your taste buds. Also known as a Rioja Libre or a Jote, these wine cocktails come from the Basque Country in northern Spain. Legend says that a group of Spanish teenagers wanted to make their dismal, cheap red wine taste better, so they decided to add their cola drink. The best type of wine to use is an inexpensive red like Rioja, Cabernet, or Pinot Noir.
- 4 oz. of red wine
- 4 oz. of cola
- Lemon slice for garnish
Fill a tall tumbler glass with ice and pour in the wine and cola, gently mix, and then pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.
Because of the zingy energy that the cola gives to the Kalimotxo, you want to choose bold food pairings. A spicy curry will bring out the tannins of the red wine in the cocktail, elevating the wine.
Whatever your mood or outing, a wine cocktail can be sure to make it better and more fun. Easy to make and tasty to drink, wine cocktails are elevating traditional wines for drinkers all over the world.
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