Wednesday, June 4, 2014

10 Tasty Summer Wine Cocktails

Wine cocktails have become fashionable again, especially since The Great Gatsby remake came out last year and we realized how totally cool they really are.

A wine cocktail is crafted predominantly with wine instead of spirits although various amounts of liquors may be added along with fruit juices and/or sodas to create the cocktail. Any wine can be used; it just depends on what you like.

Besides offering a new twist to a favorite wine or mixed drink, a wine cocktail is perfect for summer’s sultry weather when drinks with lower alcohol are more refreshing.

Here are ten made with a variety of wines.

Bubbly Wine Cocktails Using:
1) Champagne
Champagne goes with every occasion, even if it’s settling in on the porch with a good book, and bubbles are extremely popular when mixing a wine cocktail. Champagne is usually mixed with fruits, sodas, and liqueurs for lively and thirst-quenching cocktails.

Champagne Cocktail

The mother of all wine cocktails is the Champagne cocktail, an IBA (International Bartenders Association) Official Cocktail.  It is made with sugar, bitters, champagne, brandy, and garnished with a maraschino cherry or orange slice.


2) Prosecco
If Champagne is too costly, consider Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine that is usually dry or extra dry. Prosecco is the main ingredient in the Bellini cocktail, another wine cocktail favorite, especially in Italy. The Bellini is made with chilled Prosecco and peach puree: Simple and tasty.

American Sparkles

3) Sparkling Wine
You can also opt for an American-made sparkling wine. Many of these may be sweeter and some will also be crafted from a fruit (strawberry, cranberry, watermelon), adding another layer of flavor to your drink.

Pinot Gris Wine Cocktail
White Wine Cocktails Using:
4) Pinot Gris
A perfect wine cocktail made with Pinot Gris involves stone fruits: peaches, apricots, cherries, and fruit juices like apple, pineapple and cranberry. You can even add watermelon cubes or cucumber slices. For some interesting and varied ideas visit Ecco Domani’s wine cocktail recipes @

Kir Wine Cocktail
5) Chablis
This wine is perfect for concocting the popular French drink known as Kir. Usually crafted with crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur), it can also be made with blackberries (de mûre) or peaches (de pêche). The IBA suggests mixing 9 parts wine to 1 part liqueur, but the French have been known to mix Kir a bit stronger …

6) Moscato
This fruit-friendly wine can be mixed with an assortment of fruit juices to make numerous wine cocktails. Mocato wines have a new following among the younger wine drinkers who like its lighter style and spritzy character. When mixing a drink, play into those peach, nectarine and orange flavors with juices and fruit to complement them. Or cube up watermelon, add some lime juice and garnish with mint. Sutter Home has an amazing list of Moscto wine cocktail recipes to try @

The Bishop Wine Cocktail
Red Wine Cocktails Using:
7) Merlot
Merlot can be mixed with a variety of fruit juices to create some intriguing cocktails.  Go with the grape’s natural flavor profile and mix with cherry, berries, black current and plum fruits and juices. Or try this popular Merlot wine cocktail called The Bishop: Made with powdered sugar, orange and lemon juice strained into a glass over two ice cubes. Fill the remainder of the glass with Merlot and experience a divine drink.

Queen Charlotte
8) Pinot Noir
Usually considered to be one of the red wine darlings, Pinot Noir can make a drink seem royal when mixed with the right ingredients. Try a Queen Charlotte with 2oz of Pinot Noir wine, 1oz Grenadine and fill with lemon-lime soda over ice: A majestic summer reviver.

Chianti Margarita
9) Chianti
This light-bodied Italian wine is made from 80% Sangiovese grapes: With its floral and spicy aroma, it is the perfect wine to use for some exotic cocktails. Danzante Wines has a Chianti Margarita cocktail that includes all the margarita basics: tequila, triple sec and lime juice served over crushed ice @ Definitely a summer dazzler.

10) Any Wine

Wine Spritzer
The one-size fits all wine cocktail is the wine spritzer. This drink can be made with any wine you have on hand. Simply add sparkling water, club soda or lemon-line soda at a ratio of half mixer to half wine, add ice, top with fruit and enjoy.

If you happen to like Cabernet instead of Merlot, or Vidal is your go-to wine instead of Chablis, feel free to substitute. One of the coolest things about a wine cocktail is that it is hard to mix a “bad” one. And if all else fails, mix up some Sangria, refrigerate for a few hours and pour a cool salute to summer.

~ Joy