A chilled glass of Pinot Grigio or elegant Merlot can be just perfect on its own, but why limit yourself to pouring straight from the bottle when you can shake things up by using it as a base for a fun cocktail? Go beyond the mimosa and try one of these festive wine cocktail recipes straight from the Tastemakers at Club W.
A wine cocktail list wouldn’t be complete without sangria. Not only is the Spanish sipper both delicious and potent, but all the bite-sized fruit bits make for a great snack as you drink. Ilan Baril, sommelier for the Capital Grille, opts for a classic version straight from the motherland. He says, “The recipe below is a home version of my personal favorite, poured at La Ovella Negra in Barcelona.”
– 1 liter of red wine (Spanish is great of course, but choose something delicious, without a lot of tannins and that’s not too spendy.)
– 2 oranges, cut into rounds
– 2 lemons, cut into rounds
– 2 apples, cored and cut into wedges (Granny Smiths works great)
– 1 lime, cut into rounds
– orange juice to taste
– 4 peaches (or another favorite fruit if you can’t find any fresh)
– few dashes of cinnamon to taste
– few spoonfuls of sugar to taste
– 1 cup of lemon-lime soda
– brandy or rum (optional)
Mix the wine, soda and sugar until it’s dissolved. Wash the peaches, peel them if you want to (or not, it’s a little more rustic that way) and cut into small pieces. Add to the mix. Remember you can sub other fruit here if you want to, pretty much anything you like. Add lemons, limes, apples and oranges, the cinnamon, and perhaps a few mint sprigs to the mix and refrigerate. You could also add a little brandy or rum (dark is my choice) for a little more punch. Serve over ice!
Adding Champagne to your gathering is the fastest way to elevate any occasion. One part Air Mail, another part Old Cuban with some pineapple thrown in (because why not?), this champagne punch from Kitchy Kitchen creator, Claire Thomas, is a play on the classics. It’s not too sweet or too boozy, so you’ll have every type of guest clamoring around the bunch bowl, clinking those adorable little cups.
– 36 mint leaves
– 1 cup honey syrup (equal parts honey and water, combined)
– 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lime juice
– 1 cup pineapple juice
– 2 ¼ cups aged rum
– 16 dashes grapefruit bitters
– 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
– lots of ice
– pineapple and lime slices for garnish
Muddle together the mint leaves and honey syrup. Toss the mint and honey syrup into a large punch bowl, and add the lime juice, pineapple juice, rum and bitters. Stir to combine. Just before serving, add plenty of ice and pour in a bottle of sparkling wine, stirring to combine. Toss in some pineapple or lime slices for garnish.
For those of you who haven’t yet come across this lovely, colorful concoction, the Aperol Spritz is a drink that is wildly popular in Italy where it’s usually served as an aperitivo. Whitney Adams, sommelier and owner of Bottle Stock Shop, is very enthusiastic about the drink she first tasted while traveling through Venice. She claims, “It’s the perfect way to get an evening started. But, really, you can drink it anytime, anywhere. So refreshing and so easy to make!”
– 3 parts Prosecco
– 2 parts Aperol
– 1 splash of club soda or seltzer
– 1 orange slice
Pour Prosecco into a glass of ice cubes. Add Aperol and a splash of sparkling water. Float a nice thick slice of orange on top and serve!
Which wine cocktail will you be making this afternoon? Let us know in the comments below!