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10 Tasty Wine Cocktails That Go Beyond Classic Sangria

10 Tasty Wine Cocktails That Go Beyond Classic Sangria

Why limit yourself to pouring wine straight from the bottle when you can shake things up by using it as a base for a new favorite cocktail instead?

READ: 6 Ways To Enjoy Cocktails Guilt-Free

Forget wine purists. Mixologists and experts agree that a touch of port, Malbec, or rose can enhance the flavors of a well-prepared libation, resulting in a luscious, velvety smooth concoction that can kick off a relaxing happy hour or cozy holiday gathering. 

Sure, there’s the classic chilled sangria or piping hot punch, but bartenders are discovering new ways to reinvent the wine cocktail. There also are no set rules on which wines you can use, making it easier to get creative.

“Although you wouldn’t want to mix a particularly special bottle of wine, there’s otherwise nothing wrong in using wine to make cocktails,” says Kara Newman, spirits editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine. “In fact, there are many classic cocktails that call for wine, particularly sparkling wines (cava and prosecco), fortified wines (sherry and port), aperitif wines (Lillet), and vermouth, which is a fortified and aromatized wine. An aperol spritz, sangria, or even a martini wouldn’t be the same without wine!”

RECIPES: Punch Up Your Party With 10 Festive Libations

Newman, whose favorite wine cocktail is the cabernet sauvignon and pisco-fueled Santiago  Sour, also says more mixologists across the country are incorporating wines into their creations and the trend is only starting to heat up.

“Using wine as a cocktail ingredient also fits into the trend toward lower-alcohol cocktails,” she adds. “I’m seeking more cocktail menus calling out wine varieties as part of drink ingredients.”

Quench your thirst tonight with these 10 tantalizing wine cocktails:

(Bartender Marco Borraz of Oak in Dallas, Texas.)
Apple Barrel Revolver

Ingredients

  • ¼ granny smith apple
  • 1 oz. Laird’s Applejack Brandy
  • 1 oz. Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz. honey
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 egg white
  • apple slices
  • ground cinnamon

Preparation

In a shaker tin, muddle apple and anise pod. Add brandy, wine, lemon juice, honey, bitters, and egg white. Shake well. Add ice to shaker tin, shake well again, and double strain into glass. Garnish with apple slices, star anise, and fresh ground cinnamon.

(Obao in New York.)
Cucumber Batida

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. rum
  • 2 slices fresh cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • splash of red wine

Preparation

Muddle cucumber with brown sugar. Add rum and lime juice and shake over ice. Strain over fresh ice and add a splash of red wine.

(John Henderson of Tavern Road in Boston, Massachusetts.)
Mendoza Julep

Ingredients

  • 5-7 mint leaves in the bottom of a julep cup
  • 0.75 oz. cinnamon syrup
  • 2 dashes of angostura bitters
  • 1.5 oz. Malbec
  • 0.5 oz. ruby port
  • 1 mint sprig
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Preparation

Fill 2/3 of cup with crushed ice. Add ingredients and stir until frosty. Pack the rest of cup with more crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and nutmeg.

(Paul Calvert, mixologist of Pura Vida Tapas & Bar in Atlanta, Georgia. Courtesy of Wine Enthusiast Magazine.)
Suppressor #21

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Cynar
  • 1 oz. Barolo Chinato
  • 1 oz. Amontillado Sherry
  • 2 dashes of Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6
  • 1 grapefruit peel, for oils

Preparation

Stir together the Cynar, Barolo Chinato, sherry, and bitters. Strain into a rocks glass over a large cube of ice. Express oils from the grapefruit peel by squeezing it over the surface of the drink. Discard the peel.

(Salvatore Tafuri, mixologist for Bar Felice in New York.)
Padova

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. white wine
  • 1.5 oz. grapefruit juice
  • ¾ oz. Aperol
  • ¾ oz. Campari
  • 1 grapefruit peel
  • 1 bamboo stick
  • 1 grape

Preparation

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake for 20-30 seconds. Pour into a coupe glass. Garnish with a grapefruit peel with a bamboo stick and a grape.

(John Henderson of Tavern Road in Boston, Massachusetts.)
Gris the Wheels

Ingredients

  • 1 strawberry
  • half of an orange wheel
  • 4.5 oz. Pino Gris
  • 0.5 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. habanero-infused blanco tequila
  • 1 lime twist

Preparation

Muddle strawberry and half of an orange wheel. Add ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake. Strain over crushed ice. Garnish with orange slice and lime twist.

(Natalie Bovis, The Liquid Muse Mixology.)
Port of Manhattan

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. Terra d’Oro port
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1 drunken cherry (a sour baking cherry covered in port and refrigerated)

Preparation

Stir whiskey, port, and bitters in a mixing glass filled with ice. Strain into a martini glass or serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a drunken cherry.

(Julie Reiner of Flatiron Lounge in New York.)
Gaspare’s Winter Punch

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Campari
  • ¾ cup orange liqueur
  • 2 bottles medium bodied red wine
  • 6 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 orange zest
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 whole allspice
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Preparation

Place cranberries with raisins, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cranberry juice in a six-quart pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes to blend flavors. Add wine and sugar and heat until steaming (6-8 minutes). Do NOT bring to a boil. Add Campari, orange liqueur, and almond extract. Strain out cranberries and ladle into punch cups. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and star anise.

(Darryl “Dr. Mixologist” Robinson)
Rudolph’s Spritzer

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. Rose
  • 1.5 oz. elderflower liqueur
  • Lemon lime or club soda
  • 1 lemon twist

Preparation

Add all ingredients in an iced wine glass and stir gently. 

(Bartender Phil Pepperdine of The Randolph in New York.)
Pear Mulled Wine Sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Pavan liqueur
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 fresh ginger slice
  • 1 whole cardamom
  • cloves
  • cinnamon stick
  • orange peel
  • sliced gala apples
  • sliced barlett pears

Preparation

Stir together liqueur, wine, and spices. Simmer mixture on low in crockpot or stovetop until flavors settle. Add fruit. Serve warm or over ice with a splash of sparkling water.

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