Wine is great on its own but even better in cocktail form.
There’s nothing better than a glass of wine at the end of a long day—except, perhaps, for a great cocktail. So why settle for one or the other when you could have both? Wine cocktails of some sort or another have fallen in and out of fashion for about as long as humans have known how to coax alcohol from grapes and other edible flora.
Today, wine cocktails endure and can be a great way to mix up your beverage game. If you’re typically more of a cocktail drinker, adding sparkling, still, dry, or sweet wine to your drink creations can add a whole new layer of complexity. For the calorie-conscious or those who prefer a lower-alcohol tipple, cocktails that use wine rather than stronger spirits can be a wise and delicious choice.
On the other hand, oenophiles can discover a whole new way to appreciate the best qualities of their favorite wines by combining them with spirits and other ingredients that complement their flavor profiles and other characteristics. Sparkling wine can be used to add a little spritz to a cocktail, and fortified wines can add depth of flavor and, sometimes, a touch of sweetness. Although we don’t recommend making cocktails with a wine you don’t enjoy enough to drink on its own, wine cocktails can also be a great way to make use of a simple yet inexpensive good-quality wine that may not be as interesting on its own.
From old standbys to more esoteric delights, there’s a wine cocktail out there for just about everyone who enjoys drinking. These are five of our favorites to get you started, along with the recommended wine styles to make each recipe really shine.
Watermelon White Wine Spritzer
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