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By
Kali Mireva

Wine Cocktails: How to Use Wine in Unique Cocktail Drinks

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Great cocktails and different varieties of wine are ordered all the time by customers at bars and restaurants. Both beverage varieties are great during brunch with friends, when fine dining, or just to unwind after a long day of work. There are even plenty of health benefits of wine, which makes the beverage even more desirable.

As a bar or restaurant owner, you probably want to add new and enticing offers every once in a while. So after considering canned wine, low-alcohol wines, exotic wine, CBD wine, vegan wine, and custom drinks, you should think about wine cocktails. That's a great way to offer a nice drink but lower the wine alcohol content.

That’s right! You can add unique and delicious wine cocktails to your beverage menu that will surprise regular customers and leave a lasting impression on new guests. But before you move on to executing this great plan, let’s look into some details you need to know. 

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What Varieties of Wine Can Be Used to Make Cocktails?

Cocktails can be made with many different ingredients, including wine as a base! Wine cocktails can be made with a huge variety of wines. From red and white wine to rosé and sparkling wines, like champagne - the sky is the limit! 

You can combine cocktail mixers with different wines and create a range of tasty and refreshing drinks. It’s easy to follow some of the most popular wine cocktails recipes, but you can also turn to a mixologist to create something truly special. 

Key Takeaway: There is a wide variety of great wine cocktails that are worth adding to your beverage menu. They can be enjoyed all year round by a large group of customers and can be paired with a variety of different foods.

Popular Wine Cocktails to Serve at Your Restaurant

Wine cocktails offer a creative twist to having a regular bottle of wine or wine by the glass. These cocktails combine the flavors of wine with spirits, different mixers, and other ingredients to get fun and refreshing to enjoy. 

Below you will find a comprehensive list of the most popular wine cocktails you should consider when building your restaurant’s drinks menu.

Sangria

A true classic in the world of wine cocktails, Sangria usually consists of red wine, spirits, fruit, and sweeteners. The fruits can include apples, oranges, and berries, while the added alcohol is typically orange liquor or brandy. For sweeteners, cocktail experts most commonly use cane sugar. Any of these can be used for specialty Sangria call drinks.

Sangria can also be made with white wine and you can find it sweetened with honey. You can have your bartenders mix up unique Sangria recipes that will be signature for your bar or restaurant. Read this blog article on how to make sangria to get lots of useful tips.

Kir Royale

This is an elegant cocktail, a perfect mixture of sparkling wine like champagne or prosecco wine and crème de cassis. It can be topped off with fresh raspberries or blackberries. The glassware is also important from this one - serve it in a glute glass for an added sense of elegance. 

Mimosa

Every good brunch menu has Mimosa on it! It’s also a staple for bridal parties and other special events where a nice, light drink will match perfectly with the occasion and the atmosphere. Mimosas are made by mixing champagne or sparkling wine with fresh orange juice. 

However, if you want to try something different, change up the orange juice. You can use cranberry juice, lemonade, pineapple juice, apple cider, pomegranate juice, watermelon juice, or grenadine syrup. Top it all off with a fruit of your choice.

Bellini

The Bellini cocktail originated from Italy and it's one of the greatest prosecco cocktails. It consists of prosecco and peach purée. It’s a nice, fruity cocktail, great for anyone who wants a sweet drink and it’s commonly enjoyed as an apéritif.

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Aperol Spritz

Although it’s not entirely wine-based, the Aperol Spritz can inlcude prosecco. Mixed with Aperol, an Italian bitter orange liquor, and soda, this is a great summer cocktail. It’s very popular in bars and restaurants located closer to the beach. 

Wine Spritzer

A simple way to make wine into a refreshing cocktail is to mix it with sparkling or soda water. The mixer will lighten up the alcohol and make the drink great for enjoying near the pool or on the beach. 

Portonic

The Portonic cocktail originated in Portugal. It’s made of white port wine with tonic water and a slice of lime or lemon. This cocktail drink is a great choice for anyone who enjoys fortified wines. Read about the history of port wine to find out more.

Kalimotxo

This cocktail is made by mixing equal parts wine and coal. It may sound weird at first but the combination is surprisingly enjoyable. Especially on hot days. 

Rosé Lemonade

The flavor of rosé goes well with lemonade. This combination is not only delicious but also beautiful. Add a splash of vodka or gin for an extra kick. You could mix this up into a gin and tonic recipe. You can also experiment with freezing wine to make this extra crisp.

White Wine Sangria

This is a version of Sangria that’s made with white wine as the base. White wine goes well with lighter spirits like white rum and fruits that complement the flavors of the wine. 

Implementing New Offers 

Building a good wine list is important for restaurants of any kind. Wine is a beverage loved by many and there are numerous incredible food and wine pairings that can be created. Whether you prefer seafood dishes, different types of pasta, or anything else - there’s a wine cocktail that will complement the flavors of the meal. 

Together with the most well-known wine varieties, you can stock up your restaurant beverage inventory with non-alcoholic wine and vegan wine, and other unique options we mentioned previously. The more types of wine you keep in stock, the better wine cocktails and overall customer experience you can provide. 

Make sure to use all your new offers in your restaurant marketing campaigns, especially on social media. Pictures of your beautiful wine cocktails and other drinks, as well as sneak peeks in your food menu, will help you get more customers in your restaurant. You can even get some great user generated content when you are serving beautiful drinks and encourage people to tag your restaurant on social media!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Wine Cocktails

Still have questions about wine cocktails and whether they are a good addition to your restaurant menu? Below you can find some commonly asked questions and their answers, which will give you more insight. 

Can I Make Non-Alcoholic Wine Cocktails? 

Most of the wine cocktails can be made to be non-alcoholic, too. If you have non-alcoholic wine in stock, you will be able to make any of the wine cocktails alcohol-free, too. These cocktails are suitable for wine lovers avoiding alcohol for any reason. These cocktails will still have the taste people are looking for but without the effects of alcohol. 

Are Wine Cocktails Suitable for Food Pairings? 

Similar to traditional wines, wine cocktails can be paired with food. As a matter of fact, they pair quite nicely with different dishes, just like wines do. When enjoying a wine cocktail at a restaurant, the waiters should be able to help choose one that will pair well with your dish of choice.

Are Wine Cocktails Only for Summertime? 

Although the most popular wine cocktails are great for the hot summer days, these cocktails can be enjoyed all year round. Pairing them with different foods can make them suitable for colder weather, too. For some recipes, you can even change the type of wine you are using in order to make the cocktail appropriate for a different season. 

What Types of Wine Are Commonly Used in Cocktails?

Several types of wine are commonly used in cocktails, including white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio), red wine (such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir), sparkling wine (such as Champagne or Prosecco), and fortified wines (such as Vermouth or Sherry). Each type of wine brings its own unique flavors and characteristics to cocktails.

Can I Use Any Type of Wine in a Cocktail?

While many types of wine can be used in cocktails, it's essential to consider the flavor profile of the wine and how it will complement the other ingredients in the cocktail. For example, lighter-bodied wines like white wines are often used in lighter, fruitier cocktails, while fuller-bodied red wines are better suited to richer, more complex cocktails. Experimenting with different types of wine can lead to exciting and delicious cocktail creations.

Are There Any Guidelines for Creating Wine Cocktails?

While there are no strict rules for creating wine cocktails, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind. Balance is key when creating cocktails, so aim to achieve a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Consider the acidity, sweetness, and alcohol content of the wine and other ingredients, and adjust proportions accordingly. Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavor combinations and techniques to create unique and delicious wine cocktails.

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