I was in a bar last week when a young woman came up and asked the barman for a glass of Rosé with lemonade. Turning a glass of Rosé into a long drink can be very refreshing. So I thought wine cocktails can be fun at any time to share with friends. Here are some suggestions and tips to make wine cocktails for Christmas.
The key to making a good wine cocktail is to use wine that is pleasant to drink on its own. Don’t be tempted to use the cheapest plonk, at the same time don’t go overboard, for example on an oaky Reserva style wine.
Let’s start with Sparkling Wine. What better way to start the Christmas Day than with a Mimosa, which is 4 parts chilled sparkling wine with 2 parts freshly squeezed orange juice. Very refreshing and simple.
Then, imagine you have just finished your Christmas lunch, a glass of Cava Brut with a small scoop of lemon sorbet is wonderful palate cleanser.
A traditional Italian wine cocktail that is fashionable again is the Aperol Spritz. I spent a very enjoyable afternoon this summer drinking these in La Sella golf club in Denia. It is very easy to make, all you do is mix 1 part Aperol, 3 parts Prosecco and a splash of soda water garnished with a slice of orange. You can serve it in a wine glass or as a long drink over ice.
A good White Wine Spritzer should be well balanced with the crisp acidity, touch of sweetness and sparkling bubbles all in harmony. The lemonade or gaseosa, will dilute the flavour of the wine but by adding a splash of white vermouth you will give it a kick and liven it up.
Have you ever had a Moscatini? Perfect as an aperitif when friends come over. It’s very easy to make 1 part Moscatel, or another light aromatic wine, with 1 part vodka, served over ice with a twist of lemon.
What about a sophisticated Sangria? Take 8 parts Rosé wine, 1 part Aperol, if you bought a bottle to make a spritz now you can also use it for this drink, 2 parts lemon juice, 2 parts syrup, 4 parts soda water or dry gaseosa and garnished with slices of lemons and strawberries. Make it in a jug with ice and serve it to the whole table
A bottle of Rosé or a fruity dry white wine mixed with a cup of watermelon juice, a squeeze of lemon and a handful of mint leaves in a jug served with ice makes a great aperitif.
For a cold winter day a Mulled Wine will warm you up. All you need is red wine, pomegranate juice, vodka, lemons, oranges, nutmeat cloves and cinnamon. Heat the wine cocktail in a saucepan just until it is warm enough to let all the delicious spicy aromas start to evaporate. Ideal for sitting outside on a bright, chilly morning.