Summer Wine Cocktails
Looking for some wine cocktails to enjoy in your newly created back yard ‘Parisian Café’ this Summer?
If so, you may want to liven it up by making some of these historic, refreshing, and sophisticated wine-based cocktails.
They each have a fascinating history:
Aperol Spritzer Wine Cocktails
In the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, Austria-Hungary took ownership of the Veneto region of northern Italy, where Venice is located. For the next 50 years, Austrians took the local Italian wine and added a splash, or in German, a “spritz,” of water. Over time the water turned to sparkling water, and the still wine morphed into wine fortified with a liqueur. Aperol became the liqueur of choice.
In 1919, Aperol was born and gained in popularity through the 1920s, and in the 1930s. It became a drink “for women and sportive people.” Advertisements around Italy marketed the drink as something to help the fitness conscious stay “lean and fit.” It wasn’t until the 1950s, though, that Aperol capitalized on the spritz. The 3-2-1 recipe of Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water became an important part of the advertising campaign in America with posters and slogans.
- 3 parts Prosecco
- 2 parts Aperol
- 1 part Club Soda
- Orange slice
White Port Spritzer Wine Cocktails
In 1934, Taylor’s, a legendary port house, introduced the first dry white port to the market. White port uses the same method as red port. It differs in the selection of grapes (a field blend of indigenous white grapes versus red grapes) and the length and manner of aging. They also differ in how they’re meant to be consumed.
Popular in Cafe’s and Bars throughout Portugal, the White Port Spritzer is the most refreshing way to enjoy a good Port wine.
- 1 part White Port
- 1 part Tonic Water
- Mint leaf/orange slice
White Wine Mojito Wine Cocktails
The oldest-known recipe for the mojito appeared as the Mojo de Ron in a 1929 Cuban guide called Libro de Cocktail (The Cocktail Book)
- ½ lime, cut crosswise
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
- ½ cup chilled Sauvignon Blanc
- ¼ cup chilled club soda
- Take 1/2 lime (cut crosswise) and cut off 1 thin slice and reserve.
- Cut the rest into 2 wedges.
- Place in shaker and muddle with 6 fresh mint leaves and 1 teaspoon agave syrup.
- Add 1/2 cup chilled Sauvignon Blanc and some ice, and shake well.
- Serve in a stemmed goblet, topped with 1/4 cup chilled club soda and garnished with reserved lime slice.
Kir Royale Wine Cocktails
The Kir Royale is reportedly named for Felix Kir, a Catholic priest and decorated member of the French resistance. When Nazi soldiers marched into Dijon, Burgundy, in 1940, many local officials fled. Kir remained in the city, helping more than 4,000 prisoners of war escape from a nearby camp.
As legend has it, when Nazis confiscated Burgundy’s iconic red wines, Kir defiantly devised his namesake cocktail. He combined the available dry white wine, Aligoté, with blackcurrant liqueur in an attempt to mimic the color of Burgundy’s classic reds. Later the white wine was switched to Champagne to elevate the cocktail for special occasion.
- 4 parts Champagne
- 1 part Crème de Cassis Liquor
To make a perfect Kir Royale, add the liqueur (Crème de Cassis) first then fill the glass with the Champagne or sparkling wine. This way, the drink mixes while you pour.