Wine & spirits: Wine cocktails
It's summertime and the living is easy. Update your glass of wine to a refreshing cocktail, perfect for sipping poolside or serving at your next outdoor party.
Wine cocktails can be as simple or as complex as you wish. Add sparkling wine to any fruit juice, for example, and you’ve got yourself a cocktail. Explore by adding a spirit and trying some new combos. Whether you invent your own or stick with a tried-and-true recipe, garnish with fruit and try different types of glassware. When you’re mixing at home, think about the wines you’ve been saving that will keep for a while after you open them. These can include icewine (great with vodka), port of any colour (perfect for angria), Lillet (a tasty French aperitif that’s wonderful on its own or with a mix) or anything else that’s been fortified (even sherry).
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Know the classics
The Bellini, made with marinated fresh peaches and Prosecco, was invented in Venice, Italy, sometime between 1934 and 1948 by Guiseppe Cipriani, founder of the famous Harry’s Bar. In choosing a name for his fruity creation, Cipriani was reminded of a 15th-century painting by Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Bellini, which pictured a saint wearing a blush-coloured dress – the same shade as the drink!
Classic mimosas are made with sparkling wine and orange juice and are great for brunch and hair-of-the-dog mornings. Named after a flowering tree, this delightful bubbly is served in a flute glass, making it both dainty and beautiful.
Kir royal is a French cocktail made with crème de cassis (a blackcurrant liqueur) and white wine. The earliest version of the drink was prepared with Aligoté, a white wine from Burgundy, and was originally called blanc cassis. Felix Kir, who was the mayor of Dijon in Burgundy, France, would offer this drink when hosting international guests. It became his signature and, from then on, the cocktail was named after him.