Seasoned sippers are likely all too familiar with the low alcohol cocktails that absolutely dominated the summer. They may have been low on alcohol content, but they were packed with flavor, with many of them boasting unique and local ingredients normally found in craft cocktails. For those who may have feared that the low alcohol cocktail trend was only for summer sipping, the cooler months have proven that these low ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktails are still very much popular.
Apple Blackberry Hard Cider Sangria
The Recipe: Apple Blackberry Hard Cider Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: While most sangrias typically use a white or red wine as its base, this low alcohol cocktail switches things up by using hard cider instead. Since hard cider usually has a lower ABV than wine, it makes this cocktail fairly low on booze.
Pro Tip: If you can manage to get your hands on a bottle, Hola Jalapeno's Kate Ramos reveals that Mexican apple soda works wonders in this sangria. "I used my favorite Mexican soda Sidral Mundet which I was delighted to find also comes in a green apple flavor that is tart and fizzy and perfect for this drink," she says.
Why We Love It: You can always count on a glass of sangria for easy sipping. And the addition of hard apple cider and blackberries in this cocktail creates a fun alternative to your typical sangria.
St. Germain Negroni
The Recipe: St. Germain Negroni
The Hero Ingredient: The classic Negroni cocktail is typically made using gin, but this cocktail substitutes gin for the elderflower liqueur known as St-Germain. The replacement creates a sweeter cocktail and one that's low on alcohol.
Pro Tip: Stephanie of I Am A Food Blog dotes on the easy drinking nature of this low alcohol drink. "It’s quite a bit lighter than a classic negroni, quite a bit sweeter, and in my books, definitely more drinkable," she reveals.
Why We Love It: Although the St. Germain Negroni is a flip on a classic cocktail, it's one that works well, touching on the right elements for a great drink.
Campari Wine Spritzer
The Recipe: Campari Wine Spritzer
The Hero Ingredient: Spritzers are definitely a great option for low alcohol cocktails, and this spritzer ups the flavor ante with the addition of Campari. A solid cocktail companion, Campari is an herb and fruit infused liqueur.
Pro Tip: For those unsure of what type of wine to use in this spritzer, Hola Jalapeno's Kate Ramos offers up some pointers. "I used Pinot Grigio to keep with the Italian theme but it depends on how sweet you’d like it to be. I would only recommend to stay away from Chardonnay; it has too much of a woodsy thing going on to be good here," she explains.
Why We Love It: With only three ingredients and zero prep work, this cocktail can be made in a super short amount of time.
If you don't have a lemon, orange slices would work just as well as a garnish.
The Recipe: Thanksgiving Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: This Thanksgiving sangria gets its pumpkin flavor in quite the unique way, and that's with a hearty helping of pumpkin butter.
Pro Tip: Unable to find pumpkin butter? No worries. Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest reveals that you can use the more common apple butter. "Either pumpkin butter or apple butter works great, and both add just the right amount of spice and sweetness to your sangria," she says.
Why We Love It: With ingredients like pumpkin butter and pure maple syrup, this is one cocktail that's low on alcohol, but high on flavor.
The Recipe: Lambrusco Smash
The Hero Ingredient: Lambrusco, a bubbly red wine that hails from Italy, adds a welcome touch of effervescent bubbles to this low alcohol cocktail.
Pro Tip: If you're looking for a new addition to your arsenal of holiday faves, How Sweet Eats' Jessica Merchant recommends picking up a bottle of Lambrusco to be sipped alone or in a holiday cocktail. "It’s my favorite red wine to use during the holiday season – on its own or mixed into cocktails." she says.
Why We Love It: If the bourbon didn't warm you up, the cinnamon and maple syrup sure will. With ingredients like these, the Lambrusco Smash is perfect sipping for a long day cozied up to the fireplace with a good book.
Apple Cider Sangria
The Recipe: Apple Cider Fall Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: A hearty helping of apple cider gives this sangria a welcome, tangy touch of fall.
Pro Tip: Want a unique way to serve this cocktail? A Couple Cooks recommend using an Old Fashioned Glass. "We typically use a stemless wine glass. However, here we decided to serve it in these Old Fashioned glasses because we liked the look," says the pair.
Why We Love It: Thanks to the use of red wine and warming spices like cinnamon, this sangria is ideal for unwinding after a long day.