You don't have to be a seasoned oenophile to know that red wine can be quite versatile. It's amazing when sipped by itself and even makes for a great ingredient to cook with. In addition to these already stellar qualities, red wine can also be used to craft quite the lush-worthy cocktail.
Whether you're a fan of fruity red wine-based sangrias or prefer something a little more unique like a Cabernet latte made using a homemade Cabernet Sauvignon syrup, the recipes ahead are a delicious way to incorporate red wine into your next cocktail.
So, grab a bottle of your favorite red and be prepared to discover your new favorite sip.
The Recipe: Mulled Wine
The Hero Ingredient: Given that red wine (either Pinot Noir or Cabernet) is your base for this cocktail, you're going to want to add a touch of sweetness. The addition of honey does just that with this Mulled Wine recipe, balancing out the rich combination of wine, citrus and spices.
Pro Tip: A Couple Cooks suggest placing your mulled wine in a slow cooker when entertaining rather than keeping this boozy concoction over an open flame. "If serving this at a party, heat the mulled wine in a slow cooker instead of in a pot," says A Couple Cooks' Sonja and Alex Overhiser.
Why We Love It: Mulled wine is a cocktail that might seem laborious at first, but with only six ingredients, this recipe is fairly easily to make (especially with the slow cooker option).
The Recipe: Festive Pomegranate Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Not only is pomegranate juice a tasty addition to this sangria recipe, it also boasts plenty of nutritional benefits. Pomegranate juice provides a hearty helping of vitamin C and antioxidants, and is also said to be anti-inflammatory.
Pro Tip: You're more than welcome to get creative with your sangria, but there are two rules to consider. "The flavor combinations have no rules exactly, but to create the perfect sangria you need a good red wine and you must let the fruits and spices infuse overnight," Ana Stanciu, author at Hello Glow reveals.
Why We Love It: A cocktail that boasts health benefits is certainly a rarity, but this cocktail manages to provide just that and a healthy dose of flavor.
The Recipe: Cabernet Chocolate Latte
The Hero Ingredient: A homemade Cabernet syrup is hands down the star of this drink. Although it's comprised of only two ingredients (Cabernet sauvignon and sugar), the syrup provides a touch of red wine decadence to this boozy latte.
Pro Tip: No Cabernet? No problem. The Cabernet Chocolate Latte can be made with a variety of red wines. "Grab a red wine you reeeeeally like and use a bit of it to make this syrup. It doesn’t have to be a Cab. It can be a Pinot Noir, which is my red of choice," explains Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats.
Why We Love It: When it comes to cocktails, red wine is mostly found in sangria, so you can't help but love the creativity of a red wine cocktail that ventures outside of sangria.
The Recipe: Chambord Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Chambord, it's a raspberry liqueur that can transform just about any cocktail. The liqueur adds subtle notes of sweet berries to this wine cocktail, and also provides a bit of color.
Pro Tip: Hola Jalapeno's Kate Ramos explains that a nectarine-black raspberry puree will serve as a base for this sangria that can be personalized to taste. "This nectarine-black raspberry puree will be the base from which everyone can add their preferred type of wine (red or white), their favorite sparkling juice or ginger beer, and their choice of fruits and herbs," she says.
Why We Love It: If you're not the biggest fan of red wine, this recipe provides the option of using a white wine its place.
Apple Cider Sangria
The Recipe: Red Apple Cider Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: Apple cider, it's a fall staple used in a medley of cocktails. But how well does it work in a sangria? If this Red Apple Cider is any indicator, pretty well.
Pro Tip: According to How Sweet Eats' Jessica Merchant, you can alter the sweetness of this cocktail with maple syrup. "I sweetened it with a touch of maple syrup and you can use as much as you’d like to get it as sweet as you’d like," she reveals.
Why We Love It: From the maple syrup to the apple cider, this red wine cocktail is an excellent pick to cozy up to in the cooler months.
Orange Spiced Mulled Wine
The Recipe: Orange Spiced Mulled Wine
The Hero Ingredient: Green cardamom is just one of several spices used to make this mulled wine, but its distinct flavor adds herbal notes.
Pro Tip: Playful Cooking creator Kankana Saxena is quite adamant about one tip in particular. "It’s extremely important to simmer the wine in medium low heat and do not boil. If you bring the wine to boil, it will cook off all the alcohol," she explains.
Why We Love It: With fresh ginger, star anise and a medley of other spices, this Orange Spiced Mulled Wine will warm you up to the core.
Red Wine Spritzer
The Recipe: Red Wine Spritzer
The Hero Ingredient: Both the fruitiness and bubbles prominent in these spritzers come courtesy of soda. As an added perk, this sip also allows you to alternate between orange, lemon-lime and other soda flavors to get a more personalized spritzer.
Pro Tip: With such a simple cocktail, adding garnishes is nearly a necessity. "I also like to add slices of oranges, limes or lemons to each glass. Cherries are also very fitting for a Coca Cola spritzer," Alice of Sugar Salted says.
Why We Love It: It doesn't get much simpler than this spritzer, which consists of a mere two ingredients (plus a garnish).
The Recipe: Frozen Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: A generous helping of Cointreau, an orange liqueur, adds a welcome amount of citrus flavor.
Pro Tip: Although this Frozen Sangria is made using frozen mixed berries, feel free to experiment with whatever frozen and fresh fruit you have on hand. "I highly recommend grabbing whatever wine and frozen fruits you have in the house and giving it a try," Gimme Some Oven's Ali Martin says.
Why We Love It: Who needs frosé when there's a frosty glass of frozen sangria waiting? With an assortment of fresh fruit, this frozen sangria is a great alternative to the rosé-based sip.
Summer Solstice Wine Cocktail
The Recipe: Summer Solstice Wine Cocktail
The Hero Ingredient: Muddled cherries quite literally pop with flavor in this wine cocktail as they're muddled with peaches and Pinot Noir.
Pro Tip: Keep things cool by placing your glasses in the freezer before serving your cocktail. "Collins glasses can be placed in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to make them cold and frosty before filling them," says Toni Dash of Boulder Locavore.
Why We Love It: Although it's dubbed the Summer Solstice Wine Cocktail, this drink can be enjoyed year-round with a few modifications here and there.
The Recipe: Fall Sangria
The Hero Ingredient: A dry red wine really allows the assortment of fruits (apples, pears and oranges) stand out in this seasonal sangria.
Pro Tip: For added aesthetics, A Couple Cooks suggests that "If you’d like, you can pour it in layers to make it two-toned."
Why We Love It: The addition of apple cider to this already fruit-filled sangria gives major fall vibes.