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WCB's favourite
wine cocktails

Published: 19th April 2023

Do you love a cocktail but fear the hangover that can follow a high alcohol concoction? Are you looking for ways to use up leftover wine? Perhaps you’re looking for new ways to enjoy your favourite beverage. Whatever the reason, wine cocktails are the answer! Plenty of classic cocktails use wine as a base, such as Mimosas and Kir Royales, but mixologists are looking more and more to wine as an ingredient that’s lower in ABV than most spirits, less sugary than most liqueurs and packed full of flavour too. We’ve chosen five of our favourites to get you inspired to get out your cocktail shaker.

1 Kir (Royale)  

The original Kir was made with Crème de Cassis and Aligoté white wine. It was named after Félix Kir, the mayor of Dijon from 1945 until he passed away in 1968, hence the inclusion of these 2 Burgundian ingredients. The Kir’s popularity has now been surpassed by its fizzier counterpart, the Kir Royale: a mix of Crème de Cassis and sparkling wine. Both make ideal starts to a meal, the dry wines given some richness and sweetness by the blackcurrant liqueur.

You’ll need:

75ml chilled Aligoté white wine

25ml Crème de Cassis

75ml chilled Aligoté white wine

How to make:

Pour half the chilled wine into a chilled glass. Pour the Cassis into the glass, then top with the remaining chilled wine.

Recipe from Difford’s Guide.

2 Bamboo

You know how much we love Sherry at WCB so we couldn’t leave a fabulous Sherry cocktail off the list. But which one? The Sherroni? Bloody Sherry? Adonis? Finally, we decided to plump for the Bamboo. Like a low alcohol Martini, it’s not too dry, not too sweet and begs for a side of olives to make the perfect apéritif. Sherry cocktails make a great introduction to this often-overlooked category, so if you want to get to know Sherry, they’re good place to start.

You’ll need:

45ml Fino Sherry

22.5ml Dry vermouth

22.5ml Red vermouth

How to make:

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

Recipe from Difford’s Guide.

3 Bicicletta

Think you don’t need another Italian spritz in your life? Think again! The Bicicletta is less sweet than an Aperol Spritz, using dry white wine in place of Prosecco and the more bitter red Campari in place of sunny orange Aperol. Try this once and we guarantee it’ll be your summer 2023 cocktail. Easy to make, easy to drink and relatively low ABV, the Bicicletta will transport you to a Venetian piazza in no time. Pass my sunglasses…

You’ll need:

3oz dry white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)

2oz Campari

Chilled soda water

2 orange wheels to garnish

How to make:

Add the white wine and Campari into a double rocks glass or a wine glass. Fill the glass three-quarters with ice, top with soda water, and stir gently and briefly to combine.

Garnish with 2 orange wheels.

Recipe from

4 Sangria

There’s Sangria and there’s Sangria. Too much of what is served in jugs and carafes in busy bars is over-boozed and over-sugared. But good Sangria should be celebrated and rightly deserves a place in the wine cocktail Hall of Fame. If you don’t want to make your own, Casa Lolea makes a range of bottled Sangrias with white wine, red wine and Cava bases that are top notch. However, you’ve likely got the ingredients at home to make your house Sangria a hit.

You’ll need:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 orange, cut into wedges

1 apple, cored and diced

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1/2 cup brandy

1/2 cup orange juice

1 bottle dry red wine (like Rioja)

Garnish: orange wheel

How to make:

In a large pitcher, add the sugar, orange, apple and lemon and muddle for 30 seconds. Add the brandy and orange juice and muddle again for 30 seconds. Add the red wine and stir. Serve in a red wine glass with ice, and garnish with an orange wheel.

Recipe from

5 New York Sour

If you’re a fan of a Whiskey Sour and a wine lover too, the New York Sour is the cocktail for you. Sweet, sour and a little bit fruity, it’s also visually impressive enough to impress your next party guests. The amber liquid is topped with a red wine float, which sits below the foamy head characteristic of a good Sours. This cocktail is guaranteed to put you in a New York State of Mind…

You’ll need:

60ml Bourbon whiskey

30ml lemon juice

15ml sugar syrup

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 egg white

15ml red wine

1 lemon zest twist to garnish

How to make:

Shake the first five ingredients with ice, then strain back into the shaker. Dry shake (without ice) and fine strain into an ice-filled glass. Drizzle red wine around the surface of the drink. Garnish with lemon zest twist.

Recipe from Difford’s Guide.

Feeling inspired to get your cocktail on? We are! Try one of the recipes above or check out Difford’s Guide or for more ideas. A White Tie Affair using white Port is next on our list. Do you love the idea of a Sherry cocktail? The Consejo’s website has got hundreds of recipes from the world’s best mixologists! Cocktails are a great way to further explore wines and to use them in new and exciting ways. So, go on, grab your shaker and get involved!

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