Baby it’s cold outside. Forget the hot chocolate, it’s still all about the wine. Of course red wine and winter go hand in hand, but if that’s wearing a little thin and you’d like to add a little more excitement to your winter wine drinks’ repertoire, read on. Here are 5 rousing winter wine cocktail recipes that will surely satisfy you and your guests. And the good news is, they’re OH-SO easy to make!
Mulled Wine Bellini
Yum, I love a good Bellini; they’re revitalizing and sweet, but it’s not your archetypal winter wine drink. Mulled wine in winter however is totally a different story, but it’s also an acquired taste. Combine the two drinks and you’ve got an unusual twist on them – introducing the Mulled Wine Bellini.
- 3 Cinnamon sticks
- Small handful of cloves
- 15 Black peppercorns
- 20 Star Anise
- Grated nutmeg
- Pinch of mace
- 1 Juiced orange, peeled in strips
- 4 ¼ Pints of red wine
- 500g Caster sugar
- 100ml Sparkling wine
- Lemon juice to taste
- Prepare the mulled wine reduction by adding all of the above ingredients (apart from the sugar, sparkling wine and lemon) into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Add sugar and stir well, making sure sugar dissolves. Continue simmering until its reduced by half and take off hob and leave to cool.
- Strain cooled mixture and pour into a sterilised bottle.
- To make the cocktail, add fizzy wine to a champagne glass and add 25ml of mulled wine reduction. Stir in some lemon juice to taste and serve immediately.
NB: The reduced mulled wine lasts up to a month if kept in a clean airtight bottle.
The Victorian Lemonade
You know a drink is going to be classy when its name entails ‘Victorian’. Port, another winter favourite, is again an acquired taste. But combined with tangy citrus fruit juice, Fernat Branca, an aromatic Italian spirit, and ginger ale, the Victorian Lemonade is far from the lemonade we know.
- 60ml Port
- 20ml Fresh lemon juice
- 20ml Fresh orange juice
- 15g Sugar
- 5ml Fernet Branca
- Ginger beer
- Crushed ice
- Fresh mint leaves (garnish)
- Orange zest (garnish)
- Crush ice and fill tall glass 2/3 of the way up.
- Add port, juices, sugar and Fernet Branca and swizzle until well mixed.
- Top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with mint leaves and orange zest and serve immediately with a straw.
Amaretto Prosecco Sour
Two of my favourite drinks in one. Who says Prosecco is just a summer wine? Not I! Infused with the sweet tastes of almonds and decorated with Maraschino cherries, no one will be able to resist this winter wine cocktail.
- 45ml Amaretto
- 15ml Fresh lemon juice
- 15ml Fresh lime juice
- 1tsp Stock syrup
- Maraschino cherries
- Pour in Amaretto, juices and stock syrup into a Champagne flute.
- Fill the remainder of glass with Prosecco.
- Garnish with cherries and serve.
Death by Venice
Forget the ominous sounding name, Death by Venice is quite the opposite. The fusion of sweet and sour makes for a delicious winter cocktail with wine.
- 15ml Campari
- 4 Drops grapefruit bitters
- Pour Campari and bitters into a Champagne flute.
- Top with Prosecco and lightly stir.
- Serve immediately.
Christmas Gin Fizz
After wine, my go-to drink is gin, which makes the Christmas Gin Fizz all the more appealing. With a splash of tonic, a wedge of lime, there’s nothing more satisfying. Gin, Grenadine and Prosecco are a match made in heaven and the cinnamon, star anise and cardamom pods add that familiar Christmassy taste!
- 50ml Gin
- ½ Lemon juice
- 1 Egg white
- Caster Sugar
- Ice cubes
- Glacé cherries (for garnish)
For the infused Gomme syrup
- 500ml Gomme syrup
- 4 Cloves
- 2 Star anise
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 3 Cardamom pods
- Infuse gomme syrup by adding spices and bringing to a boil and then simmer. Remove from heat and cool.
- Pre-prepare glasses by freezing.
- Add a swirl of Grendine and sprinkle with caster sugar. Places glasses back in freezer until needed.
- Fill shaker with ice, gin, 15ml infused gomme syrup, lemon juice, and lightly beaten egg white. Seal shaker and shake hard for 30 seconds.
- Pour through fine strainer into pre-prepared Champagne flue.
- Top up with Prosecco (or tonic for a milder version).
- Decorate with glacé cherries and serve immediately.