Brighten Up Your Holidays With Some Wine Mixed Drinks
Nothing is better than Christmas spirits! (See what we did there?) With some wine mixed drinks, you can quickly find yourself transforming from the Grinch who stole Christmas to the holiest, jolliest one of them all!
Why wine cocktails? Well, we are a wine company for starters, so of course, we're going to find excuses to talk about ourselves. But also, wine makes an excellent ingredient for numerous reasons.
The flavor profiles in wine, from dry and fruity to bright and savory, allow the wine to be an incredibly versatile cocktail ingredient. For example, white wine with high acidity is excellent in cocktails because you can mimic certain citrus flavors without using any citrus. Rose is also another good ingredient to include because it is incredibly complex and filed with different tasting notes. When paired with various herbs, spices, and citrus, you can have a delightful result. Cocktails made from wine aren't limited to whites and roses; even red wine can be a great base. Tannins in red wine add a lot of texture to a sour.
The key to making wine mixed drinks is finding balance: you want to enjoy the flavor of wine without it being overpowered by the spirit. Another rule of thumb is to keep in mind your likes and dislikes. Don't mix a drink that you wouldn't drink on its own.
We do understand that hosting your family for Christmas can be super stressful. So, we did our research so that you can make the most delicious mixed wine drinks to date! Take the attention off of you and onto the cocktails by making them so delicious and beautiful they have to be talked about!
Since Christmas is a time of giving, we're here to help you out. Here are a few holiday cocktails that will keep everyone happy all night long!
New York Sour
A sour is an incredibly classic cocktail built upon a simple principle that a sweetness counters the sourness. To fully appreciate a sour, you must appreciate punch as a whole. Punch is the earliest form of a cocktail, and because of its similarity in ingredients to sour, punch is known as the sours' predecessor. So, how did we jump from punch to sour? Well, you can thank the British Navy for popularizing and inventing sour drinks.
Here's why: in the Caribbean, rum was the most readily available alcoholic beverage, and unlike beer, it didn't go bad during months at sea. Because of its longevity, rum became the official drink of the British Navy! They even used rum to combat scurvy: sailors would mix their rum rations with lime juice to create a mixture known as "Grog." Which, interestingly, is ultimately where we got the term 'groggy' from because sailors would say you'll be groggy if you drink too many in the morning. (Oh, the things you learn researching alcohol as your job!) In any case, sailors brought their punches and Grogs ashore, which led to the first Punch Houses being established in London in the 1600s.
Cut to: 1856, where the first record of a sour appears. As a part of a hand-written list of 107 drinks offered at Mart Ackermann's Saloon in Toronto, Canada, a sour appears. Brandy Sours, Gin Sours, and Rum Sours began getting more and more attention as time went on.
The Sour's relatively simple three-ingredient recipe, a base spirit, citrus, and sweetener (often simple syrup), is replicated in a ton of other recipes. Although the drink looks rather complicated, it is incredibly easy to make with very little total time, although it does require the use of shaker. While not a classic New York Sour ingredient, many use eggwhites to change the mouthfeel and appearance in their delicious drinks. The cocktail is as versatile as it is tasty and makes a delightful drink for any cocktail parties, especially during the holidays.
Are you looking to try a New York Sour this holiday season? Here is A Couple of Cook's recipe for the classic drink containing a few helpful tips on making it look and taste equally delicious.
Everyone knows that cranberries and the holiday season go together. So why not take your favorite champagne cocktail, the mimosa, traditionally made with orange juice, and add a bit of holiday flair to it? The tartness of cranberries is only made more delicious the fizzy bubbles of this sparkling wine cocktail. Mimosas might be the best sparkling wine cocktail, even better than a Kir or a bellini, we're just saying.
Here are a few helpful tips when creating your seasonal Cranberry Mimosa, perfect for a Christmas brunch.
Use Cold Ingredients: Keep your cranberry juice and champagne (or Italian prosecco– we don't judge) cold for as long as possible!
Serve in Champagne Flute: Did you know that champagne flutes are designed to retain the bubbles? The novelty of Champagne is in the bubbles, so you should do what you can to have them. If you're not interested in using your best china for your not exactly responsible family, the good news is many stores carry disposable, recyclable ones that can look equally as fancy.
Garnish: There's something about garnish that can take a dull drink and make it super special. While a Cranberry Mimosa isn't a bland drink, you can take its fanciness up an extra level by rimming each glass with sugar. Then, throw it a few cranberries, and you got yourself one heck of a good looking drink!
Choose Champagne Wisely: Many reach for an Extra Dry or Brut champagne when creating their mimosas. But who knows? Maybe you like your mimosas super sweet? Make sure you look at the different variations on Champagne and choose one that will fit your taste preferences.
Try Stress Baking's Cranberry Mimosa recipe to make the most delicious Cranberry Mimosa you've ever tasted. To make the delicious drink, you only need two primary ingredients, and they're ready in a quick five minutes!
Strawberry Wine Punch
A Strawberry Wine Punch is a German specialty drink called Erdbeerbowle. (Try to say that five times fast). It's incredibly refreshing, and because there is fruit in it, we'll let you pretend it's healthy. The base recipe of an Erdbeer Bowle is fresh strawberries, white wine, and sparkling wine. But, as we've learned while writing a ton of these blogs, no two people make any recipe the same, so there are so many different variations to this beloved cocktail. This flavor profile often appears with watermelon in frosé, a wine slushie with rosé wine.
Some variations include soaking the strawberries in liquor to add an extra kick to the cocktail. Others suggest macerating the berries in sugar for a few hours to create an even sweeter flavor. Lastly, many recipes call for lemon peel, lemon juice, and sometimes even mint. Although there are a few different variations, we're pretty confident that any way you decide to make the cocktail, you'll be happy!
Be ready to cheers all night with this Spruce Eat's German Strawberry wine punch recipe!
Seasonal Wine Spritzer
By definition, a spritzer is literally just a mixture of wine and soda water. A white wine spritzer is likely the easiest cocktail you will ever make. It's recipe calls for three parts white wine, one part sparkling water, and then typically garnished with a slice of lemon, lime, or various citrus peel.
When making a wine spritzer, pick a wine that you enjoy. Bad wine should never be used as a spitzer because it won't get better with a bubbly splash of club soda. Usually, the best varieties for spritzer are wines that have lots of fruity flavors, mild on tannins, and are filled with strong aromatic qualities. Specifically, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Moscato are all great selections! Also, try to avoid using premixed spritzers. You know, the ones that you simply have to add the wine. In general, these spritzers are weirdly artificial and don't make for the best cocktails.
Because it is super easy to make and incredibly versatile, you can mix up a festive no-fuss holiday version of this beverage in no time at all! People occasionally spike their spritz as well, with things like elderflower or orange liqueur or even tequila. By adding a fruity, festive fizz to your cocktails, like frozen cranberries or a star made out of orange skin, you can take your spritzer to a festive level. Speaking of garnishes, you can also add some seasonal spirit into your drink by freezing pomegranate seeds, cranberries, or other complementary fruits into your ice cubes for a splash of fun, color, and flavor!
When we have time, we can't wait to perfect Wine Enthusiast's Mulled Riesling Spritzer!
White Christmas Sangria
Sangria is always a crowd pleaser! Traditionally, sangria is merely a punch made from wine and fruit. Of course, some recipes like to spice up their sangrias with some fruit juice or brandy. Although white sangria evokes a vision of a warm afternoon enjoying a fruity, refreshing drink, we argue sangria is actually better during the holidays. This drink takes very little prep time and it actually sits better the longer you let it sit. It's just another way to pair wine and make it taste more delicious in a lot of ways!
This White Christmas Sangria recipe by The Crumby Kitchen has us dreaming of a white Christmas. Which is likely not going to happen seeing as we live in LA. Regardless, with white wine, ginger beer or ginger ale, pear brandy liqueur, and festive fruit, you know you'll find us in our kitchen creating as many as we can this season!