Have you ever thought about where your favorite wine cocktails originated? The idea of mixing other ingredients with wine has been around since the beginning of civilization.
Wine cocktails combine wine with ingredients like carbonated water and fruit juice. Even though wine cocktails like wine coolers have had a terrible reputation of lacking sophistication over the years, the wine climate of today is much different, and wine connoisseurs are trying more wine cocktails from other countries and regions.
Want to discover the world of wine cocktails? Get your passport ready and explore ten of the most famous wine cocktails around the world.
Red Sangria – Rioja region, Spain
Taste history and enjoy a glass (or two) of the world’s famous, Red Sangria. Sangria is a beverage that originated in 200 BC in Spain. The Romans planted grapes to make wine since the water wasn’t safe to drink. Today, Sangria is a drink everyone can enjoy around the world. Sangrias are made with fresh fruit, orange juice, fruity Red Wine, and ice. You can add extra liquor like rum or a sweetener, too!
There are many variations of Sangrias, including:
- White Wine Sangria
- Rosé Sangria
- Frozen Sangria
Did You Know? Sangria gained popularity in the United States during the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.
Rosé Spritzer – Austria
Next, we travel to Austria to indulge in the sunshine and a glass of Rosé Spritzer. This cocktail is simple to create by adding ice, Austrian Rosé, and soda water. Austria has a 175-year history of sparkling wine production. Unlike other sparkling wines, Austrian Sparkling Wines are only made with Rosé base wines. Rosé Spritzer is a refreshing bubbly drink perfect on a hot summer day.
Enjoy your Austrian Rosé Spritzer over happy hour or by the pool!
French 75 Cocktail – Paris, France
- Scott Fitzgerald once said, “If you have a French 75, you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, and then the drink takes you.” The French 75 is a staple for classic cocktails that offers a fresh and robust taste. This cocktail is named after France’s WWI weapon of choice: the French 75mm Field Gun. This is because the drink had a strong taste reminiscent of a powerful firearm.
The sophisticated French 75 dates back to 1915, where Harry MacElhone first mixed one at the New York Bar in Paris. The cocktail first appeared in the United States during prohibition in 1927, where the recipe appeared in a bootlegger New York humor magazine. The French 75 became very popular in westernized culture and appeared in the classic movie Casablanca.
The French 75 cocktail consists of:
- Lemon juice
- Simple syrup
- Lemon twist (for garnishing)
Aperol Spritz – Padua, Italy
“Happy Spritz, Happy Aperol.” Enjoy Italy’s golden sunset while sipping Aperol Spritz. This famous Italian cocktail is summertime in a glass. The Aperol Spritz was born in the 1950s in Northern Italy, where it was advertised as a “luxury drink for lunchtime.”
Fifty years later, The Aperol Spritz became a worldwide sensation, and in 2011, the company released pre-bottled Aperol Spritz, so all you needed to add was the ice and orange slice.
To make a homemade Aperol Spritz, you need four ingredients:
- Dry Prosecco
- Club soda
- An orange slice
Did You Know? After inheriting their father’s liquor business in 1912, Silvio and Luigi devoted seven years to perfect the recipe of Aperol, and the recipe hasn’t changed since.
Vinho Quente – Minho, Portugal
Grab your blankets and get cozy while enjoying a glass of Portugal’s Vinho Quente. Vinho Quente translates to hot wine in Portuguese. Vinho Quente, also known as Mulled Wine or Spiced Wine, is best enjoyed during the holiday season or when living in colder climates.
By incorporating citrus fruits, spices, and hot wine to create a cozy and comforting flavor, this warm drink makes you want to wind down next to a fireplace.
Did You Know? March 3rd is National Mulled Wine Day in the United States.
Bellini – Venice, Italy
Salute! We’re traveling back to Northern Italy to taste the Bellini. In 1948, Giuseppe Cipriani poured the first Bellini at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy. Since peaches are in season from June to September in Italy, Cipriani experimented with pureeing small white peaches and adding prosecco, and then serving the new cocktail to his friends. The Bellini has since become a staple Italian cocktail. This cocktail is another Italian summertime favorite, and the light cocktail is perfect for brunch and a great alternative to a Mimosa.
Did You Know? The Bellini was named after Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini.
Kir Royale – Burgundy, France
Simple, sleek, and sophisticated, the Kir Royale is the classiest champagne cocktail. This drink is ideal for those who think Champagne is too dry, as the Kir Royale offers sweet and fizzy notes. You need Creme de Cassis, Champagne, and raspberries to make a Kir Royale.
A Catholic Priest named Canon Felix Kir created the original Kir Royale in Dijon, France, as defiance against the Nazi invasion. He is now considered a country hero because he helped recuse thousands of prisoners of war from a local concentration camp. The Nazis took away all the red wine in the area, so as an act of resistance, Kir created the Kir Royale with any wine he could find.
So, while you drink a Kir Royale, you can bask in the knowledge that you’re enjoying a drink that was created to fight against the tyrannous Nazis!
Fröccs – Hungary
When the temperature starts to rise, the Fröccs season begins in Hungary. Fröccs is the most popular drink in Hungary. This mixture of soda water and wine is the ultimate refreshing go-to drink for the summertime. Similar to Austria’s Rosé Spritzer, Fröccs requires Hungarian White Wine or Rosé, but serving the cocktail with ice is a big no-no, as it is typically only served chilled.
Kalimotxo – Basque Country, Spain
Have you ever thought about adding cola to your wine? The Kalimotxo, or Calimocho, originated in the 1920s in the Old Port of Algorta in Spain. This drink was very uncommon because Coca-Cola wasn’t manufactured in Spain until 1953. But no worries, because by 1972, the Kalimotxo was born. All you need is ice, Coca-Cola, and red wine to create this cocktail! Kalimotxo has a sweet and earthy taste, as the cola balances the dry wine.
White Port & Tonic – Portugal
Porto Tonico, or Port and Tonic, is a slightly sweet and refreshing wine cocktail. The White Port and Tonic is a twist on the classic Gin and Tonic. White Port has a light taste with notes of honey, vanilla, and hints of orange peels. The cocktail levels by adding a refreshing taste that lingers by adding tonic water. A White Port & Tonic consists of White Port, Tonic water, and orange slices.
Bon voyage! This was a closer look at the ten most famous wine cocktails around the world. Which one are you going to try first? The French 75 or The Bellini? While you decide, be sure to check out Wines’ Til Sold Out online, where we provide at-home wine tasting sets for you to enjoy while you select your next wine cocktail to try.