There’s no better time to explore wine cocktails than in the summer. The warm weather is perfect for mixing up a batch of wine-soaked liquid refreshment that takes advantage of seasonal fruits such as lemons, peaches and berries, as well as fragrant herbs like mint.
If you’re hosting summer events, these mixed drinks offer the opportunity to elevate the fruity tones of wine as well as grassy nuances with deliciously creative recipes that are always crowd-pleasers.
From margaritas to mimosas and from sangrias to spritzers, you’ll find delectable ways to use rosé, white and red wines when mixing up big-batch cocktails as well as individual drinks that are suited to warm-weather celebrations.
Fruity and floral, rosé wines rank as a quintessential summer sip. With its delicate hue, rosé makes a wonderful wine to include in your summer wine cocktail repertoire. Ranging from sweet to crisp and dry, rosé wines are best served chilled, making them perfect for party-pitcher drinks that can easily be made ahead and stashed in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Whip up a batch of thirst-quenching lemonade, a visually stunning pitcher of fruity sangria, or a deliciously frosty frosé, all with the help of a bottle of rosé.
One of the easiest and most refreshing citrus cocktails to make is a simple blend of 1 part lemonade, 1 part Rosé wine, 1/2 part club soda. Garnish with a lemon peel twist or small slice of lemon. This cocktail can be made in a pitcher or as a solo drink. Serve over ice.
This big-batch sangria is eye-candy in a clear pitcher, so it’s perfect as an irresistible party cocktail. Add a chopped orange, 2 cups of fresh strawberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar to a pitcher. Let it stand for 30 minutes to macerate before adding a bottle of chilled rosé and 1/2 cup of brandy. Add a handful of fresh mint leaves and a sliced lemon. Stir gently and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Once chilled, add 2 cups of club soda and stir to combine. Serve over ice.
Poolside, beachside, or just in need of a boozy frozen treat, this peach frosé will more than satisfy. You’ll need a high-speed blender, a bag of frozen sliced peaches, a bottle of your favorite rosé wine and a dollop of honey. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
White wines are excellent for warm weather as their varietals lend themselves to tasty pairings for wine cocktails. Summery whites should be crisp, dry, fruity and medium-bodied. A well-chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and a dry sparkling wine are excellent choices for pairing with citrus, peaches, pineapple and mint. Keep your garden party guests refreshed with a white wine margarita, a peachy sangria, or a fruity mimosa, all thanks to a chilled bottle of a summer white.
White Wine Margarita with Pinot Grigio
A pitcher of this white wine margarita pairs Pinot Grigio with tequila. It’s an unusual combination that you’ll immediately appreciate once you take that first salty sip. To a pitcher, add a bottle of chilled Pinot Grigio, 1/2 cup of tequila, 2 cups of orange juice and a can of limeade concentrate. Fill the limeade can with water and add that, too. Stir to combine. Rim your margarita glasses with a lime wedge and dip in sea salt. Add ice to each glass before serving.
Pineapple Mimosa with Prosecco
Brunch in the sun gets an effervescent lift with this easy tropical mimosa recipe. To a pitcher, add a chilled bottle of sparkling white wine or Prosecco, 2 cups of chilled pineapple juice and 1 cup of coconut rum. Garnish with pineapple slices and cherries and serve this bubbly cocktail in champagne flutes.
White Sangria with Peaches and Sauvignon Blanc
The crisp, dry and grassy notes of Sauvignon Blanc provide the perfect base for a pitcher of this luscious sangria. In a pitcher, macerate two chopped peaches and a chopped green apple in a teaspoon of sugar. Let it sit for 20 minutes before adding a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, 1/2 cup of brandy, a sliced lemon and fresh mint leaves. Chill well in the fridge before adding sparkling water and serving over ice.
Light, bright, fresh and fruity are the hallmarks of a summer red which makes it a tasty choice for combining with seasonal flavors. Pinot Noir is excellent for spritzers, a sweet red moscato wine makes a wonderful slushie and a light and fruity Cabernet is perfect as a base for sangria.
Red Wine Spritzer with Pinot Nori
For an effervescent cocktail that practically makes itself, add a bottle of Pinot Noir and a chilled bottle of club soda to a pitcher. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh raspberries. For a citrus variation, add a splash of orange juice and garnish with an orange slice.
Blueberry Sangria with Cabernet
For this blueberry-inspired sangria you’ll need a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that has berry-flavored notes, a cup of orange juice, a cup of brandy, 2 cups of fresh blueberries, chilled club soda, and slices of orange, lime and lemon. Add the fruit to a pitcher and top with orange juice and brandy. Gently muddle before adding the wine. Stir to combine. Let it sit for 30 minutes before adding the carbonated water. Serve over ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.
Cherry Vanilla Red Wine Slushie with Red Moscato
Those sweltering summer days deserve an icy cocktail that checks all the boxes for refreshing, fruity, sweet and boozy. Combine a bag of frozen cherries, two cups of chilled red moscato wine and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately in a chilled glass or freeze for a more icy texture.