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As a home bartender, I have been focused on learning as much as I can about spirits and mixers. However, some of my favorite drinks also include wine, which is a whole different ballgame. The addition of prosecco or champagne to a French 75 or an Aperol spritz makes those cocktails. I love what a bubbly texture can add to an already great drink. When Wine Insiders reached out to see if I would be interested in trying out some of their wines, it was the perfect excuse to mix up a few new favorites. They sent me a half case of assorted wines, mostly sparkling and rosés (pictured below). I used them to make some delicious wine-based cocktails that are easy and refreshing.

White Tomato Martini

For those of you who enjoy savory cocktails, like Bloody Mary’s, this wine-based martini is for you. It takes a little prep time to make the tomato water, but it’s worth it and you can use it for other drinks. I opted for a pepper oil float that I made using a quarter cup of olive oil and a teaspoon of crushed red pepper combined over low heat. You should be able to find a more flavorful option in a specialty food shop. Adding a semi sparkling sweet wine balanced the flavors out nicely. This recipe can also be adjusted easily by upping the sweetness or the spiciness, depending on your taste.

White Tomato Martini

Keyword: jalapeno vodka, martini, tomato water

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Abbazia Lambrusco Bianco
  • 1.5 oz jalapeño vodka (you can infuse your own)
  • 1.5 oz tomato water
  • 0.5 oz dry vermouth

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice.
  • Stir until chilled and strain into a martini glass.
  • Top with drops of chili and/or basil oil (optional)

Notes

Tomato Water Prep:
1.5 pounds of vine-ripened tomatoes
0.25 pound of cucumber (peeled)
1 tsp kosher salt
Blend in a blender until mostly smooth. Pour into a cheesecloth bag or over cheesecloth placed in a metal strainer. Wait for the clear tomato water to drain out and refrigerate immediately.

Strawberry Frosé

One of my friends gave me a frozen cocktail maker for Christmas (thanks Molly!), but I had yet to use it. Until now! When people talk about rosé, frosé is often mentioned as well. There’s really nothing better in the summer than a frozen cocktail. In the past I have avoided frozen drinks because I drink them too fast and get one of those icy headaches. To say I was skeptical about trying frosé is accurate, but I was so wrong. This turned out so tasty and I am excited to share it with you.

Frosé

Keyword: frosé, strawberry, wine
Author: Rabbit Wine

Ingredients

  • 2 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz curaçao
  • 1 bottle dry rosé (like Abbazia Cuvée Prestige Brut Rosé)
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries

Instructions

  • Add ingredients to frozen drink maker (or a plastic pitcher).
  • Mix well and freeze overnight with a spoon inside for easy mixing.
  • Take out of the freezer and mix well. Serve with a fresh strawberry.

Aperol Grapefruit Spritz

If you are looking for something light, refreshing, and well balanced, this is the drink for you. This wine-based drink gets its beautiful color from Aperol and fresh grapefruit juice. It’s super easy to make with a few of my favorite bar tools.

Aperol Grapefruit Spritz

Keyword: aperol, grapefruit, wine

Ingredients

  • 3 oz extra dry cuvée (like Abbazia Cuvée Prestige)
  • 1.5 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 oz Aperol

Instructions

  • Add Aperol and juice to a shaker with ice and shake until cold.
  • Slowly add the cuvée to the shaker to combine. Stir lightly to combine.
  • Strain over ice, garnish with a grapefruit peel and an edible flower, and enjoy!

Arnold Palmer Cooler

A standard Arnold Palmer, in case you’re unfamiliar, is a 50/50 combination of iced tea and lemonade. Named after a famous golfer, this drink is refreshing and easy. With some light elderflower flavors from the St. Germain, this wine-based cocktail is a crowd pleaser and would be easy to make up in a batch for a backyard picnic.

Arnold Palmer Cooler

Keyword: iced tea, lemon, st germain, wine

Ingredients

  • 3 oz lemon ginger tea (steeped for 10 minutes and cooled)
  • 3 oz extra dry cuvée
  • 0.5 oz St. Germain

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a tall glass (like a fizz or collins glass).
  • Stir, add ice, and stir until chilled. Serve.

Kir Royale

There are so many amazing two-ingredient classic cocktails. I have been enjoying trying new recipes from my new cocktail books, that I sometimes forget that drinks can be simple and delicious. I don’t think I had ever had a Kir Royale before my friend gave me a bottle of crème de cassis for my birthday this year. It was so good, I had to include it as my last wine-based cocktail for you. Cheers!

Kir Royale

Keyword: black current, kir royale, wine

Ingredients

  • 3 oz extra dry cuvée (like Abbazia Cuvée Prestige) chilled
  • 1/3 oz crème de cassis (adjust up or down to taste)

Instructions

  • Add chilled wine to a champagne flute and pour the crème de cassis on top. No need to stir. Just sip and enjoy!

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