By Bob Lipinski

Traditionally, cocktails have been made with distilled spirits, mixers, fruit juices, sugar, bitters, and all sorts of garnishes. However, what would happen if we substituted spirits with wine? Now I’m not talking about a “whiskey sour, mint julep, or vodka and cranberry.” What I have come up with is an array of delicious cocktails made with a wine base, which offers diversity and great taste. Here’s my list of Wine Cocktails:

Adonis Cocktail: Named after the first Broadway musical to run for over 500 performances. The musical first opened at the Bijou Opera House on September 9, 1884.

Mix 1-3/4 oz. dry sherry and 3/4 oz. sweet white vermouth with a dash of orange bitters. Shake and pour over ice.

Bamboo Cocktail: The drink is said to have been created (around 1890) and named by Louis Eppinger, manager of the Guardian II bar in Yokohama, Japan’s, historic Hotel New Grand.

Mix 3 oz. fino sherry, 1 oz. dry white vermouth, and a dash of orange bitters. Strain and served in a wine glass with a twist of lemon.

Blonde & Red Head: A cocktail consisting of equal parts of dry white and sweet red vermouth. Stir and serve on the rocks.

Buck’s Fizz: A cocktail invented in 1921 by Pat McGarry, a bartender at Buck’s Club, a London gentlemen’s club, just off Bond Street. The club, which opened in 1919, was named after its founder, Captain Herbert Buckmaster.

Mix 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/3 cup brut sparkling wine, and dash of grenadine. Stir and serve over ice.

Champagne Cocktail: One sugar cube, several dashes of Angostura bitters, 6 oz. dry sparkling wine, and a lemon peel. Put the sugar cube into a tulip or fluted-shaped champagne glass and add the bitters. Fill with chilled sparkling wine and stir. Garnish with lemon peel.

Cranberry Cocktail: Mix 10 oz. cranberry juice, 16 oz. rosé wine, and 6 oz. pineapple juice with crushed ice.

Kir: A popular apéritif drink made with crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) and dry white wine, named after the late mayor of the city of Dijon, France, Canon Félix Kir (1876-1968). Kir was the favorite drink of the mayor from the 1940s until his death in 1968). Originally, Kir was made by mixing Aligoté, a highly acidic white wine from Burgundy with crème de cassis and served chilled. Nowadays, just about any white wine is used, as Aligoté is difficult to find. My recipe is: Fill an 8 oz. glass 2/3 full of chilled dry white wine (preferably not an oaky Chardonnay), add 3 tablespoons of crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) and stir. There are many variations of this drink: Kir Royale (cassis and dry sparkling wine); Cardinal (cassis and Beaujolais), Kir Communist (cassis and red wine), and Kir Imperial (raspberry liqueur instead of cassis and champagne).

Kir Royal

Port & Ginger: Half fill a tall glass with crushed ice. Pour 4 oz. ruby port and 4 oz. ginger ale into the glass. Stir and serve.

Spirited Soda: Place 2 scoops lemon sherbet in a tall glass. Pour 8 oz. of sparkling wine, stir, and serve.

Wine & Lemonade: Mix 4 oz. Riesling and 8 oz. chilled lemonade. Pour into large glass. Add ice, stir, and serve with a sprig of mint.

 Well, there you have it… 10 wine cocktails just in time for the summer!

“Wine is one of the agreeable and essential ingredients of life.” (Julia Child, 1912-2004, American master chef)

Bob Lipinski is the author of 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need To Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on He consults and conducts training seminars on Wine, Spirits, and Food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at OR