9 Refreshing Red Wine Cocktails

Red wine cocktails fuse the full flavor of red wine with fruits, liquors and other exciting ingredients. Get recipes for nine of our faves on the Gopuff blog.

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When you consider just how bold the typical red wine tastes, red wine cocktails might seem a bit ridiculous. Why mess with a beverage that’s already delicious as is?

We’ll tell you why: because it’s just plain fun. Red wine cocktails offer an adventurous way to make drinking more exciting, especially if you’re not into mixed drinks that focus more on liquor flavors (old fashioned, anyone?).

Infographic listing out nine red wine cocktails.

Red wine sangria

Two cups of red wine sangria.

Who doesn’t love sangria? It’s hard to deny the tropical appeal of this fruity mixed drink, whether you’re sipping it in Mallorca or concocting your own recipe at home. Hailing from the Iberian peninsula (in Europe, it can only be labeled “sangria” in Portugal and Spain), sangria is a mouthwatering punch that blends red wine with a bevy of chopped fruits, plus brandy, orange juice and sweetener (we recommend brown sugar). Our preferred recipe incorporates sparkling water, too, to add some fizz.

There’s a lot of room to tweak a sangria based on your preferences, so go ham if you’re thinking about adding some fruits that aren’t ordinarily part of the recipe. Green apples, oranges and lemons are popular summer choices, though cranberries are a great pick if you’d like a holiday-friendly drink.

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Negroni cocktail in a glass.

No one knows exactly how the Negroni came about, but legend has it that Pascal-Olivier de Negroni, an Italian count, created it when he requested that a bartender swap the soda water in his Americano for gin to create a more powerful drink. The bartender complied, and replaced the traditional lemon with an orange peel, too.

Whether that really happened is up in the air, but we do know that the Negroni is a super popular (and super delicious) cocktail. Its relatively simple recipe combines gin with Campari (an Italian aperitif) and sweet vermouth (a fortified red wine), creating an impressively powerful flavor without going overboard with complex ingredients.

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Mulled red wine

A glass of mulled wine with cinnamon, orange and star anise garnish

Mulled wine is probably the coziest cocktail ever, right? Between its comforting heat, the full flavor of the red wine and those delectable spices (cloves and star anise are common choices), you’d be hard-pressed to find a better contender for the title. 

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New York Sour

The New York Sour adds a colorful spin to the whiskey sour, a classic cocktail. Its primary addition is a float of dry red wine (like Shiraz), which adds a ton of character to an already delicious mixed drink.
Make it with an egg white if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.

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Red wine spritzer

This red wine spritzer recipe is about as simple as it gets. The cool part is that it’s unbelievably easy to customize, just like the sangria recipe we mentioned earlier. Think red wine and club soda is too boring? Throw in some chopped fruit or add a bit of lemon-lime soda. The extent of your imagination is the only limit. 

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Devil’s Margarita

The Devil’s Margarita (like the New York Sour) is fairly similar to its traditional counterpart, except you swap the orange liqueur for simple syrup and add a float of fruity red wine. As you can imagine, this leads to a significant change in flavor, supplying a bit more body and complexity without totally tanking the drink’s sweetness.

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Bishop cocktail

Simple and tropical, the bishop cocktail is another hit if you’re looking for a satisfying mixed drink that doesn’t require you to source a bunch of weird ingredients. It’s actually a fairly old cocktail—the recipe stems from The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, a 1935 guide penned by renowned journalist and cultural extraordinaire, Albert Stevens Crockett.

All you need is rum, red wine (merlot should do nicely), simple syrup and lime juice. Easy-peasy.

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Nouveau sangaree

The nouveau sangaree (created by Jim Meehan, proprietor of New York’s PDT speakeasy) is a relative newcomer to the bartending scene, but it’s quickly gained traction thanks to its uniquely complex flavor profile. It’s a sangria-inspired cocktail that complements red wine (Mr. Meehan recommends a Beaujolais nouveau) with the flavor-packed 1-2-3 punch of apple brandy, sloe gin and Angostura bitters. Maple syrup adds a subtle sweetness. 

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Kalimotxo (red wine and Coke)

Kalimotxo cocktail in a glass with a straw.

A touch less high-brow than many red wine cocktails, yet just as fun to drink, the kalimotxo (pronounced “cali-mot-cho”) highlights the surprisingly tasty combination of red wine and cola that’s become a staple in Basque Country. Its lemon garnish adds a slight tang. Enjoy this refreshing cocktail on a sunny summer day.

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