Signature cocktails have become a staple at weddings over the last few years. We've seen many mojitos, margaritas, moscow mules and mai tais (yes, just talking about cocktails makes me happy and calls for excessive illteration), but we are seeing a fun new trend that we, here in Wine Country, are very excited about: wine-based cocktails! Many venues are shying away from or even restricting hard liquor at weddings and special events, so these sophisticated and yummy cocktails are great options for offering a special drink to your guests during a cocktail hour or reception.
Here are recipes from Ardesia that we love (as featured on Serious Eats: Drinks) and we hope you try out because we've surely had a great time doing so!
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 to 8 mint leaves
- 5 ounces dry white wine
Muddle ginger and sugar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add mint, ice, and white wine, shake well. Pour into rocks glass unstrained.
- 2 ounces Lillet blanc
- 2 dashes grapefruit bitters
- Sparkling wine
- Garnish: lemon curl
Fill a large wine glass with ice. Add Lillet and bitters, then top off with sparkling wine. Stir gently, garnish with lemon curl, and serve immediately.
- 12 ounces honey (a standard honey bear)
- 6 ounces dried lavender
For the cocktail
- 3 ounces dry rosé wine
- 1 ounce rouge vermouth, such as Dolin
- 1 tablespoon lavender-infused honey
- 1 dash rosewater
- Garnish: lemon or lime curl
- For the lavender-infused honey: heat honey and lavender in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for about ten minutes. Let cool. Strain and funnel back into original container.
- For the cocktail: fill a rocks glass with ice. Add rosé, vermouth, honey, and rosewater. Stir to combine. Garnish with lemon or lime curl and serve immediately.
The Bitter Truth
- 6 tablespoons juniper berries
- 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 4 star anise
- 1 750 mL bottle dry white wine
For the cocktail
- 1 ounce Dolin blanc vermouth
- 1 ounce Bonal Quina
- 1 dash celery bitters
- 2 ounces gin-spiced wine
- Splash tonic water
- Garnish: 3 olives
For the gin-spiced wine: Grind juniper, coriander, and star anise until semi-fine and add to bottle of wine using a funnel. Close bottle with cork or stopper and let infuse at room temperature for 24 hours.
For the cocktail: Fill a shaker with ice. Add vermouth, Bonal quina, and celery bitters. Shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Add gin-spiced wine and splash of tonic water. Garnish with olives and serve.