Wine Cocktail: A Love Affair
Friday July 14, 2017
We all know what a wine is: it’s a heaven-sent liquor that lets us taste one of the purest expressions of nature’s richness. Plus, it’s a perfect perk-me-up drink. There are a million reasons as to why you should drink wine. But you know what else makes wine awesome?
Yes, you heard it right. Wine is an imperative ingredient in drinking cocktails. Which brings us to yet another interesting topic - the birth of wine cocktails.
Behind the Drink
Cocktail mixing has been around for ages; the concept of distilling fermented fruit juices into intoxicating drinks (with higher alcohol content) was around since ancient times. However, it was only during the 17th to 18th century that records of this drink were found. The documents found recorded, what some would say, are among of the earliest versions of the cocktail mix: Fizzes, Juleps, the Slings, and Toddies.
So, what is a cocktail? As a drink, it is often described as a stimulating liquor and is added with different ingredients such as bitter-tasting spices, sweets (sugar), water, plus another type of spirit. In short, a cocktail is a distilled liquor usually served cold and often mixed with another flavouring.
One of the many evolutions in cocktail drinking is the addition of wine to its mix. By its definition, wine fits into the idea of cocktails as any of the following: as the sweetener (sparkling wines), as the bitter (vermouth), acts a modifier, or is the base ingredient that refines the overall taste of the cocktail.
By adding wine to the cocktail mix it secretly adds versatility, boosts the depth and complexity of the flavour enlivening the drink with further aromas and colours.
Creating the Concoction
Wine cocktails may not everyone’s flavour, but mixing these two have become a party-hosting staple and a way to test your inner barista skills. Though there might still be different opinions about wine cocktails, it undoubtedly has found its way to some of the drinking cultures around the cities.
Wines used in cocktails can be either from regular young vintages or those that have been aged. Usually, wine cocktails have any of the following wine varieties: sparkling, fortified, aromatized, and distilled spirits made from wines. And choosing which wine to be mixed with cocktails is actually more than just a personal preference; as out of the many wine varieties, there are actually specific wines [with their special characteristic] that are meant for cocktails. It is always good to remember that having the right ingredients, the accurate blend, and mix will result in a distinctively delicious drink. And maybe more reasons to host your own party or two.
Technically, you can choose any wine you want to blend. As pointed our earlier, personal preference is always an option. However, essentially, there are select wine styles usually mixed together with cocktails.
Some of the styles include are the following: fortified, aromatized, and sparkling.
Fortified Wines |
This style of wine is one of the most overlooked and misinterpreted varieties in the world of wine. Oftentimes, it is limited for cooking used and post-party drinking session. In reality, it is actually an incredibly versatile liquor.
Fortified wines cover a broad range of wines that have been mixed with brandy or a distilled spirit; and many of which are aged in barrels. Among the most recognised fortified wines is the sherry. Looking at the past years, both bartenders and sommeliers are highlighting sherry-infused cocktails into their menus. There was a period where Sherry was disregarded in mixology. But it’s recent revival offers a refreshing take for millennial drinkers, by giving an interestingly unique and tasty flavour to cocktails
Aromatized Wines |
Due to its characteristic of being strongly flavoured (used as medicine based on historical records), aromatised wines are the perfect match for mixing with stronger liquors. With spices, florals, and fruits as added flavouring, aromatised wines are also used in various ways. It can be blended or diluted in with other drinks and can be enjoyed as an aperitif.
One of the classic aromatized wines used in a cocktail menu is the vermouth. But, vermouth is not just an old man's cocktail. It is an essential piece of the modern cocktail drinking. The word itself is a German word meaning ‘wormwood’. While it is not literally a type of worm, it actually has a bitter taste from the spices and herbs that were used. Up to today, vermouth is still a key ingredient to the classic martinis.
Sparkling Wines |
When starting out with cocktail mixing, a great way to experiment is with sparkling wines as it is sometimes considered as a cocktail itself. Because of its gaseous bubbles and flavour, it has the become the top of cocktail mix choice. After mixing the wine, you can easily modify the drink with other ingredients.
Out of the several sparkling wines you can choose, a Champagne is one of the top choices for wine cocktails. Though its rise to popularity can be attributed to classical films, such as Casablanca, highlighting the drink.
While It seems to be a waste to mix this elegant drink with another liquid, there are strong alcohol-based mixes that benefit from the frothy texture of Champagne.
The world of wine cocktails is continuously evolving with different mixes being introduced in different bars, restaurants, or homes across the globe. Should you decide to create your own, our wide selection of wines will surely be a great start for your wine cocktails.