Warm up this season with a few of my favourite wine cocktails!
Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner parties, Christmas Eve and New Years!
BERRY RoseMERRY SPARKLER – Serves 6
1 cup berries of choice (fresh) – I recommend cranberries or blackberries
1 cup white sugar
1 cup white water
1 bottle of dry sparkling wine
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary (long enough to stand taller than the rim of the glass)
1 slice of lemon
1/2 cup cane sugar (white sugar works too, but I prefer the look of cane sugar)
Combine berries, water and white sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 12 – 15 minutes or until fruit becomes soft and syrup forms.
While the fruit simmers, take your slice of lemon and cut a slit in the center of it. Run the lemon around the rim of the glasses you will use for serving and dip each one in cane sugar – the easiest way to do this is by pouring the cane sugar onto a saucer plate first.
Remove saucepan from heat and drain off berries. Keep the syrup in a separate bowl. Allow to cool.
Once cool, carefully spoon 2-3 tablespoons of syrup into the bottom of each champagne flute – try to avoid getting it on the sides of the glass if you can. Top each glass with sparkling wine.
Stick a sprig of rosemary and a few berries into each glass as garnish, and Voila!
SANGRIA CIDER – Serves 6
4 red apples, sliced
1 bottle Pinot Noir
3/4 cups Grand Marnier liqueur
3 cups apple cider, chilled
4 tablespoons maple syrup
6 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/4 cup cane sugar
1 orange, sliced
In a large glass pitcher or punch bowl, add apple slices, wine, cider, maple syrup and Grand Marnier. Stir to mix.
Slice orange (in wheels, not wedges) and cut a single slit into each slice from the center to the edge. Run one of the slices around the edge of each glass to wet the rim. Mix together the cane sugar and ground cinnamon on a saucer plate and dip each glass into the mixture. Place the cinnamon sticks into the glasses and stick an orange wheel onto the rim of each one.
Carefully fill the glasses with ice and pour in your sangria cider – be sure to get some apples slices in each glass too!
Serve and enjoy!
HUGO HOTTY – Serves 4
1 bottle dry white wine
3/4 cup elderflower syrup
4 sprigs of fresh mint
Wash limes and cut one in half. Set 1.5 limes aside. Take the remaining half lime and grate its peel into a bowl before squeezing its juice out on top.
Heat wine, elderflower syrup, lime juice and grated peel in a pot over medium heat – do not let boil. Taste and decide if you’d like to add more or less syrup – if the wine has a prominent acidity you may want to add a little extra syrup to balance it.
Slice the remaining 1.5 limes into thin wheels and divide them up into heatproof glasses or mugs. Pour the heated wine cocktail into the glasses and garnish each serving with a fresh sprig of mint.
PINOT POME-GRANNY-CRAN – Serves 6
1 bottle of Pinot Noir
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup Grand Marnier liqueur
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
6 tall sprigs of fresh rosemary
Combine main ingredients over ice in a large punch bowl or pitcher. Be sure to distribute the pomegranate seeds and apple slices as evenly as possible when serving.
Garnish each glass with a tall sprig of rosemary and serve!