Thanksgiving is generally a time shared with family and friends over food and drink. The food certainly takes the spotlight, and wine is the de-facto alcohol of choice. Sherry is one of the more popular wines found in cocktails, and let’s not forget vermouth, a fortified and aromatized wine. For now, set sherry and vermouth aside and focus on the wines likely to be leftover from Thanksgiving. Here are three cocktails that feature basic red and white wines.
The Left Bank is somewhat of a martini variant. Sure, there is no dry vermouth, but it’s substituted with sauvignon blanc and given some added sweetness with the popular elderflower liqueur, St-Germain. Think of it as a sweet introduction to a gin martini.
- 1½ oz. gin
- 1 oz. St-Germain
- 1 oz. sauvignon blanc
- Combine ingredients in mixing glass filled with ice and stir until chilled.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with expressed lime twist.
There are numerous recipes for the Bishop (featured article photo). The simplest modern recipe I found is more akin to a sangria. It calls for 1 oz. of orange juice, 1 oz. of lemon juice, ½ oz. simple syrup – shaken, strained into ice-filled wine glass, then topped with 4 oz. of red wine, and garnished with an orange wheel.
The oldest recipe I found dates back to 1862. An updated 1887 version includes Burgundy, Jamaican rum, lemon, and sugar. I personally preferred the recipe below which is more like the 1930 version which uses Cuban-style rum.
- 1½ oz. Cuban rum
- 1 oz. red wine
- ¼ oz. lime juice
- ¼ oz. simple syrup
- Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
New York Sour
The New York Sour is an undisputed modern classic. This twist on the traditional sour can be made with or without egg white, but it is better with. Egg white adds a different mouthfeel to the drink. If you’re worried about raw eggs (you shouldn’t be) you can substitute with the some of the liquid from a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas). The red wine float adds a nice accent, and will work best if you’ve incorporated egg white. To do a “float”, slowly pour the wine over the bottom side of a bar spoon held just above the surface of the glass.
- 2 oz. rye whiskey
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. dry red wine
- ¾ oz. simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Combine all ingredients except wine in a cocktail shaker and dry shake. (dry = without ice)
- Add ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into rocks glass filled with ice.
- Top with the reserved red wine.