Wine Cocktails Basics
I invite you to take a magical journey with me, to a realm many have yet to experience, a wonderful realm occupied by the Frisco, the Sakeand#8217;d Saint, the Kitty, the Refroidisseur, and many other fantastic imbibibles, a realm where the music is either jumping or slightly subdued (depending on your party mood), a realm where toasting is as common as fresh fruit juice, a realm where wine and liquor live together, a realm known as Wine Cocktails.
Wait, you say, hold on just a minute. Before we go on this "magical journey," I have a simple question: What are wine cocktails, anyway? Well, they are just what they sound like: Wine cocktails are any mixed drink that includes a type of wine as a major ingredient, whether itand#8217;s red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, a dessert wine, or one of wineand#8217;s more international cousins, such as sake. And, as the drinks are always mixed in some way, that means that there must be something in our wine cocktails besides wine. The list of ingredients accompanying wine is vast, including liquors such as gin and brandy, liqueurs from all over the earth, such as Aperol and Chambord, fresh juice, fresh fruit, herbs, and other traditional mixers like club soda.
Hold on one more sec, though, you say and#8211; I thought wine was something consumed on its own. Hasnand#8217;t there been a recent wine explosion because people are sipping more wine? Wine is a wide category, and one that is deliciously fun to delve into. Iand#8217;m not suggesting you should give up enjoying wine by itself (that would be a sacrilege). For that matter, I wouldnand#8217;t turn down a nice glass if you offered it to me. And of course, one should always enjoy a higher-end vintage bottle on its own. But one of the lovely aspects of the wine cocktail is that it lets you use, and consume, wine in a wider range of situations, and lets you employ the flavors and notes of different types of wine in different drinks, blending them with other flavors. Of course, one of the other (and maybe more important) aspects of the wine cocktails in this book is that they taste so darn goodand#8212;and wouldnand#8217;t you be sad if you missed out on this due to some allegiance to only consuming wine solo?
To be accurate, wine cocktails have actually been around quite a long time. Champagne and sparkling wines fit into the wine cocktails realm, and the classic Champagne cocktail, with its simply brilliant mix of sugar, Angostura bitters, and the bubbly, has been around at least since the mid 1800s (itand#8217;s in Jerry Thomasand#8217;s Bar-Tenderand#8217;s Guide from 1862). While many find this pretty acceptable (due to Sunday-morning Mimosas and the like), many would also be surprised to find out that at the same time, and during the cocktail heyday during the latter part of the last century, there were also many other drinks being made with red and white wine mixed with liquors, liqueurs, and other ingredients, just like the beverages contained in this book.
The question is now for you: Why wouldnand#8217;t you slip in a nice wine cocktail at your next gala, backyard lawn-bowling tourney, or candlelit dinner for two? I strongly suggest it (and applaud it, if you invite me to said celebration). More and more people are drinking wine on an everyday basis, as well as learning a bit more about wine and having access to a greater variety of wine. At the same time, cocktail love and culture are back on the rise, and people are enjoying good cocktails and good spirits with their friends more than ever. Itand#8217;s time to bring these two great trends together in one friendly, tasty place. The realm of wine cocktails is that place.