12 Best Wine Cocktails That'll Warm You Up This Winter

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wine cocktails

Wine cocktails may seem like the picture of a summer evening, but they can be enjoyed year-round. In fact, some of the most interesting wine-based cocktails exist for winter specifically.

Whether it's a hearty red wine or mulled wine, we're more accustomed than we realize to drinking wine all winter long. Why then would not we take that wine love and segue it into some beautiful and fun wine-centric cocktails, created in the spirit of the season?

So, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Because we have drinking to do!


RELATED: Drinking Red Wine Makes You Skinnier, Says Science


1. Wooden Shoe

This cocktail at Sparrow + Wolf in Las Vegas is made with Ketel One vodka, mulled wine syrup, lemon and egg white. Where did the inspiration come from?

According to the bartender/creator, Alyssa Ocampo, "That emotion of coming together to share a story and a smile, while being able to step away from the hustle of our everyday routine, is our intent every time we shake this frothy libation for our guests. Wooden shoes are put out in the Netherlands during the holidays for St. Nick to fill with gifts and treats, and the Dutch are notorious for their love of mulled wines, so was born our beverage and its name." 

2. Cranberry Beret

At Momed in Los Angeles’ hipster Atwater Village neighborhood, Prosecco is the base of the Cranberry Beret cocktail from lead bartenders Lindsay Barker and Amanda Callis. It provides a celebratory fizz in a cocktail that’s designed to evoke the flavors of the season, with Prosecco, fresh cranberry, honey liqueur, Amaro Sfumato Rabarbaro, and Allspice Dram.

A flamed rosemary garnish adds to the seasonal scents, for a drink that tastes and smells like the holidays in a glass.

3. Champagne Wishes

At Estiatorio Milos in Las Vegas, there is always a reason to celebrate! This season, grab your loved ones and mosey on down to one of the city's most dazzling restaurants, where you'll find the perfect wine cocktail to do the trick.

Dubbed Champagne Wishes, this drink features Gerard Bertrand Brut Rose, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Aperol, fresh lemon juice, and grapefruit bitters. 

4. The Long Weekend

At Henley in Nashville, this is a bright and slightly tart sipper featuring vodka, Prosecco, and two fortified wines: Lillet Rouge and Cocchi Americano Rosa. Creating the ultimate wine cocktail experience, this one-of-a-kind creation offers the lush taste of wine combined with the bold taste of vodka for a flavorful, action-packed drink.

5. Spiced Sangria

This classic wine cocktail is made with red wine, spiced rum, citrus, strawberry, and finished with a hint of vanilla and cardamom for added holiday effect. It can be found at Slater’s 50/50, with 11 locations in California, Nevada, Texas, and Hawaii!

6. Holiday Punch

This drink is made with tequila, grapefruit juice, lime, mulled wine syrup, rosemary grapefruit peppercorn bitters, champagne, and rosemary sprig garnish.

According to Ryan Autry, the Bar Manager at The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, “This cocktail combines bold red wine and winter spice flavors, which are complemented with the earthiness of the tequila. Topping the cocktail with champagne provides a balanced refreshing flavor profile perfect for any holiday party."


RELATED: 6 Yummy Winter Cocktails To Warm You Up When It's Cold Out


7. Greek Red Sangria

'Tis the season for sangria, and Mezé Greek Fusion, located in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, offers a sangria cocktail bursting with winter flavors. The Greek Red Sangria starts with Metaxa brandy and Greek red wine, with seasonal peaches, orange zest, cinnamon, and sparkling ginger added for a festive touch.

8. Sangria de Cidra Manzana

Primavera Ristorante, located on San Diego’s Coronado Island, embraces the holiday season with Sangria de Cidra Manzana. With Prosecco, brandy, Pink Lady, Angry Orchard hard cider, and pomegranate molasses, Sangria de Cidra Manzana is a wine cocktail that will warm up the coldest nights.

9. White Chocolate Foxy Lady

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Chocolate Lounge, a branch of Sugar Factory that’s opening in December 2018 as a part of San Diego’s brand new multi-purpose complex, Theatre Box, offers two wine-based winter cocktails. Chocolate Lounge’s White Chocolate Foxy Lady is made with rosé champagne in a glass that’s dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with pink white chocolate shavings.

10. The Dark Chocolate Berry Sangria

This drink, also at Chocolate Lounge, is a seasonal upgrade on traditional sangria with St. Germain, ginger liqueur, white cranberry juice, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cointreau. It's served in a dark chocolate-dipped glass and garnished with raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

11. Negroni Sbagliato

North Charleston wine bar Stems & Skins takes happy hour to the next level with its Aperitivo menu. For example, the Negroni Sbagliato is a classic Aperitvo from Milan, featuring Prosecco, Atxa Rojo Vermouth and Cappelletti, and is served on the rocks with an orange twist.

“The Negroni Sbagliato is actually a wine cocktail born by mistake in the early 1970s when a bartender in Milan grabbed Prosecco instead of gin to make a Negroni,” says Matt Tunstall, co-owner and Beverage Director of Stems & Skins.

12. Hold the Fluff

Hank’s Cocktail Bar in DC has cocktails that are both festive and capable of easing the pain of your forthcoming family reunion. Hold the Fluff is made with Angel’s Envy Bourbon, sweet potato syrup, lemon, and is topped with red wine and black pepper.


RELATED: What Your Go-To Cocktail Or Alcoholic Beverage Reveals About Your Most Deeply Hidden Personality Traits


Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her at alywalansky@gmail.com.