Simple Cocktail Recipes for Leftover Wine
Sometimes, finishing an entire bottle of wine just isn’t in the cards, and dumping those last precious sips down the drain just seems wrong. What’s a savvy drinker to do? Turn those wine leftovers into a cocktail, of course.
We’ve rounded up five of our favorite cocktails built around wine. Whether you have white, red, rosé or sparkling, turn your leftovers into a satisfying finale that will make sure there’s never a wasted drop.
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Courtesy William Elliott, bar director, Maison Premiere, New York City
Despite its simple recipe, the Kir cocktail’s roots are highly debated. The drink gets its name from Félix Kir, who in the early 20th century was mayor of Dijon, France. Some believe Kir offered the cocktail to foreign visitors, who brought the recipe back home. Others believe the drink was created in response to red Burgundy being confiscated during World War II. It’s traditionally made with Aligoté, the “other” Burgundian white variety that isn’t Chardonnay, but any leftover dry white wine will do.
- 4½ ounces Aligoté (or other dry white wine)
- ¾ ounce Crème de Cassis
In wine glass, add Crème de Cassis to chilled Aligoté. Swirl to mix.
Courtesy Morgan Schick, BV Hospitality, San Francisco
Not sure what to do with that tiny splash of leftover red? Add some cola, and you’ve got a Kalimotxo (or Calimocho), Spain’s most popular cocktail. Hailing from the Basque region, the drink has earned a dedicated following worldwide. Morgan Schick, of the San Francisco mixology group “The Bon Vivants,” says that the ratio used below makes for a perfectly proportioned cocktail.
- 3 ounces red wine
- 1 ounce cola
- Lemon twist (for garnish)
In rocks glass filled with ice, combine wine and cola. Stir gently. Garnish with lemon twist.
Courtesy Eduardo Porto Carreiro, beverage director, Ford Fry Restaurants, Atlanta
Born in Venice, the spritz was popularized during the rule of the Austrian Empire. It was inspired by Austria’s “spritzer,” which was crafted from equal parts white wine and sparkling water. Over time, various liquors and bitters were added to the drink, which created the famed, neon-orange colored cocktail.
- 1 ounce Aperol, or similar bright-and-balanced aperitivo
- 1 ounce dry vermouth
- ½ ounce sparkling water
- 3 ounces Prosecco
- Lime wheel (for garnish)
Add ingredients to wine glass filled with ice and stir gently to incorporate. Garnish with lime wheel.
Courtesy Brad Manske, vice president, ViewHouse Eatery, Bar & Rooftop, Denver
Fresh, fizzy and thirst-quenching, this is the perfect way to use up those final drops of rosé and bubbles.
- 3 ounces fresh lemonade
- 2 ounces rosé
- 1 ounce sparkling wine
Pour over ice and stir.
Courtesy Fernando Bambaren, bar manager, Virtù Honest Craft, Scottsdale, Arizona
Formerly known as the Continental Sour or the Southern Whiskey Sour, this cocktail dates back to the late 1800s. Though originally thought to be crafted by a bartender in Chicago, the cocktail’s name was changed after its popularity took root in the Big Apple. This traditional sour recipe includes a red wine float, which adds texture, acidity, and an intriguing hue.
- 2 ounces Bourbon
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce simple syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water)
- 1½ ounces dry red wine
In cocktail shaker filled with ice, add Bourbon, lemon juice and syrup. Shake well, and strain into glass over ice. Pour red wine over back of spoon to float on top of drink.
- 1The Classic Kir Cocktail
- 2The Perfectly Proportioned Kalimotxo (Calimocho)
- 3Venice-Style Prosecco Spritz
- 4A Simple Rosé Lemonade Recipe
- 5The New York Sour Cocktail Recipe