You would’ve selected the wines for your holiday dinner, from the roast turkey to the dessert spread. From California Chardonnay to Pinot Noir to Zinfandel, you’ve got all your wine. The only thing missing is a festive wine-based cocktail to kick off the celebration.
Craft cocktails are a huge trend for holiday gatherings and beyond, and both still and sparkling wines can be a part of that experience. Not only does wine provide a lighter alternative to spirits, but it also pairs exceptionally well with a variety of cocktail components. California wines make a particularly fitting match for the state’s bounty of local, sustainably grown produce and fresh herbs.
“Wine can create a lot of versatility in a cocktail,” says Christopher Longoria, beverage program director at Che Fico in San Francisco. “It can bring characteristics such as fresh and dried fruits, tannins, roundness and structure.”
To provide inspiration for signature wine-based cocktails, California Wines has released a new free e-book. The eBook called “California Wine Cocktails for the Holidays” is available to download here. Moreover, it features recipes for deliciously creative seasonal drinks. You can find recipes like California Gold Rush—a blend of California Chardonnay. Fresh lemon juice and lemon-thyme honey—and the Cranberry Rosé, made with California dry rosé wine, cranberry juice and orange bitters.
Whether you’re looking to create a savoury drink with complex, spicy notes or a light cocktail brightened with winter citrus, there’s a California varietal wine or blend to complement just about any ingredient—not only during the holidays but all year long.
- California Gold Rush: An herbaceous blend of California Chardonnay, lemon juice and lemon-thyme honey
- West Coast Warm Winter Wine: A fruit-forward spin on mulled wine, accented with pomegranate and fresh citrus
- Cranberry Rosé: Dry California pink wine meets cranberry juice and orange bitters
- Red Apple Sangria: California red wine and apple cider get a spicy twist with cinnamon and fresh fruit slices
- Vineyard Mule: A refreshing take on the Moscow Mule, featuring California white wine
- Raspberry Port Sparkler: California port-style wine and bubbles mingle with muddled raspberries
- Red Wine Hot Chocolate: Luscious chocolate and full-bodied California red wine chase away winter chills