wine education

How to serve wine-based cocktails

Surprise your guests this Christmas with delicious wine-based cocktails that are simple to prepare and a pleasure to share.

While there’s no better way to celebrate the festive season than sharing your favourite bottle of wine around the Christmas table, wine-based cocktails are a great way to serve something different and exciting with minimal preparation and fuss for the host. 

Here is our go-to guide on this year’s hottest trend:

What is a wine-based cocktail?

Traditional cocktails are typically built from a base of one or more spirits, then blended with a variety of additions such as sugar syrup, bitters, fruit juice, soda water or cream.

The beauty of wine-based cocktails begins with their simplicity, often including just one alcohol-based ingredient. Take the Bellini, where chilled sparkling wine is blended with a little sugar, lemon juice and fresh peaches to create the perfect aperitif. As wines already have complexity built into their character, it means that you need fewer ingredients to create an interesting cocktail.

Another great thing about wine-based cocktails is that they’re usually lower in alcohol, making them a fantastic choice for long lunches and daytime get-togethers.

How to make a wine-based cocktail

Start by choosing the type of wine you’d like as your base, then top up with two or three additional ingredients and serve. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Sparkling wine

A great place to start if you’re new to wine-based cocktails, as the bubbles subtly lift the aromas in the glass. Sparkling wine is essential for classic recipes such as Bellinis, mimosas and spritzes.

Try: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay Pinot Noir

White wine

The ideal base for spritzers, white sangria, refreshing punches and kir cocktails.

Try: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Adelaide Hills Chardonnay


Swap spirits and other wines for rosé to add a beautiful blushing twist to margaritas, mimosas and martinis.

Try: Jacob’s Creek Le Petit Rosé

Red wine

Perfect for fruity sangria, berry cocktails, kalimotxo, and even red wine-based mule.

Try: Jacob’s Creek Reserve Limecoast Shiraz or Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz

Short on time? Try Jacob’s Creek Prosecco Spritz, a refreshing ready-to-serve blend of crisp Prosecco, blood orange, botanicals and a twist of bitters. Serve chilled, poured over ice and garnished with a fresh slice of orange or ruby grapefruit.

Add a festive twist

To really get into the spirit of the season, add a festive twist to your wine-based cocktails. Try adding some of these seasonal ingredients:

  • Fresh fruits such as cherries, berries, mango, mandarins, pomegranate seeds, red currants or blood orange.
  • Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves or cardamom.
  • Mixers such as cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, apple cider or ginger beer.
  • Fresh herbs such as rosemary sprigs or peppermint.

When in doubt, look at the flavours in your menu and you’ll find plenty of inspiration for crowd-pleasing wine-based cocktails with a good dose of festive cheer.

Featured articles

Discover more from Jacob's Creek