When we hear the words “wine cocktail,” most of us pull up memories of sipping sweet wine spritzers with our mothers or (better yet) cracking open wine coolers sometime in the early 80s with our college friends. Yet today’s wine-based cocktails are anything but dated. Trendy blends,punches and wine cocktails are being mixed up using interesting recipes that include Sake, Champagne, Prosecco, Vermouth, Sherry a variety of juices and yes – club soda. And with good reason. Making red, white or rose wine into a festive cocktail  stretches the drink – making it economical for a crowd – and plays on the characteristic of each wine style. Whether fortified, bubbly, still or aromatized, wine serves as a great base for mixing up refreshing drinks that help beat the summer heat. Here are a few of my favorites:

~ Lillet on the rocks with a splash of club soda and a slice of orange.

~ Prosecco with splash of orange and an ice cube made from cranberry juice.

~ Dubonnet with cointreau, grapefruit toppped with sparkling wine

~ Kir Royale made using Champagne and Creme de Cassis

Go ahead – give them a try. Cheers.