Readers, wine lovers, friends: we’ve been living in the “new normal” for over eight months now. And I don’t know about you… but it still doesn’t feel quite “normal” to me. As we enter the holiday season in 2020, it’s bound to look a little different. Traditions will have to change, travel is still at a minimal, social distancing is still in place.

During these strange times, more and more people are delving into the art of cocktail making at home. It’s a simple pleasure; joy in a tangible form. A creature-comfort, in a way. The best news? It’s easier than you might think to whip up a fancy-seeming cocktail for yourself this holiday season. And for us oenophiles, there’s countless options to spruce up your wine and make cocktails with vino at the heart!

Below you’ll find a few of our favorites to whip up this holiday season. All have five ingredients or less and are easily recreated at home.

Ginger Cranberry Spritz

Ingredients: Ice, 0.5 oz Ginger Syrup, 5 oz Sekt (or other sparkling wine), 5 dashes Cranberry Bitters, Sparkling Water (optional), Fresh Cranberries (optional)

Recipe:

  • Fill stemless wine glass with ice
  • Add 0.5 ounces Ginger Syrup
  • Pour in 5 ounces Sekt
  • Stir to combine
  • Top with 5 dashes cranberry bitters
  • Optional – finish with a splash of sparkling water and a few fresh cranberries to garnish

New York Sour

Ingredients: 2 oz Bourbon Whiskey, 1 oz Lemon Juice, ½ oz Maple Syrup, 1 oz Dry Red Wine

Recipe:

  • Shake: Combine the bourbon, lemon juice and syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake until cold Strain it into a glass.
  • Make the red wine layer: Here’s the fun part! Hold the back of a spoon right above the top of the glass. Then gently pour the red wine on top of the spoon into the glass. Because it hits the spoon first, it will settle into a layer on top.

Holiday Wine Spritzer

Ingredients: 3 oz White Wine (I like Moscato for this one to make it sweeter!), 1 oz Cranberry Juice, 1 oz Ginger Ale, 1 oz Cranberries

Recipe:

  • Combine White Wine and Cranberry Juice.
  • Add in Ginger Ale and garnish with cranberries.

The Fireside Red

Ingredients: 3 oz Malbec, 1 oz Cherry Juice, ¼ oz Simple Syrup, 2 dashes bitters, 2 ounces club soda, Mint (optional, to garnish)

Recipe:

  • Fill stemless glass with ice.
  • Pour Malbec, Cherry Juice, and Simple Syrup over.
  • Gently stir
  • Top with club soda
  • Optional – garnish with mint

Figgy Sparkler Cocktail

Ingredients: 1 fig (dried or fresh), 2 slices orange (cut in half), 6 cranberries (fresh), 1 ½ ounces vodka, 4 ounces prosecco (or any sparkling wine)

Recipe:

  • In a cocktail shaker, muddle the fig, orange, and cranberries with the vodka
  • Add ice and shake well
  • Strain into a Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine
  • Optional – Garnish with additional cranberries