Autumn-Inspired Wine Cocktails

Autumn Wine Cocktails

To celebrate Autumn, we’ve curated a delectable selection of wine-based, Fall-focused cocktails you can try at home and enjoy with friends. Seasonal cocktails like these are a great way to experiment and discover new flavors that you can pair with your favorite food.

Most of the following drink recipes only require a basic home bar setup, including a shaker, a strainer, a cocktail spoon, a glass beaker, a muddler and appropriate glassware. All of these can be found on

VacuVin Bar Tools

The New York Sour

A modern take on the traditional Whisky Sour, the New York version displays the rich and warm colors of Autumn. On the palate, the red wine adds extra flavor and complexity to this classic cocktail. We recommend using something dry and fairly robust, like a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you would prefer a richer and sweeter profile that compliments this recipe’s counterparts, perhaps try a bourbon barrel-aged dry red wine. 

What you’ll need:

2 Ounces bourbon or rye whisky
1 Ounce lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
¾ Ounce simple syrup
1 Dash Angostura bitters
½ Ounce dry red wine
Lemon peel (to garnish)

How to make it:
1. Combine all ingredients except red wine into a cocktail shaker without ice.

2. Dry shake your cocktail for at least 20 seconds. *

3. Add ice and shake your cocktail for an additional 10 seconds or until the outside of the shaker feels frosty-cold.

[*If you would prefer a foamier New York Sour, try using the reverse dry shake method instead.]
4. Strain into an ice-filled glass.
5. Slowly pour your red wine over the back of a spoon and onto the top of the drink, creating a “float”.
6. Garnish with lemon peel, sit back and enjoy!

Serve in: an Old Fashioned/lowball style glass.

The New York Sour

The Lily

Combining the aromatics of Lillet Blanc (a white wine apéritif made from Bordeaux-grown grapes), a kick of gin and the nutty notes of Crème de Noyaux; the Lily is a smooth and inviting cocktail conveying a beautiful pinkish-red hue.

What you’ll need:

1 Ounce gin (London dry style preferred)

1 Ounce Crème de Noyaux*
1 Ounce Lillet Blanc**
¼ Ounce lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
A lemon peel twist
[* Although not quite the same, if you can’t find Crème de Noyaux it can be replaced with Amaretto.]
[** A white vermouth or other white wine based apéritif can be used too.]

How to make it:
1. Stir the first four ingredients with ice in a glass beaker for approximately 20 seconds (although this cocktail can be shaken, it could be argued that the aromatics of this drink can be “bruised” when using a shaker).
2. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with your lemon peel twist on the rim.
3. Get ready to relax and sip away.

Serve in: a coupe glass.

Schott Zwiesel Champagne Coupe Glasses

The Curtain Call

This version of the ‘Curtain Call’ is by far the best, most balanced and most fitting of the Fall season. The Curtain Call offers fresh, herbaceous notes from the basil leaves and a subtle, biscuity element from the added champagne. This refreshing drink is also a great cocktail option to make by the jug, for when you have company on a lazy afternoon.

What you’ll need:

3 Basil leaves
1 Ounce white rum
⅔ Ounce lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
¾ Ounce simple syrup
¼ Ounce Campari
1 Ounce Champagne or Brut sparkling wine
Extra basil leaves for garnish

How to make it:
1. Muddle your basil leaves with the rum and lemon juice in a shaker.
2. Then add ice, simple syrup and Campari and shake for at least 15 seconds or until thoroughly cold.
3. Strain into a chilled glass and top with sparkling wine.

4. Garnish with a whole fresh basil leaf, or a black olive on a pick.

5. Take a seat and indulge in this delicious cocktail.

Serve in: a highball glass.

Riedel Highball Glasses 

The Rosé Wine Mojito

No one can turn down a good Mojito. Take your much-loved Mojito recipe to the next level by giving it the rosé treatment. The strawberry and rhubarb notes you commonly get from a quality rosé wine pair incredibly well with the classic mint and lime flavors. Our particular version includes dark rum instead of the usual white rum, for added depth and tastiness.

What you’ll need:

Mint leaves (procure more than you think you’ll need)
1 Ounce dark rum

½ Ounce simple syrup
1 Ounce lime juice (freshly squeezed)
2 Ounces rosé wine
1 Bottle grapefruit infused mineral water or flavored soda (preferably unsweetened)

How to make it:
This drink can be completely built in the same glass you drink it from. –
1. Place a good handful of mint leaves (approx. 6 is enough, but some people like their drink super-minty) along with the simple syrup, rum and lime juice into a shaker tin. Muddle thoroughly.
2. Add ice and shake for at least 10 seconds.

3. Double strain into a glass filled with ice cubes or an ice spear, if you want to switch it up.

4. Add the rosé and stir well.
5.  Include a few whole mint leaves to garnish, pushing a couple down into the drink.
6. Top with grapefruit soda and stir again, but this time lightly, as to not disrupt the bubbles.
7. Enjoy!

Serve in: a highball glass.

The Rosé Wine Mojito

The Smokey Joe-lene

When it’s nearing the end of the night, you’re probably feeling like having something a tad sweeter and a tad stronger. This dessert wine-based drink just might be the ticket for you. The original is called The Smokey Joe, but our version is slightly tweaked to include a dry white wine instead of sake. We believe the flavors work well: a harmony of citrus, smoke and sweetness. This is the Smokey Joe-lene. (Try it with a salted-caramel dessert!)

What you’ll need:
2 Ounces dry white wine*
¼ Ounce cognac/brandy
½ Ounce peated Scotch whisky**
1 Ounce Sauternes/late-harvest white dessert wine***
[*We recommend using something citrusy like a Riesling or Semillon.] 

[**Most Islay region single malt whiskies will be peated/smokey.] 

[***You could also use an ice wine (Eiswein).]

How to make it:
1. Combine all ingredients and stir well with ice in a mixing glass.
2. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a thinly sliced wheel of lemon (dehydrated lemon works too).
3. Sit back, relax, and unwind…

Serve in: a sour glass

The Smokey Joe-lene

About the Author: Ethan Burke is a freelance writer with more than a decade of experience in the wine industry. His passion for food and wine drives a perpetual thirst for knowledge, and a desire to discover new stories, journeys and flavors.


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