5 Creative Cocktails That Awesomely Transform Wine

Posted on: September 16th, 2013 by

Casey at The BarSure, it’s getting easier and easier to find creative cocktails wherever you go. But how many of them use wine as a component? Yeah, a mimosa is great. And I’ll gladly drink my share during brunch. (GLADLY AND WITH ROBUST PLEASURE.) So what would be the results of challenging a bartender to use wine when mixing cocktails? Paying homage to the classics? Putting a unique twist on something commonplace? Going creatively nuts?

I turned to Casey Robison, Spirits Director for the Heavy Restaurant Group, because I knew he’d mix up a little bit of all three queries and pour the results into a glass. Better yet, he’d do so as a guest on my Wine Without Worry podcast. (Sidebar: If you’re in Seattle, and it’s Monday, you must stop by Barrio for half price tequila and mezcal night. This discount applies to the distinct pleasure of drinking these fine spirits neat, slowly sipping away the oncoming chill of fall and darker days of the season.)

And not only did Casey integrate wine into a cocktail, he’s such an overachiever that he utilized 5 different wines to create 5 different cocktails. The wines:

  • Oregon Pinot Noir (Trisaetum, which I butchered the pronunciation of so I’m giving them some link love as a mea culpa.)
  • A Spanish Verdejo
  • A still AND sparkling rosé (In a nod to Washington, the former was from Gilbert Cellars)
  • Cava
  • Sherry (a sweet finish from Lustau, whose virtues I have extolled before.)

The Pinot Noir is floated on top of his tequila and pineapple gum syrup (!) fueled Village Sour:

village sour

Fizzy and still rosé make for an apple brandy-fueled sangria that will win you friends and influence people:

sangria

And you know a guy who has a blog called Life is Better With Mezcal used that smoky spirit in a cocktail with East Indian Sherry? It’s what’s for dessert:

sherry mezcal

Perhaps you want all the recipes? Go forth and recreate! Big thanks to Casey for lending his time and spirit(s). If you’d like more background about all these drinks, check out the podcast episode. Taped at midnight on location at Barrio, it was certainly the latest start I’ve had for an episode. But when you get a chance to sit down with a friend and ace bartender, time is of no matter. Here are a few things we chatted about:

  • 19th Century apothecaries
  • Chewing on Italian leather after smoking a pack of cigarettes
  • Mezcal terroir
  • What a good host wants to do with their guests
  • Simple tips on how to make better drinks at home

Pour yourself a drink, tune in, and kick back:

Wine Without Worry Episode 19 on iTunes: Creating Creative Cocktails With Wine

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