Wine cocktails are one of this summer’s hottest trends.

Celebrated mixologist and owner of Seamstress NY, Pamela Wiznitzer, has partnered with Ruffino Wines to create a lineup of refreshing wine and sparkling cocktails. Perfect for summer entertaining and al fresco dining, these professionally created cocktails are easy-to-make at home and will impress your guests all season long.

Check out what Pamela has to say about mixing with wine and find out the other major cocktail trends she is following this summer season.

Do you have any tips for mixing with wine?

Wine cocktails are perfect for summer sipping. When mixing with wine, keep it simple. There is no need to go over the top with cocktail recipes that alter the subtle flavors with a million ingredients. For the best results, play on the notes found in the wine and highlight them with a few other components. For example, Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio, has notes of pears and golden apples so access those notes by using fruits and ingredients of similar taste profiles.

If using sparkling wine, add it last to the build of a cocktail and never shake it. When you shake with carbonation or bubbles it takes away the effervescence and kills the essence of the wine. Another great tip for creating sparkling wine cocktails is to use the whole bottle once you crack it open. The bubbles in sparkling wine are at their best when you first open the bottle and the wine is the freshest. Try to use it for bigger batches, pitchers or punch bowls worth of cocktails.

What makes wine a trendy cocktail ingredient for summer?

Wine is the perfect summertime cocktail ingredient because it’s light, refreshing, and low proof, which is perfect for daytime, al fresco sipping. The Ruffino portfolio of wines and sparkling wines offer approachable pricing that make it an excellent choice for cocktails.

Pam Wiznitzer

Pam Wiznitzer, Owner of Seamstress, NY

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Licciardello

Any types of cocktail ingredients that are foolproof when mixing with wine?

It all depends on the wine, but building off of the classic “spritz” format using soda water offers wiggle room to create more elaborate riffs off of that style.

What should bartenders know when mixing with wine?

It is important to remember that wine is low proof and also very delicate. You can treat it as the main ingredient or as a modifier for the drink. The key is to remember to keep the bottles chilled if they are bubbles, white or rosé wine.

What are some other cocktail trends that you predict this summer?

Local and seasonal ingredients are key for fantastic summer cocktails. Look for herbs, melons, and berries when creating summertime drinks like sangrias. Low proof is another great trend that allows for daytime sipping which is popular in the summer as those longer days lend themselves nicely to elongated hours of drinking with friends. Keeping your cocktails low proof will allow you to make the most of that time without letting the alcohol creep up too quickly.

Ruffino Lumina Punch

Ruffino Lumina Punch

Photos Courtesy of Ruffino Wines

Ruffino Lumina Punch

This drink is best served like a sangria. Simply multiply the quantities by eight and pour into a pitcher for easy serving. For the best results, allow the mixture to sit for a few hours in the fridge with the garnishes before serving so the ingredients can infuse and the drink absorbs the flavors of the fruit and sage.

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio
  • 1 part Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 part Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 part Honey Water (2 parts Honey to One Part Water)
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple Chunks

Preparation: In a wine glass, place all ingredients in a glass and add fresh ice. Garnish with 4-6 leaves of sage, 5-6 raspberries and 2-3 chunks of pineapple. Stir and enjoy.


Ruffino Always Sparkling

Ruffino Always Sparkling

Photos Courtesy of Ruffino Wines

Ruffino Always Sparkling

Rosé is often misunderstood and added to drinks without considering its dimensions and complexity. Here, we play on the fruit notes and the floral elements of Ruffino Sparkling Rosé by bringing it out with the rose water and strawberry. Cognac is also a grape based spirit so it works well with the drink and provides additional depth.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 parts Ruffino Sparkling Rosé
  • 1 part Cognac
  • 3/4 part Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 part Strawberry Puree (Sweetened)
  • 1 dash Rose Water

Preparation: Shake all ingredients except for Ruffino Sparkling Rosé. Strain into lowball glass with ice and top with Ruffino Sparkling Rosé. Garnish with a strawberry half.


Ruffino Tuscan Sun

Ruffino Tuscan Sun

Photos Courtesy of Ruffino Wines

Ruffino Tuscan Sun

With slight herbal tones, this drink highlights Ruffino Prosecco’s ability to bring out vegetal notes in a drink. This drink is fantastic for group entertaining at home or as an aperitif.

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Ruffino Prosecco
  • 1 part Vodka
  • 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 part Lemon Tonic
  • 1/2 part Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 part Simple Syrup

Preparation: In a shaker, add all ingredients except Ruffino Prosecco. Shake and fine strain into a flute. Top with Ruffino Prosecco and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.