wine and lillet cocktail recipe
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Once upon a time, the wine cooler—a pour of Chablis from the jug, topped off with fizzy water—was the least sophisticated drink at the party. But the wine cooler has been cocktailized, with wine that’s used as a sophisticated base for balanced and interesting drinks. Here are 9 wine cooler recipes we’re thirsty for.

Needless to say, they’re great summer sippers, and most are simple enough to be made on a picnic blanket or at the beach, but all are welcome additions to any backyard BBQ. Banish all thoughts of Bartles & Jaymes, and all fuzzy, soft-focus notions of ’80s nostalgia too. These wine-based drinks are sophisticated (but not too sophisticated to have a good time) and super refreshing.

Related Reading: The Best Canned Wines for Summer

1. Crimean Cocktail

white wine cocktail recipe


A light, crisp wine cocktail perfect for summer, with white wine, Cointreau, lemon, and soda. You’ll feel like you’re at the beach, even if you’re actually just on your fire escape. Get our Crimean Cocktail recipe.

2. Tinto de Verano

tinto de verano (Spanish wine cocktail with lemon-lime soda)


Similar to a Spritzer or a wine cooler, this Iberian cocktail is very refreshing. La Casera is the Spaniards’ preferred brand of soda mixer, but Sprite or 7UP is a fine substitute. Incidentally, it’s a great camping cocktail too. Get our Tinto de Verano recipe.

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3. White Wine Spritzer

white wine spritzer recipe


White wine, soda, and a lemon twist: An easy cocktail for a warm-weather brunch or hot summer night (and, of course, Ned Flanders’ drink of choice in Vegas). Get our White Wine Spritzer recipe.

4. Chardonnay Cover-Up

Chardonnay cocktail recipe


Usually a bottle of wine is a welcome gift, but if an oaky Chardonnay is not your wine of choice, turn it into a refreshing cocktail. Just mix it with some Aperol, orange bitters, and a lemon twist and serve it over ice. Get our Chardonnay Cover-Up recipe.

5. Raspberry Cocktail

raspberry wine cocktail recipe


An excellent way to use fresh raspberries, this drink looks fruity and delicate but still has a nice kick of gin. Try it at brunch with lemon ricotta pancakes, or for an afternoon cocktail poolside. Get our Raspberry Cocktail recipe.

6. Ruby on Rails Cocktail

"Ruby on Rails" strawberry cocktail with Pimm's No. 1


The sweet combination of sliced strawberries, strawberry syrup, and rosé wine is balanced by the herbal complexity of gin and Pimm’s No. 1. Get our Ruby on Rails Cocktail recipe.

7. Femme Fatale Punch

sparkling strawberry cocktail with limoncello


This combination of sparkling wine and strawberries may look girly and fruity, but after one glass you’ll understand why it’s called punch. Get our Femme Fatale Punch recipe.

8. Aziza’s Lambrusco Sangria

lambrusco sangria recipe


Bubbly Lambrusco adds a little sparkle to classic sangría. With a hit of gin, this cocktail is strong but remains balanced. Remember to be delicate when stirring it or you’ll kill the bubbles! Get Aziza’s Lambrusco Sangria recipe.

9. Le Petit Hibou

wine and lillet cocktail recipe


Courtesy of The Little Owl (“Le Petit Hibou” in French), this combo of Pinot Blanc, Lillet Blanc, and apple juce is unexpectedly delicious, either at dinner or on its own. Get the Le Petit Hibou Wine Cocktail recipe.

Related Reading: The Best Wine Club Subscriptions

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