6 Refreshing Wine Cocktails to Try This Summer

Clearwater Core Sauvignon Blanc

Wine “cocktails” have undoubtedly been around for a long time. For centuries, wine and water were mixed together to make the water safe to drink. Sometimes herbs, spices, fruit or honey would be added to improve or disguise flavour. This is the essence of a wine cocktail: think sangria, punch and mulled wine – all mixed wine drinks with ancient origins, all completely delicious.

Although the word “cocktail” has become particularly associated with spirit-based drinks, some of the classiest and most refreshing cocktails remain wine-based. Here we showcase 6 of the best cooling wine cocktails for the summer. Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or hosting a party, these lip-smacking wine cocktails are perfect for any occasion.

Buck’s Fizz

Firstly, we’re kicking off with a classic, an ever-popular drink to serve at weddings and even for Christmas Day breakfast! Pour two parts chilled champagne – we suggest Hesketh’s Madeline Alice Méthode Traditionnelle – and one part orange juice gently into a flute glass. This cocktail is believed to have been invented by a bartender at the Buck’s Club in London in the 1920s. The very similar Mimosa contains equal parts champagne and orange juice – so don’t be afraid to vary the ratios if you want a less alcoholic version! You could even try it with prosecco or another sparkling wine for a slightly different take. Garnish with a slice of orange.


To make a classic white wine spritzer, pour 100ml of a zesty wine such as Clearwater Cove Sauvignon Blanc into a chilled wine glass, top up with soda water and garnish with a lemon peel twist. Of course, you could use another white wine if you prefer, or even rosé instead of white wine. However you like to make it, it’s simple and refreshing, low calorie and a great lower-alcohol option too!

Kir Royale

My Mum’s favourite cocktail, and she has great taste! This is a perfect apéritif for an al fresco lunch. Pour a half shot of crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) into a champagne flute and top up with chilled Louis Roederer Blanc De Blancs. Garnish with a blackberry or raspberry for an elegant touch.

White Sangria

In my opinion, this is a more summery and refreshing version of the classic Spanish punch. Add approximately 3 cups of chopped/sliced fruit (eg grapes, strawberries, apple, orange, peach, mango – whatever is in season, really) to a large pitcher and sprinkle 50g sugar over (add more or less sugar to taste). When the sugar has dissolved, add a cup of brandy or Grand Marnier. Then, instead of the traditional red wine, add a bottle of chilled Cune Rioja Blanco (or another dry white wine) and stir gently. To serve, add ice cubes to a tumbler, spoon in some of the fruit and fill about 3/4 full with the wine mixture. Then top the glass with sparkling water for a cool summer sip.

Lychee Rosé Bellini

This is a humble but ever-so-delicious cocktail. Use the syrup from a tin of lychees, 1 measure in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add 1 drop of rosewater (optional) and top up with Undurraga Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé. You’ll be surprised at how sophisticated this cocktail is. For a longer version, pour 2 measures lychee syrup plus 2 drops rosewater over ice in a highball glass, add 150ml sparkling rosé and top up with soda water. Garnish with a lychee or rose petal floated on the surface.

Italian White Wine Mojito

Lastly, if you love mojitos (traditionally made with rum), this is a super tasty lower-alcohol version! Pour a bottle of chilled Fantinel Borgo Tesis Pinot Grigio (or another zesty Italian white wine) into a pitcher along with 500ml limonata (Italian lemonade – substitute ordinary lemonade if you can’t find limonata). Add the juice of 2 limes and a cup of fresh mint leaves, and stir gently. Serve in tumblers over ice, garnished with a slice of lime and a sprig of mint. Enjoy!