The Ultimate Guide to Red Wine Cocktails for Your Wedding Reception

The Ultimate Guide to Red Wine Cocktails for Your Wedding Reception


Incorporating red wine cocktails into your wedding reception is a growing trend that adds elegance and a touch of sophistication to your special day. From enhancing the dining experience to offering guests a unique beverage option, red wine cocktails are a must-have. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create and serve these delightful drinks, ensuring your wedding reception is unforgettable.

1. Selecting the Perfect Red Wines for Cocktails

Choosing the right red wine is essential for crafting exquisite cocktails. Here are some versatile options that cater to a variety of palates at the party:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon: Known for its bold flavors and rich texture, this wine pairs well with fruits and spices.
  • Merlot: A softer, fruitier option that blends seamlessly with a range of ingredients.
  • Pinot Noir: Light and versatile, perfect for cocktails that require a subtler wine base.

2. Essential Tools and Glassware

Before you start mixing, ensure you have the necessary tools and glassware to serve red wine cocktails:

  • Pitcher: For easy mixing and serving.
  • Wine Glasses: Stemmed glasses enhance the presentation and flavor.
  • Muddler: Essential for releasing the flavors of fresh fruits and herbs.
  • Measuring Jigger: To ensure precise measurements of spirits and mixers.
  • Stirring Spoon: For thorough mixing without shaking.

3. Red Wine Cocktail Recipes

Red Wine Sangria


  • 1 bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1 orange (sliced)
  • 1 lemon (sliced)
  • 1 lime (sliced)
  • 1 apple (cored and diced)
  • 1 cup club soda (optional)


  1. In a large pitcher, combine the red wine, brandy, orange liqueur, orange juice, and simple syrup. Stir to mix.
  2. Add the sliced fruits and stir gently.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. If serving with club soda, add it just before serving to give the Sangria a bit of fizz.

Blackberry Cabernet Spritzer


  • 1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 cup blackberries (muddled)
  • 2 tbsp honey or simple syrup
  • 1 cup club soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Blackberries and fresh mint for garnish


  1. In a blender, muddle the blackberries to release their juices.
  2. In a large pitcher, combine the muddled blackberries with the Cabernet Sauvignon and honey or simple syrup. Stir well.
  3. Fill wine glasses with ice, pour the wine mixture over the ice, and top with club soda.
  4. Garnish with a few whole blackberries and a sprig of fresh mint.

4. Pairing Red Wine Cocktails with Your Menu

Pairing your red wine cocktails with the right foods can elevate the overall dining experience for your guests. Here are some pairing suggestions:

  • Red Wine Sangria: Complements grilled meats, roasted vegetables, and spicy dishes.
  • Blackberry Cabernet Spritzer: Pairs well with lighter fare such as salads, seafood, and poultry.

5. Setting Up a Red Wine Cocktail Bar

Incorporating a red wine cocktail bar at your wedding reception can be a fabulous addition. Consider these tips for setting up:

  • Signage: Clearly label each cocktail and include a brief description of its ingredients.
  • Presentation: Use elegant decanters and pitchers for serving. Adorn the bar with fresh fruits and herbs for garnish.
  • Staffing: Ensure you have knowledgeable bartenders to mix and serve cocktails efficiently.


Creating and serving red wine cocktails at your wedding reception is a delightful way to impress your guests and add a touch of luxury to your special day. By selecting the right wines, using the proper tools, and following our step-by-step recipes, you’ll be well on your way to crafting memorable drinks that complement your celebration. Enjoy the process of exploring and creating these delectable cocktails, and here’s to a beautiful and unforgettable wedding day!

Another Idea for your Big Day:

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