9 Wine Cocktails Around Europe

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9 Wine Cocktails Around Europe
When traveling around Europe, you’re bound to enjoy at least one glass of wine with nearly every meal. In fact, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), Europe makes up 61 percent of the world’s wine consumption. But a simple glass of wine is not all you’ll find across the continent. The world’s oldest winery dates back to 4100 B.C.E. in Armenia, which means that Europe has had many centuries to not only perfect the art of winemaking but also find a dozen other ways to enjoy the fermented grape drink. We’ve rounded up nine of the most common wine cocktails around Europe that are sure to spice up your vacation drinking game.
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    1. Sangria (Spain)
    It’s only appropriate that sangria tops the list of wine cocktails—it might be the most popular wine-based drink in the world. While you may frequently enjoy sangria at Mexican restaurants, it’s actually a Spanish creation. When water was unsafe to drink during the Middle Ages, Spaniards mixed red wine with brandy and fresh fruit for a safer (and more flavorful) option. Today the drink is also made with white wine and cava, Spanish sparkling wine, and can be found across the country.

    Plan your trip: Spain
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    2. Kir (France)
    The Kir cocktail was named after Canon Felix Kir who was the mayor of Dijon for 20 years and the creator of the French cocktail. Kir often had parties where he served white wine and decided to start adding crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur, to each glass of wine. The combination was popular among party guests and was eventually dubbed the Kir. The drink’s popularity spread among France and is now a favorite in the United States as well. For celebratory occasions, try a Kir Royale—made with champagne instead of white wine.

    Plan your trip: France
    Photo by N1D0/Flickr
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    3. Sbagliato (Italy)
    This Italian cocktail has an interesting history as a sort of Negroni rip-off. The story of its accidental creation comes from Bar Basson in Milan where a busy bartender mistakenly poured prosecco instead of gin into a glass with Campari and sweet vermouth. Rather than tossing the concoction, it was dubbed the Negroni Sbagliato, which translates to “wrong” Negroni. The name may suggest otherwise, but this cocktail is perfect for sipping on a warm afternoon in Italy.

    Plan your trip: Italy
    Courtesy of Dante NYC
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    4. Kalimotxo (Spain)
    Most people have heard of this wine cocktail before but fewer have actually tried it. The infamous red wine and Coca-Cola drink, known as Kalimotxo in Spain, is said to have been born out of a desire to mask the taste of cheap wine you wouldn’t want to drink on its own. Served over ice, the cocktail mostly tastes like having Coke with a winelike aftertaste—and if you get a particularly fruity red wine, it sometimes resembles cherry Coke.

    Plan your trip: Spain
    Courtesy of Pixabay
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    5. White Port and Tonic (Portugal)
    This Portuguese aperitif doesn’t have an official name but it’s so simple that it doesn’t really need one. White port is less sweet than ruby and tawny ports, with a slight citrus and honey note similar to Lillet. When poured over ice and mixed with tonic, it’s light enough to spark your appetite for a meal of feijoada, quiejo, and bacalhau. White port can be difficult to find outside of Portugal, which makes this a cocktail worth traveling for.

    Plan your trip: Portugal
    Courtesy of Yeatman Hotel
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    6. Fröccs (Hungary)
    This wine cocktail is the quintessential summer drink. If you ever find yourself at an outdoor cafe in Budapest, you’ll likely be drinking a cold and refreshing Fröccs. The name translates to “spritzer” and is simply white wine topped with soda water. Hungary makes many crisp, fruit-forward whites that are perfect for Fröccs and sometimes swap in rosé instead. Other than occasionally using rosé, the only difference among versions of the drink is the ratio of soda water to wine. There are roughly 20 different proportions you can order.

    Plan your trip: Hungary
    Courtesy of Pixabay
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    7. Bellini (Italy)
    You’re probably pretty familiar with this sparkling wine cocktail from its ubiquity on brunch menus across the United States. The Bellini is said to have been invented at the famous Harry’s Bar in Venice by a well-known bartender in the mid-20th century. The mixture of white peach puree and prosecco is typically served as an aperitif before a meal, but we’d happily drink a few glasses on their own.

    Plan your trip: Venice
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    8. Tinto de Verano (Spain)
    It seems like Spain is always looking for ways to spice up its red wine consumption, and tinto de verano is the perfect answer to a summer wine cocktail. Translating to “red wine of summer,” tinto de verano is red wine is poured over ice and topped with gaseosa, or lemon-lime soda. It’s light, refreshing, and easy to drink on a hot day in Spain.

    Plan your trip: Spain
    Courtesy of Pexels
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    9. Mulled Wine (Various)
    When winter arrives in Europe, you can find people across the continent warming red wine and mixing it with citrus fruit and spices like cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Stop by any outdoor winter market and join the Europeans in sipping from mugs filled with their appropriately named versions of mulled wine: Glühwein in Germany, glögg in Norway and Denmark, vin chaud in France, vinho quente in Portugal, and svařené víno in the Czech Republic.
    Courtesy of Pixabay
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    Courtesy of Makana Terrace at the St. Regis Princeville