Low Alcohol Cocktails: Sake Red Wine Spritzer Recipe

A light summer cocktail made with a Sonoma County twist

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Luckily for us, our private photography lesson with Portland-based photographer Lara Ferroni coincided with Imbibe magazine’s Summer Drinks issue. Lara mixed up the New Fashioned cocktail, a low alcohol drink mixed with red wine during the workshop, and we were tasked with staging and photographing it. (Original recipe featured on page 44 and on the magazine’s website). We loved it so much–a photographer must drink/eat her props, after all–I returned to the winery and asked Chef Todd Knoll to help me transform Liz Wolferman’s original recipe to include an elegant red wine like Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon and a few other local ingredients. The result? A wine cocktail with a Sonoma County twist. It’s a red wine spritzer/sake cocktail hybrid that’s refreshing, light and not too sweet.

We also substituted Jardesca’s Sonoma-made aperitiva for the Italian one, grapefruit shrub in lieu of grapefruit bitters, Meyer lemons rather than regular ones, and added craft tonic and a little syrup to balance the quintessential bitterness of this classic aperitif cocktail.

Ingredients

1/2 oz. 2011 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon
1 oz. Jardesca California Aperitiva
1 oz. SakéMoto junmai saké
4 oz. Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water
1/4 tsp. Shrub & Co. Grapefruit Shrub
1/8 tsp. (3 drops) agave syrup
1 small lump Demerara (raw) sugar (about a pea-sized spoonful)
1 Meyer lemon twist (standard lemon may be substituted)
1 sprig of mint

Instructions

1
In a 10-oz. rocks glass, add sugar lump, agave syrup, grapefruit shrub, aperitiva and premium junmai saké.
2
Muddle the ingredients together until the sugar and agave dissolve.
3
Fill the glass with crushed ice, top with Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic Water and stir.
4
Slowly pour the 2011 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon over a spoon to allow it to “float” atop the drink, creating two distinct layers.
5
Garnish with twist of Meyer lemon and sprig of mint.

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Born and raised in rural Kansas, Lisa Mattson fell in love with wine during college in South Florida and worked for a wine magazine before moving to Northern California. Her days are spent being a writer, photographer and videographer for Jordan Winery and nights cooking Thai food or microgreen salads. When she’s not eating and sipping her way through Sonoma County, she travels the world with her husband in search of the best restaurants, snorkeling spots and tiki bars.

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