kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


From the cellar to the shaker

During my research recently on wine cocktails for a piece I just finished, I received a lot of great info from mixologists all over the country who are grabbing bottles and adding the contents to shakers, along with spirits, bitters, juices and other ingredients. No, I'm not talking about sparkling wine cocktails, mulled wine, wine spritzers or Sangria (though they all have their fans and place on the menu...), but dry, still wine. When added to a cocktail, crisp whites can add a zesty, citrusy quality; oaky whites can offer complexity and body; and fruity reds can give great fruit notes that blend well with stronger ingredients.

Back bar stars Jim Meehan of New York City's PDT, Bradley Dawson of Belly Timber in Portland, Oregon, and Urbana's Kevin Rogers are reaching for the wine rack, whose contents are inspiring them to develop complex concoctions that bridge the gap between wine enthusiasts and spirits fans. Here are a few recipes they shared with me:

King Cab Cocktail
Courtesy of Kevin Rogers, Urbana, Washington, DC
2 oz. Cabernet Sauvignon Wine
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 Brown Sugar Cubes
Orange Slice
Lemon Slice
Maraschino Cherry
Ginger Ale

In the bottom of the an old-fashioned glass, muddle fruit slices and cherry with brown sugar cubes, bitters, and splash of ginger ale. Add wine, ice, then top with ginger ale. Stir briefly. Garnish with flamed orange peel.

Easter Egg Hunt
Courtesy of Bradley Dawson, Belly Timber, Portland, Oregon
3oz Verdejo wine
1 dash of Angostura bitters
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 ounce of fruity gin (Hendrix, or 12 bridges)

Add all ingredients, and ice, to shaker. Stir gently. Serve in a large trumpet or flute with a large lemon twist.