New analysis by Semrush shows online searches for “easy cocktails to make at home” spiked by more than 1300% after the first national lockdown in March 2020, and almost tripled again in NSW during the latest Delta restrictions.
Data from the online visibility and marketing specialist reveals Victorians have favoured Negronis, while the Cosmopolitan is the most searched for cocktail in NSW. Overall the martini is Australia’s favourite cocktail across all states and territories.
Wine cocktails are another hot new trend in mixology and Australia’s top cocktail bar, Maybe Sammy, has teamed up with Taylor Made Wines for a virtual masterclass on how to make them.
You’ve probably sipped a cocktail or two featuring sparkling wine – Mimosas, Bellinis and Kir Royales are perennial favourites, while the Aperol Spritz has recently taken Australia by storm and the Negroni Sbagliato adds a bubbly twist to the classic.
Still wine, on the other hand, is a less common cocktail component. It’s mostly associated with sangria and mulled drinks, but it’s also delicious when added to cocktails including the New York Sour and Claret Flip.
Wine cocktails also dovetail with consumer demand for drinks that are refreshing and lower in alcohol.
As Food & Wine notes: “Consider the jammy blackberry notes in Shiraz or the bursts of black cherry in Cabernet; imagine how perfectly a little ripe pineapple might blend with the right Chardonnay. And don’t forget to explore the realms of fortified and aromatized wines—vermouths, sherries, ports, and so on. Savvy bartenders have noticed these possibilities.”
On September 28, Maybe Sammy’s Will Oxenham will teach cocktail enthusiasts how to make two cocktails using two Taylor Made wines – Prosecco and Malbec – as the key ingredients.
The live event will take place virtually on Taylor Made Wines’ Facebook page and to help people swizzle and stir their own drinks from home, 200 curated kits of cocktail making tools, ingredients and Taylor Made Wines have been available to purchase.
“While these wines on their own are delicious to sip by the bar, I’m excited for people to taste them as part of these fun and creative cocktails,” Oxenham said.
The two cocktails that Oxenham has created are the Passionfruit Sgroppino (above), which uses Taylor Made’s newest release – the King Valley Prosecco – and the Claret Snap (below), featuring Taylor Made Clare Valley Malbec.
Drinks Digest attended a preview of the event this week and loved making – and tasting – both creations. The prosecco’s crisp acidity and light citrus flavours worked so well with the ingredients in the Sgroppino cocktail, which included passionfruit gelato, cacao syrup and Aperol. And the Malbec mixed beautifully with gin and tart, fresh raspberries in the Claret Snap – this gorgeous drink has become our new favourite cocktail.
According to Will, his version of the Claret Snap is closer to a Gin Sour, with a dash of red wine over the top.
“It alters the cocktail in a really interesting kind of way,” he said. “It softens the citrus element of the gin sour and brings this juicy kind of characteristic to it, and I think it’s the egg white and lemon juice that strips out the tannins of the red wine, so it makes it this softer, juicier, loads of red fruit coming through in a Gin Sour form. It’s a great cocktail.”
Tickets for the cocktail kit and masterclass are available at www.taylormadewines.com.au/maybesammy
for $115 plus booking fee.
Frozen wine cocktails boom in the US
Following frozen rosé, or frosé, becoming a summer sensation in the US a few years back, the cocktail scene has been flooded with new incarnations.
Bars and restaurants around the country are now incorporating riesling, champagne, moscato, beaujolais, and more into frozen wine beverages.
One of the most famous is Wet City in Baltimore, where the slushie machine is so beloved it has its own Instagram. When the team isn’t brewing its own beer it’s experimenting with frozen drinks, like the most recent Strawberry French 75 Slushie with Broker’s gin, sparkling wine, strawberry purée, fresh-squeezed lemon, simple syrup, and a strawberry garnish.
We look forward to seeing if the trend takes off in Australia as summer approaches.