summertime wine drinks uncorkd

5 Summertime Wine Drinks for Your Menu

Ah, summer is here. At this point, we’ve all had a few very hot days, and customers are beginning to shun even room temperature drinks in favor of ice cold ones. Tired of serving gin gimlets and beers? Here are five summertime wine drinks that’ll push those beverage sales sky high.

Wine Slushes

Wine slushes are an old standby for summertime, but every year, I see restaurants that have somehow forgotten to add these to the menu. Making them is cheap and easy (throw some frozen wine cubes into a blender), and they’re usually irresistible, too.

If you have already added wine slushes to your summertime menu (go you!), you may want to consider adding different kinds of wine. Dessert wines, whites, reds, sweet sake, and pisco all make delicious variations.

Tinto de Verano

Don’t feel like freezing your wine? You can make Tinto de Verano, the “red wine of summer,” created in Spain. This drink is refreshing and cool for a hot summer day, and it’s super easy to make as well. The important thing is to make it bubbly, yet not so sweet that it’s hard to justify another (and another). To maintain the refreshing feel, try cutting your lemon-lime soda with seltzer water. This recipe is courtesy of Saveur.

1 cup red wine (don’t use anything too nice)
1 cup lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite, Sierra Mist, 7-Up, Fresca, or Squirt
Seltzer (optional)
1 lemon wedge, for garnish

Combine wine and soda in an ice-filled glass, stir lightly, and garnish with lemon.


Want to switch up the Tinto de Verano for a similar drink? Offer Kalimotxo (pronounced “calimocho”)  which is red wine mixed with cola, for your diners wanting something a little different. This recipe is also courtesy of Saveur.

1 cup red wine (don’t use anything too nice)
1 cup cola

Carefully mix wine and cola in an ice-filled glass, and serve.


Italy is also very fond of iced drinks, and they’ve classed up the wine slush into a gourmet treat. Different variations on this drink can be found all over Italy, so this recipe is clearly one that you can play with to create your own signature twist. The classic recipe below is courtesy of Drink of the Week.

3 oz. Prosecco
1 oz. vodka
3 oz. lemon sorbet
Sprig of mint

In a chilled cocktail shaker, whisk the vodka into the sorbet. Pour the blend into a chilled champagne glass, and then add Prosecco. Top with mint and serve.

Napa Sour

This drink is a lot like the classic and delicious Pisco sour, but it’s made with Cabernet instead. It’s highly drinkable (and trendy, too!) and with some elegant marketing, this drink could become a real hit at your restaurant. To make the tarragon-infused simple syrup, place fresh tarragon into the pot as you boil your simple syrup. This recipe is courtesy of Saveur.

2 oz. whiskey
1 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. tarragon-infused simple syrup
1 egg white
1/2 oz. Cabernet
Maraschino cherry for garnish
Orange slice for garnish

First, build your boat garnish by wrapping the orange slice around the cherry and securing then together with a toothpick. Once that boat is done, place ice in a cocktail shaker and add all ingredients except the wine and the boat. Shake ingredient together, then strain then into a wine glass. Pour the Cabernet into the glass and garnish.

Now that you’ve got your drinks figured out for the summer, you just need to increase your sales. Try having your runners take a roundabout route through your restaurant when delivering iced summery drinks. If they do this and move just a bit slower than usual, your thirsty guests will notice the drinks from their tables, and, assuming you’ve created some nice garnishes, the orders for summery wine drinks will start pouring in. Enjoy!

Photo licensed by Adamina