Resuscitating a pre-Prohibition favorite, the most cutting-edge cocktail creators are once again adding wine to the mix.
Back in 1910, bartenders at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria hotel prided themselves on wine cocktails like the Suburban, which called for port. "Fortified wines like port, sherry and, of course, vermouth, were common in classic drinks," says cocktail historian Dale DeGroff. Almost a hundred years later, mixologists are once again working with wine, inspired by an interest in cocktails that pair well with food—a new trend. "I like how wine gives acidity to drinks, but rounds them out at the same time," says Ryan Magarian, who invents cocktails for Crush in Seattle. At the just-opened Little Owl in New York City, every drink on the cocktail list uses wine in some form. Among the newest concoctions are cocktails flavored with intense wine syrups, made by reducing wine with sugar, or nonfortified wines like Sauvignon Blanc. "You rarely see that in classic drinks," says DeGroff.
2319 E. Madison St., Seattle; 206-302-7874.
The Little Owl, New York City
90 Bedford St., New York City; 212-741-4695
The Duke of Bedford
Jovia, New York City
135 E. 62nd St., New York City; 212-752-6000