Madeira Martini – with Fresh Pineapple Juice

Madeira Martini

Madeira Martini

Enjoy martinis?  If so, consider making this fun and unique Madeira Martini with fresh pineapple juice. It’s great for a before dinner cocktail, or even after a meal as a pleasing dessert.

Background and History

Madeira wine is one of the oldest wines in the world. Originating from the island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal, Madeira is generally made with one of five grape varietals: Tinta Negra, Malvasia, Bual, Verdelho and Sercial. It is a fortified wine with an alcohol level ranging from 17% to 19%, and can be very sweet, semi-sweet, or dry.

Madeira was created when it was transported on sailing vessels are early as the 1400’s to ports around the world. To preserve the wine, alcohol was added to it, and on the ship the wine was exposed to hot temperatures and sloshed around in the barrel. This created a nutty burnt caramel taste, which makes Madeira taste so delightful and also makes it nearly indestructible because it is already oxidized.

Madeira was a favorite of Shakespeare, Thomas Jefferson, and many other famous people. Today it is less well known, but deserves to come back into fashion as one of the world’s most historic and amazing wines.


2 ounces of Sweet Madeira wine

2 ounces of fresh Pineapple juice


Pineapple wedge for garnish



Prepare fresh pineapple juice.  Pour 2 ounces of juice and 2 ounces of sweet Madeira into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake vigorously and let sit at least 2 minutes to chill.  Pour into chilled martini glass.  Garnish with pineapple wedge. Sip slowly and enjoy!


Study Break- White Wine & Strawberry Cocktail

Study Break White Wine Cocktail

Study Break White Wine Cocktail

While studying for exams in college, the stress levels can build. Once you have passed the exam, this is great drink to use for celebration. It’s also fun to drink with friends on a warm day or in a backyard soiree with family.

We modified a recipe by Krystal Kitsh called Trop50 Raspberry Acai Cocktail, by substituting strawberries and peach for raspberry and acai.

History and Background 

Riesling is one of the 5 classic white grapes and is can be made in many styles, ranging from bone dry to very sweet.  It also has one of the highest levels of acidity, making it very food friendly. Riesling has a range of fruit and floral aromas adding to its complexity. It’s this balance of fruit and acidity that makes Riesling so highly prized as a wine grape.

Riesling grapes are used to make many different styles of wines, from dry to semi-sweet to very sweet – even sparking wines. The key difference is how long the grape is left on the vine and how long it is allowed to ferment. The longer the grapes ripen, the more intense their flavors and aromas become. German Riesling grapes are generally harvested in September to make a light, fruity, well-balanced wine. Riesling grapes harvested later are more complex, flavorful, and often used to make late harvest, dessert, and ice wines.

Ingredients for One Serving

  • 2 OZ cold Riesling (We used Schmitt Sohne)
  • 2 ½ OZ cold Peach Strawberry Juice (We used Welch’s)
  • ½ OZ Peach Schnapps
  • Sprite to top it off
  • Frozen Strawberries to keep drink cold
  • Slice of a peach to garnish


Freeze Strawberries before hand. Start out by measuring out 2 oz. of Schmitt Riesling and pour into the glass. You will next measure out 2-½ oz. of Welch’s Peach Strawberry juice; now you may add extra juice depending on how much juice you like and how deep of a pink you want to serve the drink. Next you will add ½ oz. of peach Schnapps. Gently stir what you have added so far then add the strawberries. Next add sprite to top it off. After doing this take the peach and slice it into fourths and then take one of the slices and slice it horizontally on the inside to place it on the glass. Now drink and be merry!

Video: Making of Study Break Cocktail

Contributed by K. Leary and T. Mossbarger

The Teacher’s Pet – A Wine and Apple Mint Julep

Teacher's Pet Wine Cocktail

Teacher’s Pet Wine Cocktail

This twist on the classic mint julep is a perfect summer drink for those who prefer to skip the Bourbon and enjoy the lighter taste of wine. Although it gives off a deep red color, the mint, apple, and sparkling wine add subtly sweet and refreshing flavors for everyone to enjoy.

We call this the Teacher’s Pet because of the emphasis on apples  – everyone knowns that teachers love apples!

History and Background 

The origin of the mint julep is unclear. It is believed to have started in the Southern United States during the eighteenth century. This drink was originally popular due to the believed medicinal value. It was introduced to bars when a Kentucky senator brought it to the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. Mint juleps are now associated with the Kentucky Derby and other southern traditions. The wine and apple julep is a modern adaptation to add more flavors and dimensions to the original, traditionally bourbon or gin based, drink.

Ingredients for One Serving

  • 10 Mint leaves
  • 2 ounces apple juice
  • 2 ounces port wine (We used Graham’s Six Grapes)
  • Sparkling Rosé wine (We used Andre)
  • Apple slice for garnish


Muddle 10 mint leaves in shaker. Do not over muddle or there will be a bitter taste to your drink. Add ice to the shaker. Add 2 ounces apple juice and 2 ounces port wine. Shake until well mixed. Pour into separate iced glass. Fill remainder of glass with sparkling rosé wine or Champagne. Garnish with apple slice and mint leaf. Enjoy!

Video: Making the Teacher’s Pet Cocktail    

Contributed by S. Litman and E. Moon

Citrus Tang – A White Wine & Ginger Beer Cocktail

Citrus Tang Wine & Beer Cocktail

Citrus Tang Wine & Beer Cocktail

What could be better than a light lemon- lime cocktail on a hot day? Featuring pinot grigio wine and ginger beer, this cocktail is fun and refreshing.


This cocktail is based on a recipe created by Edwina G originally called a Black Thai Spritzer, but we have modified it by adding Ginger Beer and citrus vodka. We selected this cocktail because we are big fans of refreshing lemon lime type drinks.

The ingredients used in this cocktail represents a light and engaging drink that can be consumed year round. Many of the ingredients are actually good for you, which makes it even more enjoyable to drink. For example the ginger beer is made from natural ingredients and the basil is fresh from the garden. The refreshing part comes from the lemon lime soda and citrus vodka. The pinot grigio wine spices up the drink with floral and peach notes.

Ingredients for One Serving

  • 4 oz Pinot Grigio (We used Barefoot)
  • 2oz Citrus Vodka
  • 1oz lemon lime soda
  • 1oz Ginger flavored beer
  • 2 basil leaves

Video: Making a Citrus Tang Cocktail

Contributed by S. & D. Wade


Valentine’s Day Delight – A Sparkling Rosé Wine Cocktail

Valentine's Day Delight Sparkling Rose Cocktail

Valentine’s Day Delight Sparkling Rose Cocktail

With this drink we have spruced up the traditional Valentine’s Day drink of pink Champagne by adding Angostura bitters and a sugar cube.

The result is a beautiful sparkling wine cocktail with the yin-yang of sweet and bitter. The cocktail can actually taste rather sweet, which makes it perfect with a box of chocolates for the special occasion. 

History and Background 

Valentine’s Day began in the ancient roman festival of Luperclia, a celebration commemorated annually on February 15th. Lupercalia was later outlawed at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. Americans began exchanging Valentine’s cards in the early 1700’s. Common celebration components include chocolates, Champagne, and teddy bears. We have added a sparkling wine cocktail.

The most common method a winemaker chooses when making Rosé Champagne or sparkling wine is blending a percentage of red wine with a white wine before undergoing secondary fermentation. Rosé Champagne’s are known for their pale pink color. Ultimately the higher the percentage of red wine the deeper the hue of pink will turn out. The most popular producers by volume are France, Spain, Italy, and the United States.

Ingredients for One Serving

  • Half of one sugar cube
  • 4 dashes of Angostura
  • Chilled Rose Champagne (We used Chandon from Napa)
  • Rose petals as garnish
  • Chocolates (optional)


Before beginning the cocktail make sure that you have two champagne flutes on hand. Then take one sugar cube and cut it in half, placing half of the sugar cube at the bottom of each flute. Fill each flute with the chilled rose champagne of your choosing and watch as the sugar cubes dissolve at the bottom of the glass. Finish the cocktail by adding four dashes of Angostura bitter over each flute. For garnish add rose petals and serve with the chocolate of your choosing.

Video: Making a Valentine’s Day Delight Wine Cocktail

Contributed by B. Brown & R. Dorn.

Sweet Calistoga Swirl with Sauvignon Blanc Wine

Sweet Calistoga Swirl Wine Cocktail

Sweet Calistoga Swirl Wine Cocktail

This thick and sweet drink is a perfect smoothie blend with that extra kick. The smooth Sauvignon Blanc matched with the beautiful blend of fruits, fruit juices, and cold ice cubes provides a refreshing and filling drink.

This smoothie is perfect in any settings; it can be served in the morning on a luxurious outing, or as a late night dessert snack. Since this cocktail smoothie is little thicker than your regular cocktail it is a drink that is well paired with a meal on the lighter side. A citrus marinated light salmon with rice could go great with this drink!

Background and History

This cocktail is based on a sweet white sangria recipe containing pineapple, orange, peach, lemon, and Riesling. When putting together the recipe for this cocktail we found that the sweet fruity flavor and thick consistency of the peach cocktail mixed well with a sugary dry Sauvignon Blanc from Calistoga. This is where the recipe got it’s name Sweet Calistoga Swirl.

Sauvignon Blanc first gained its recognition in France in the 18th century. It is popular in both the Bordeaux and Loire regions. This drink also holds a lot of history in California, history dating back to the 1800’s. The vine was brought over from Chateau d’Yquem to a Livermore winery known by the name of Cresta Blanca. Charles Wetmore who was the first person to introduce Sauvignon Blanc to California owned this winery.

Ingredients for One Serving

5 parts Sweet Sauvignon Blanc

3 parts orange juice

2 parts peach nectar

1 tbsp agavè

1 whole peach

4 cubes of ice

A squeeze of lemon


Remove the pit from a peach and slice into smaller pieces for preparation before blending. Put the four cubes of ice and peach slices in a blender, pour in the remaining ingredients including the Sweet Sauvignon Blanc, orange juice, peach nectar, agave syrup, then top it off with a squeeze of lemon.

Watch how this cocktail is made here.

Contributed by T. Larsen & J. Duncan


The Wrath of Lemons – A Lemon & Wine Cocktail

Wrath of Lemon Wine Cocktail

Wrath of Lemon Wine Cocktail

The Wrath of Lemons was spawned from a night of experimenting with different cocktail ingredients with friends, and everyone decided this was the drink! It is very sweet, but beware; the alcohol can sneak up on you, hence the name. It is incredibly refreshing, and is the perfect drink for a lazy summer day!

History and Background

 This wine cocktail features Moscato wine, which is made from the family of Muscat grapes. Muscat is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world and is thought to have originated in the Middle East. Today there are more than 200 different strains of the Muscat grape and it is called by many different names around the world. It is an aromatic grape with notes of orange blossom, apricot, honeysuckle and citrus. Muscat can be made in a sweet, semi-sweet, or dry style.

It was one of the first grape varieties brought to California, where it is still grown, and it is very popular in the United States where it is used to make Moscato. In Italy they call this clone Moscato D’Asti. Moscato is generally low alcohol content when fermented to a sweet or semi-sweet style, ranging from 5%-8%.

Ingredients for One Serving

  • 3 blackberries
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • 1 shot of vodka (we used Skyy Vodka)
  • 4 oz Moscato wine
  • Lemonade
  • 1 Lemon slice to garish


In a mason jar, slightly muddle 3 blackberries. Add the cup of ice, and then the shot of vodka. Add 4 oz of Moscato wine, and then top off with lemonade. Garnish with a lemon slice then sit back and enjoy!

Video: Making a Wrath of Lemons Wine Cocktail

Contributed by R. Leveroni & R. Dennett