Gin plays well with vinho verde

I’ve seen a lot of gin and sparkling wine cocktails, frequently balanced with some sugar and bitters. A lot of times there’s the fashionable bitters-soaked sugar cube in the bottom of a glass with gin and then wine on top. You can even go up the price scale for both gin and champagne to show how nice a party you’re throwing. If the pricey ingredients don’t match in flavor, you can balance it out with the cheap ones. Plus these are strong drinks and tasty, so it’s a good party.

I’m definitely a fan of these cocktails, but if I’m going to mix them a lot then I’m not going to use champagne, or even prosecco. I’m going to try to get it to work with vinho verde, because it’s both delightful and cheap. I’m using Hendricks, which is a more expensive gin, for this cocktail. This is partly because I have some, and partly because the sweetness means I don’t have to add any extra sugar. I am that lazy sometimes. Since I’m not using the fashionable sugar cube, I can do something else pointlessly pretty with the bitters:

  • 25 grams of Hendricks gin
  • 125 grams of vinho verde
  • splash of Angostura bitters
Pour in the gin, then the wine with enough force to stir the cocktail a little. Then, gently, add the splash of bitters on top. They’ll swirl around a little by themselves, and if you don’t stir them too much you’ll get the pretty layer I got in the photo above.

The balance of the fruity acidic wine and the sweet vegetal gin is very bright and refreshing, without being too sweet. The medicinal/herbal notes of the angostura marry well with the sweetness of the gin and the other plant flavors.

Depending on the wine you’re using (any sparkler would be fun, though probably stick to white…), as well as on the gin and the bitters, you can vary the ratios a lot and balance with a little sugar. Bitters-soaked sugar cubes are so trendy, after all. I just can’t be bothered.

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