DIY Spiced Red Wine Syrup

If you feel that your favourite dark spirit cocktail is lacking a certain intensity, then why not add a syrup of equal parts of sugar and wine.

By: Tiff Christie|December 20,2021

Red wine syrup is basically a reduction made from red wine and sugar that can easily add not only texture (through the tannins) but also complexity to your cocktails. With a Spiced Red Wine Syrup, you can add a high degree of depth, to the mix, with very little effort.

Especially around Christmas, the cloves and the cinnamon add a festive element and ultimately it’s a great use for leftover red wine (I know … but it could happen …).


Red wine syrup typically works well in drinks the utilise darker spirits, like bourbon (really, any whisk(e)y) or rum. So why not replace the simple syrup in a (non-egg white) Whiskey Sour with spiced red wine syrup. You can even lose the float in the New York Sour by replacing simple syrup with this red wine syrup.

The syrup is super easy to mix up and it will definitely add another dimension to whatever your creating.

Red Wine Syrup


  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon is a good one here)
  • 1 cup sugar, or to taste
  • Pinch of salt

If you want to add a little spice then add

  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns, bruised
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a small saucepan, combine the wine and sugar (if you want your syrup spiced, this is a good time to add them). Simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.
The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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DIY Spiced Red Wine Syrup

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