Clementine, Whiskey & Wine Cocktail

By • October 20, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: One of my favorite cocktails ever is from Local Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant in my hometown of Ferndale, Michigan. It’s a drink made with a combination of whiskey, citrus juices ad simple syrup. Sounds like just a standard cocktail, right?

The real kicker is that there is a “floater” of red wine poured on top. When I first read the description on the menu, it sounded….strange. And I wasn’t sure it was going to be good. But I ordered it anyway, and it was fantastic. Strong but refreshing, sweet but not too much so, and a balanced combination of flavors. It was like whiskey drinks were always meant to have a little kick of wine.

For my home adapation, I took my favorite winter fruit – clementines – and made a (very simple) simple syrup. I swirled that into some whiskey, and added ice and a cherry. Then came the special part – a floater of red wine (my favorite is malbec). Hint: get the wine to float on top of the drink by slowing pouring the wine over a spoon right above the drink.


Serves 2

Clementine Simple Syrup

  • 4 clementines, peeled and segmentd
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • 3 ounces Clementine Simple Syrup
  • 3 ounces whiskey
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
  • 3 ounces red wine such as malbec, for floating
  1. Make Clementine Simple Syrup: In medium saucepan, stir together clementines, sugar and water. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on fruit to extract as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate until cool. Makes about 1-1/2 cups simple syrup.
  2. Fill two rocks glasses with ice; add a few cherries to each glass, if desired. Fill cocktail shaker with ice; add Clementine Simple Syrup, whiskey and lemon juice, and shake well.
  3. Pour whiskey mixture over ice in glasses. Pour wine floater over top of cocktails by slowly pouring wine over a small spoon set over each glass.

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