Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Vodka Cocktails

Red, White & Night

A Collins glass on a stark white backdrop holds a vivid red drink over ice cubes. It’s garnished with three sugared blueberries on a silver pick. / Tim Nusog

At first glance, the Red, White & Night is a strange and bewildering recipe. While red wine is no stranger to some cocktail recipes, most notably drinks like Sangria or a New York Sour, seeing it mixed with vodka is uncommon. However, this Fourth of July-themed cocktail comes from the reputable mind of H. Joseph Ehrmann, the owner of San Francisco’s legendary tavern Elixir. Despite its peculiarity, this cocktail is a bright, vivid and refreshing punch that’s perfect for Independence Day but enjoyable year-round.

Part of the appeal of the Red, White & Night is that it’s a breeze to make a batch while entertaining. The most important step in building it is deciding on the red wine to use. Cabernet sauvignon is what Ehrmann calls for in the recipe, but even in that there is versatility, as that grape one of the most popular grapes varieties for wine. Because of that popularity, you can choose from cheap table wines to expensive bottles that are aged for years or even decades. Seeing as you’ll be mixing the wine with vodka, lemon juice and simple syrup, you’ll want to use an affordable bottle. But don’t go too cheap. Keep in mind that the drink calls for only two ounces of cabernet, so you’ll likely end up enjoying the rest of the bottle on its own. Whatever label of cabernet you might normally enjoy with dinner should work, especially one that is brighter and juicier.

The choice of vodka matters, too, of course. Similarly, you won’t want to go too inexpensive, but neither should you break the bank. Use a midrange, decent wine and fresh lemons, and you might find the Red, White & Night is your new favorite punch for the 4th of July or any other warm-weather occasion.


  • 2 ounces vodka

  • 2 ounces cabernet sauvignon

  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 ounce simple syrup

  • Garnish: 3 blueberries or black raspberries, coated in powdered sugar


  1. Add the vodka, cabernet sauvignon, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice.

  3. Garnish with 3 blueberries or black raspberries coated in powdered sugar.