For whatever reason, the majority of the cocktails we consume tend to have a rich, red flavor – either due to the color combinations of the ingredients they contain, or as a purely aesthetic design to make the drink appear attractive and desirable.
The color red itself represents passion, danger, romance, and intensity, which perhaps goes some way as to why many of the most popular cocktails on the planet boast such an appealing red color.
Red is the forbidden fruit, the big red button you have been told not to push, and the warning sign telling you to slow down.
It will always be attractive, even if we don’t know why. So, without further ado, let’s get started, counting down 20 of the best red cocktail recipes on the market!
Created in Spain, but popular throughout the world, Sangria is a traditional summertime favorite amongst holiday makers, famed for its high alcohol content, its fruity, punch-like appearance, and its light, refreshing flavor that makes it perfect for the heat.
Famously blood red in color, Sangria contains large chunks of seasonal, summer fruit, adding deliciousness, attractiveness, and intrigue with every sip.
Consisting primarily of red wine, Sangria can also be combined with citrus juices, and even other spirits to create a sweet treat that screams relaxation and warm, summer evenings.
A drink made famous amongst the bars and nightclubs of New York City, the red wine spritzer is fairly simple despite its elegant reputation.
Consisting of red wine and some form of fizzy mixer – such as lemonade, tonic water, soda water, or sparkling water – this drink eliminates the heaviness of traditional red wine, and creates something dark, fruity, and exciting that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
A popular drink in Mexican, particularly amongst younger people and students, the Kalimotxo consists of red wine and cola, and is considered an affordable party drink thanks to the cheapness and availability of its ingredients.
Gaining widespread, mainstream popularity in recent years, this drink remains incredibly popular in Mexico, as well as some areas of South America, and the Southwestern United States.
A classic summer drink, usually consisting of tequila or mezcal, the margarita is a popular sharing cocktail, usually served in pitchers, and enjoyed on hot summer days with friends and family.
When combined with raspberries (either fresh or in syrup form), this drink takes on a whole new lease of life, with the flavor transitioning from one of sharp citrus, to a richer, fruitier concoction with an attractive pinkish red hue.
This summer vodka-based drink is perfect for sharing, either at a bar with friends, or at large get-togethers like BBQs and family reunions.
Similar in looks to Sangria and rum punch, this party punch also contains chunks of citrus fruits, and frozen lemonade to give it a refreshing, satisfying taste that will keep you cool and relaxed on those days when it is too hot to do anything else.
This next drink is a little unusual, but has instant classic written all over it.
Irish red lemonade is a vague title, but the cocktail itself is very clear about what it is – an Irish whisky-based cocktail, laden with rich red grapes, tangy pomegranate seeds, sour lime juice, and sugar syrup, all blended together and served over ice to create a stylish and attractive drink.
These might not be found in your run of the mill cocktail lounge, but if you can find one, it will become a firm favorite amongst you and your friends.
This seasonal holiday punch is perfect for sharing with family and friends as you bring in the festive season together.
With a sparkling wine base, and additional ingredients like cranberry juice, dark rum, brandy, and citrus fruits, this really does taste like Christmas time in a cup, and can be a great centerpiece to the refreshment table at your family get-together.
Just take it easy, this stuff might seem wholesome, but it packs a literal ‘punch’!
This classic cocktail appears on the menus of most bars and clubs, offering a refreshing, tropical inspired drink with a white rum base that feels more at home in some beach resort than a fancy cocktail bar.
Serve over crushed ice for the perfect summer cocktail, or simply serve chilled, taking in the attractive, deep red color, and the strawberry garnish on top.
This rum cocktail is the perfect summer sharer, with a rich red color and refreshing cold taste that makes it the perfect pairing for hot days by the pool.
These are commonly shared in pitchers with other people, but many establishments prepare them in single glasses too, allowing you to experience a taste of the Caribbean wherever you might be in the world.
10. The Red Queen
The popularity of gin and elderflower have skyrocketed in recent years, with both ingredients being subject to serious investment, growth, and experimentation.
This cocktail takes these ingredients, combines them with a rich, blood red cranberry juice, and serves with a sprinkle of sugar and a simple garnish of seasonal fruits to create an elegant, sleek beverage fitting of such a regal title.
11. The Red Rooster
This vodka, cranberry, and citrus infused cocktail takes inspiration from the classics, combining the subtle elegance of classic vodka cocktails, with the rich, fruitiness of a refreshing spring/summer drink.
The end result is the Red Rooster – a light, refreshing drink that leaves you feeling relaxed, alert, and satisfied.
12. The Red Eye
Made famous in the Tom Cruise film Cocktail, where it was purported to be an effective hangover cure, the Red Eye is certainly an odd concoction, but one that is packed with freshness and flavor.
Combining beer, vodka, tomato juice, and eggs, the Red Eye has a similar feel to a classic Bloody Mary, albeit with the light fizz of the beer, and the raw eggs, which add a distinct frothiness to the mixture and provide some much needed protein on those tough mornings after the night before.
13. The Red Dragon
Despite the name sounding reminiscent of Asian culture, this cocktail actually draws its roots from Wales, which makes perfect sense when you consider the country’s flag.
This gin based cocktail infuses grand marnier, blood orange juice, grenadine, and lemon juice to create a blood red, fruity concoction, with just enough tang and sourness to make things interesting.
Despite its name, this drink is anything but shy. Combining vodka and pomegranate liqueur, and enfusing them with lemon juice, sugar, and pink grapefruit juice, this drink is elegant, self assured, and knows exactly what it is bringing to the table.
Garnish with mint for an extra taste of subtle refinement, that draws the whole flavor combination together with a neat little bow.
15. The Red Frog
While not a conventionally attractive name, the Red Frog is certainly a delicious contradiction.
Combining whiskey with chambord – a black raspberry liqueur from the south of France – this is then mixed with cherry flavored amaretto, and cranberry juice.
Serve this little guy over crushed ice for the perfect summer beverage, or drink him straight up for a more sophisticated take on the Red Frog.
A spicy, Texan take on the classic margarita, these Red River Margaritas combine tequila with pink grapefruit juice and jalapenos to create a sweet, tangy, spicy concoction that will leave you wanting more.
Perfect for the warm weather, and a great sharer with friends, these margaritas are a great way to beat the heat, while experiencing a little bite from the jalapeno chilis – adding a little nod to the southwestern spice culture from which it draws its roots.
17. The Bloody Mary
This classic cocktail is one of the most famous on this list, and despite being (perhaps strangely) consumed at breakfast time, can be enjoyed any time of the day or night.
Incorporating vodka, tomato juice, and black pepper (amongst other things), this drink was long thought to be a hangover cure, and is still held up by many to be the perfect antidote to a night of heavy drinking.
So popular is the flavor combination of this cocktail, that it has also become the inspiration for several brands of tomato ketchup, which take the vodka, pepper, celery, and tomato flavors to create a tangy ketchup with some spice.
But whatever you think of it, it remains a delicious, refreshing drink that incorporates vegetables, spice, and the finest vodka to cure what ails you.
Taking inspiration from the classic ‘Moscow Mule’, this cocktail switches the vodka for a classic Spanish sangria, blending it with the sharpness of tequila, the tanginess of fresh lime juice, and the refreshing fruitiness of blackberries, to create something totally unique and self assured in its own right.
This feels like the perfect summer drink, but could quite easily be enjoyed in the form of a shot with friends while hitting the night spots.
Serve over ice, and consume with a garnish of fresh seasonal fruits to create a refreshing, and somewhat unrecognizable take on a classic cocktail.
19. The Red Negroni
The negroni is a popular gin cocktail that is constantly being reinvented.
This Red Negroni takes the classic feel of the original, and combines it with vermouth made from red wine, something that deviates from the traditional white wine of the original.
This is what gives it the signature blood red look, and changes the flavor from one of citric fruitiness, to one that is deeper and complex, tipping its hat to a classic New York city cocktail that has had such a huge impact on modern mixology.
20. The Red Death
Last on our list, but by no means least, the Red Death combines Southern Comfort, vodka, sloe gin, and triple sec, to create something that truly lives up to its name.
Taking its red color from the amaretto liqueur, galliano liqueur, and grenadine syrup, this drink is as devilish as it is delicious, but packs one hell of a wallop when not handled with care.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about some of the best and most popular red cocktails in the world.
Why not try some of them for yourself? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!