Claret Cup


Recently I was talking to my husband and mentioned that I thought it was silly for food bloggers to post about smoothies. I mean, you really don’t need a recipe for a smoothie, and besides – it’s just a drink.

And then he reminded me that I post cocktails on my blog. Touché! But, in my defense – they’re cocktails. They’re important. We don’t drink smoothies when it’s five o’clock somewhere.

So this recipe is for a cocktail called a Claret Cup I’m using from this Gourmet compendium cookbook.


I googled the name claret cup because I had a feeling it was a very old-fashioned drink, and indeed it is. It was fashionable in England in the 1800’s, in fact.

Furthermore, according to this fabulous website, called The Art of Drink, there is a “striking resemblance” to Pimm’s Cup.

The drink eventually made it to the U.S., then died down in popularity. Maybe this will start a trend?

The recipe in the Best of Gourmet cookbook calls for 2 bottles of wine. Specifically, claret. Since I was only making the drink for two, I opted for 2 cups of wine, and adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Claret Cup

2 cups red wine, preferably from the Bordeaux region of France
2 ounces orange liqueur
2 ounces crème de cassis
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sweetened lime juice, purchased
Club soda


In a small pitcher, pour in the red wine. Then add the orange liqueur and crème de cassis.


Then stir in the lemon juice and sweetened lime juice. Stir and taste. You could always add some superfine sugar if you think it’s not sweet enough, or a little more liqueur.

Pour some into and glass and top with club soda. I used about 2/3 wine mixture and 1/3 bubbly water.


Serve with a slice of lemon.


Alternatively, chill the wine mixture and the bubbly water first, and then serve cold, or forget the bubbly water and just serve this over ice. It would be very refreshing this way.


This claret cup is very different in flavor from a Pimm’s cup, but there are some sweet and fruity similarities. Using this recipe exactly, I thought it came out really well – more like a sangria – because it’s essentially sweetened wine.

You could really play with the liqueurs and make it more raspberry using Chambord, for example.

23 thoughts on “Claret Cup

  1. In defence of the smoothie bloggers, sometimes you hit on an usual combo that really works and want to share. I like your claret cup, though I might save it for winter! BTW I strained the gingerbread liqueur yesterday, at first taste it’s seriously good!!! Thanks for sharing that recipe too, I now need let the barman invent!

    • Oh, I’m sure there are many smoothies that I would never have thought to make, but it doesn’t seem like cooking to me. Just like making cocktails – not cooking! But more fun to drink!

  2. I do like a smoothie recipe or two.. but nothing tops a beverage like this one:) I could use a little cup of this tonight. I was thinking it was a traditional drink, it’s neat how these cocktail trends circle round and what’s old is new again. I love mulled wine, so I’m sure I’d love the taste of this one!xx

  3. What a great alternative cocktail for the holidays, something besides eggnog and wassail and mulled wine. i am so glad you posted this. (I agree–a smoothie is a smoothie but you have to have a plan for the perfect cocktail!) :)

  4. I served this at my dinner party. I messed up by saying people could add the sparkling water to suit their own taste. I should have figured that out myself (like.. followed your instructions). But people did enjoy it once they got it organized :) .I had a little left over and enjoyed it even better the next day served chilled with ice cubes and about half-and-half sparkling water. Next time, it will be awesome!

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