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.

By Published On: December 14th, 201323 Comments on Claret Cup

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. the drunken cyclist December 14, 2013 at 1:30 PM - Reply

    I usually shy away from fruity wine cocktail thingys, but if you say I should try it….

    • chef mimi December 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM - Reply

      If you like sangria, you’d like this. But, nothing beats good wine.

  2. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward December 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM - Reply

    The recipe looks intriguing – I have never seen anything like it. I bet it is delicious. Your photos are so pretty, too, Mimi. PS I agree – do NOT buy LC Shiraz! ;-)

    • chef mimi December 14, 2013 at 5:45 PM - Reply

      Oh, you’ve had it? ugh. A bad choice.

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward December 14, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Such a bad wine, Mimi. I am *VERY* frustrated with American red wine lately. A lot of it is very heavy, oddly sweet and alarmingly dark in tone! Send any good recommendations my way. Not including layer cake, hehe!

      • chef mimi December 15, 2013 at 7:40 AM

        Yeah, that purple color that stains you teeth and turns your stews purple! But I think layer cake is Australian or maybe New Zealand…

      • Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward December 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Yes, exactly. *UGH*

  3. ladyredspecs December 14, 2013 at 4:59 PM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi December 14, 2013 at 5:45 PM - Reply

      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!

  4. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen December 14, 2013 at 5:19 PM - Reply

    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

    • chef mimi December 14, 2013 at 5:43 PM - Reply

      Yes, it is like mulled wine, except not hot, of course. this one is really more like sangria. it was fun trying out!

  5. radhika25 December 14, 2013 at 5:41 PM - Reply

    That sounds good! What are those red berries in your last picture?

    • chef mimi December 14, 2013 at 5:43 PM - Reply

      I have no idea – I cut them off a big bush I have out back!

      • radhika25 December 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        Looks beautiful!

      • chef mimi December 15, 2013 at 7:40 AM

        It was pretty tasty!

  6. yummychunklet December 14, 2013 at 8:28 PM - Reply

    Looks wonderful.

  7. Debra Eliotseats December 15, 2013 at 8:08 AM - Reply

    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!) :)

    • chef mimi December 15, 2013 at 10:06 AM - Reply

      Plus, even if it’s cold outside, sometimes a cold drink is still refreshing and fun. Hot drinks are fabulous, but they make me… well, hot!

  8. Vinny Grette March 7, 2014 at 8:44 PM - Reply

    This looks like something my dinner group might enjoy (it’s my turn this month…). I like that there’s no added sugar. The combination looks delicious!

    • chef mimi March 8, 2014 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      Oh, I bet they would enjoy it! I wish I was in a dinner group. But I don’t know enough people who cook!

  9. Vinny Grette April 4, 2014 at 1:34 PM - Reply

    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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