Culture: A Very Vanderpump Cocktail | Wine Enthusiast
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A Very Vanderpump Cocktail

Wine Enthusiast 2020 Culture Issue logo

Courtesy Ariana Maddix and Tom Sandoval, authors, Fancy AF Cocktails: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019)

Now in its eighth season, Vanderpump Rules is a cornerstone of reality television. For the uninitiated, the show centers around a motley crew of young adults, most of whom have worked at the West Hollywood restaurant, SUR.

Last year, Lisa Vanderpump, the show’s matriarch, expanded her empire with the opening of TomTom. The bar, which is named after castmates Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz, instantly became a popular destination for tourists and locals.

The Solvang Meltdown is named after an infamous girls’ trip SUR bartender Ariana Maddix took with some friends to Solvang, California, where fellow castmate Kristen Doute had a splish too much Merlot. To honor that trip, Sandoval, who happens to be Maddix’s boyfriend and Doute’s ex-boyfriend, created this cocktail with Merlot and Bourbon.


4 cherries
1½ ounces Merlot
1 ounce Bourbon
¼ ounce simple syrup
Grated lemon zest, for garnish


In cocktail shaker, muddle cherries. Add Merlot, Bourbon, and simple syrup. Add ice to top. Seal and shake vigorously to chill. Strain into wine glass filled with ice.

Use Microplane to grate lemon zest over drink to garnish. Drink until you topple over a table.

Note From Ariana and Tom

Mixing spirits can be dangerous. This drink has wine and Bourbon in it. The cherries and simple syrup will mask a lot of the alcohol flavoring, so just be aware of how much you’re drinking. You don’t have to topple over that table.

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