Summer in a Glass

Sangria screams summer. The easy, breezy concoction of wine, spirit and an ample dose of fruit pleases operators and guests alike. Busy bartenders appreciate that it can be batched in advance, simply splashed over ice and adorned with fresh berries, citrus or herbs. Wine and cocktail lovers are drawn to the beverage’s drinkability and eye-catching presentation. But this summer, why stop with Sangria? Operators around the country are blurring the lines of the traditional Spanish sipper and taking liberties with other fun wine-based libations — including wine coolers and grown-up slushies — that promise to quench patrons’ thirsts and pump up profits during the dog days of summer.

So what exactly constitutes Sangria? Historically, it’s a combination of a fruity, light red wine, brandy, sweetener, spices and sliced fresh fruit, although modern interpretations often stray from the original recipe — with unexpectedly delicious results.

“The commonplace idea of ‘Sangria’ is a sort of wine punch,” notes Adam Bernbach, beverage manager for Spanish hot spot Estadio, as well as wine-centric restaurant Proof in Washington, D.C. “People are enticed by the refreshing idea of fruits and herbs infused in chilled, crisp wine.”

Adam Bernbach