DrinkWire is Liquor.com’s showcase for the best articles, recipes and reviews from the web’s top writers and bloggers. In this post, Stephanie Roush offers a berry sangria recipe.
Order sangria at a cheap restaurant and your glass is bound to be filled with red herrings: discolored fruit chunks and spirits to mask skunky wine; soda to stretch out the alcohol; too much added sugar to bring it all together (and to add to your hangover). “Sangria gets a bad rap,” says Ivy Mix, one of Brooklyn’s best mixologists, who stirs up creative cocktails at Leyenda. “Sometimes people don’t know what they’re doing.”
Unlike your common cantina, Mix knows what she’s doing, and we suggest you taste how good sangria can actually be by making her Summer Shade Sangria. It’s lusty, full-bodied, yet refreshing—kind of like lying under a beach cabana in Ibiza. (Not that we’ve actually done that, but this cocktail is luscious and stiff enough to make us forget time and place as we sip a summer afternoon away—probably what Nancy Sinatra was crooning about, too.)
It starts with fresh blueberries and raspberries, which are muddled and soaked in bourbon, Cynar, and a hint of simple syrup, creating an elixir delicious enough to drink on it’s own. Cynar, a liqueur of artichoke leaves and herbs, balances the sweet-tart berries with botanical bitterness.
Mixing muddled berries with Cynar to create an infusion
After the berry mash has infused the alcohol, it’s time to get stirring. Into a serving pitcher goes lemon and orange juice for brightness—and what’s a sangria without wine? “You don’t want to be drinking something heavy like a Cab’,” Mix says. She opts for a light-bodied bottle of Garnacha, Nebbiolo, or Pinot Noir.
Adding citrus juices (lemon and orange) for brightness
Top the pitcher with ice, stir, and since berries are bountiful this season, Mix adds two generous handfuls to the pitcher before straining it into ice-filled glasses. (You can fish them out later for a booze-boosted treat.)
Straining sangria into glasses
Make it even more plush and playful by floating fresh berries on top of the ice-filled glass. Whether you’re hosting a summer soiree or throwing yourself a one-person pool party, we can’t picture a more sultry summer evening than one cooled by a pitcher of this sangria. Watch the full cocktail tutorial by clicking here.