A Serious Sangria for San Francisco Summer


Ah, Sangria. The sweet sap that gives Yellowtail Shiraz and overripe fruit a reason for being. Any serious cocktailian would never go near the red, fizzy alcoholic, fruit juice, soda pop in which hunks of decomposing fruit bob depressingly. But Cappy Sorentino of Healdsburg's Spoonbar has rescued the summertime sipper from modern mixological exile.

His rosé sangria is made made with citrus- and cinnamon-infused Pisco (a clear distillate made from indigenous grape varieties in Peru) and dry rosé wine. It's pink and fizzy and doesn't take itself too seriously but, garnished with a grapefruit peel on pickled strawberries it's sophisticated and boozy enough for drinkers who take themselves too seriously. Make a pitcher of it at home for a sunny Indian summer Sunday or head on up to Spoonbar where it makes a perfect aperitif. 

Sorentino's Rosé Sangria

Infuse one bottle of Oro Italia Pisco with: two whole grapefruit peels, one whole orange peel and one whole lemon peel, two sticks of cinnamon, and a 1/3 cup cloves and let sit for at least a day. The longer you let the pisco sit, the more the flavors will have time to absorb into the pisco.

After your pisco is infused, add three bottles of a light, dry rose wine, 12 ounces of pineapple juice and 6 ounces of sugar. 

After that's all mixed up, serve over ice and garnish with a grapefruit twist and, if you're feeling ambitious, thyme-pickled strawberries.

To make thyme pickled strawberries: 

Make a pickling liquid of two cups vinegar, two cups water, one cup sugar, and one bunch thyme and bring to a light boil. Slice strawberries lengthwise after taking off the ends, and pour the lightly boiling pickling liquid over strawberries, and immediately chill. 

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