Red, White and, um, Sangria?

It’s summer.  We’re lazy. As my late best friend Ian Hartman once wrote, “I feel the urge to sleep even as I write this.”   And as Alice Cooper said, “We can’t even think of a word that rhymes,” as you saw from the headline. This is a lazy column too, a couple hundred words compared to the usual [long] length. Hey, I want to go home, too.

So it makes sense that in summer, the fancy craft cocktails we carefully concoct with skill and measuring equipment and fancy ingredients give way to something…easier. And the easiest way to avoid repeat trips to the bar is to a) give your guests “a choice of one” and b) batch up some stuff. Bloodies. Sun tea. Or, a pitcher of sangria.


Our friends over and Bow and Truss in North Hollywood are totally on board the craft cocktail train and at one time had a host of cocktails made with Spanish sherry, many of them served in cute little Marie Antoinette glasses: coupes modeled, legend has it, on the shape of the queen’s breasts—possibly giving rise to the adage, “anything more than a cupful or a handful is wasted.” We lament the loss of the Spanish-themed drinks menu but they still move a lot of this stuff out on their raked sand patio in the long afternoons of air light they’re enjoying now. If circumstances prevent an in-person visit, Bow and Truss’ sangria is a cinch to make at home.


Red Sangria 

1 750ml bottle malbec

1/2 cup Spanish brandy

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup simple syrup

sliced apples, oranges, and lemons (vary with season e.g. stone fruits add nicely in late summer)

Mix all ingredients. While the sliced fruits look best freshly sliced, they TASTE best after they’d infused the mixture for a while.


White Sangria

1 750ml bottle Chardonnay

1/2 cup dry sherry

1/4 cup orange liqueur

3oz fresh lemon juice

3oz fresh orange juice

1/4 cup simple syrup

Mix all ingredients and add fruits and let stand for an hour.

Fruits change with seasons but this batch was made with lemons, apples and oranges; throw in a few strawberries for color contrast!

Each makes one big pitcher. Serves from 2 to 6 people.

Have at it! Summer Friday!

PS and if you can, and happen to have a lot of money, check out our friend Ian Blackburn’s Laftite Wine Dinner at Josie Santa Monica in July 17.

We can’t make it because a) we can’t afford it and b) we will be downtown watching Chop and Quench at Grand Performances…it’s FREE.


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