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Spring Break: 7 Days of Patio Pounders

Posted on Saturday, Apr. 23, 2016



I couldn’t justifiably create a list of spring cocktails without mentioning the queen of all patio pounders – Sangria. This refreshing beverage is so wonderful because you can really tailor this recipe to fit your palette. There are so many versions of sangria. You can swap out ingredients based on what you have fresh and available. I also like to play around with the base of the cocktail and use different combinations of wine and liqueurs.

Here are some of my favorite ingredients to use, but you can certainly use whatever is your favorite or whatever you have handy. Just remember you’re trying to create balance, so if you pick a sweeter wine try to balance it with a slightly bitter amaro like Cocchi Americano.


Reisling, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Rose, sparkling Rose, Cava, Prosecco, Pinot Grigio


Dolin Blanc, Cocchi Americano, Lilet Blanc, Cocchi Rosa, Triple Sec, St. Germaine, Brandy, Apple Brandy


Strawberrries, kiwi, raspberries, mango, pineapple, peaches, orange, grapefruit, lemon, plums, mango, pears, apples, grapes


tarragon, basil, mint, rosemary, star anise, fennel, cardamom, lavender, chamomile, pink peppercorn, cinnamon, coriander

Another wonderful thing about sangria is that you make it by the pitcher, so that it is perfect for any get together. You can make it beforehand which completely eliminates bartending during your own party. I personally think sangria gets better the longer it sits. 

The newest sangria I’m drinking is a beautiful blend of tart and sweet. If you’ve never used kumquats before, I am thrilled for you to try this recipe. Kumquats are great because well they’re just cute as a button, but also because you can eat the entire piece of fruit. The rind has a nice sweetness to it and the fruit itself is tart and sour. I love the flavor profile this gives to a traditionally sweeter cocktail. I also add strawberries and rosemary. I like the addition of Cocchi Americano to give it a slightly botanical and bitter edge.


1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc
12 oz of kumquats
1 pint of strawberries
1/2 a bottle of Cocchi Americano
24 oz soda water or La Croix orange flavored soda water
6 sprigs of rosemary
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup of water to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Once sugar has dissolved, add 6 oz of kumquats (halved) and 3 sprigs of rosemary. Bring mixture up to a boil and then lower heat. Simmer for 20 minutes. Allow mixture to cool. Once cool, remove the rosemary. Add simple syrup to a pitcher. Add the rest of the kumquats (halved) and the strawberries (halved as well) and then pour in the Cocchi Americano. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit and marinate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight. When you’re ready to serve, add the wine and soda water and garnish with fresh rosemary.

You can certainly cut out the time that you macerate the fruit with the Cocchi Americano, but I feel it really adds depth of flavor, but sometimes sangria just cannot wait. Use the list above to play around with different flavor combinations and use this recipe as the base.

I cannot thank everyone enough for being a part of Spring Break and for allowing me to share some of my favorite warm weather cocktails recipes. I’ve missed seeing everyone and I cannot wait for next month’s Sunday School class. Thank you and cheers to you and yours.

Your neighborhood bar geek,
Catherine Manabat