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Say it with Sangria

Photos by Matt Haas

May 2015

Sangria. It’s the ultimate party punch and patio pounder. In Spain, tourists drink sangria at bars while Spaniards drink it only at home and at parties. A good sangria starts with a good wine and fresh fruit, then other liqueurs and spirits are added, along with sugar. While most sangrias around town start with red wine, orange slices and maybe a few berries or apple slices, sangria is getting as sophisticated and layered as any fine craft cocktail. Here are some great places to cool off with a glass this summer.


Nothing goes better with a pitcher or glass of sangria than authentic Spanish tapas, and you can’t get any more authentic than Movida. "We use all fresh juices, and we batch them out so they’re always fresh," says Aaron Gersonde, co-owner. For the red sangria, Spanish red wine mingles with 10-year-old Spanish brandy, Combier orange liqueur, peach brown sugar syrup, lemon and orange juices, and Bittercube cherry bark vanilla bitters. The white sangria starts out with a Spanish chardonnay and a Spanish cava (sparkling wine), then Spanish crème sherry and a strawberry and kiwi syrup are added. 524 S. 2nd St.,, (414) 224-5300


Artisan 179

Ripe, juicy pinot noir acts as the base for this layered sangria. Chardonnay adds its nuance, then black raspberry liqueur, Chambord, fresh raspberries and sliced citrus finish off this addictive drink. Sip this sangria with some truffled popcorn as you watch the sun set over Pewaukee Lake. 179 W. Wisconsin Ave., Pewaukee,, (262) 691-0200









The sangria Ana Docta stirs up at her signature restaurant has a South American flare. A blend of red wines dances with rum, seasonal fruit, agave syrup and mint before it’s topped with a float of rosé champagne. Delicious and refreshing, this sangria is for mojito-lovers. 241 N. Broadway,, (414) 224-6158



Mixologist Katie Rose crafts a wicked cocktail, and her sangria’s no different. She starts with a dry rosé wine, adds Copper & King’s unaged brandy, a dash of aperol, some honey syrup and then finishes it with kumquats, red grapes and honey crisp apples. "The aperol gives it a little bit of bitterness. A lot of times, sangria is overly sweet. This adds a bit more depth," she says. 2457 S. Wentworth Ave.,, (414) 763-4706








Traditional sangria, white or red, with brandy, rum and triple sec, plus some fresh fruit tastes great any day of the week, but especially during happy hour on Tuesdays from 4 to 9 p.m., when it only costs $3 a glass. 235 S. 2nd St.,, (414) 220-9420








Lovino Sangria

Want sangria at home, but don’t want to make it from scratch? Open a bottle of Lovino, a bottled sangria hand-crafted by Milwaukeeans Eric and Jamie Zdroik. Made from a base of cabernet franc grapes, this sangria is fruit-forward and a bit tropical. You can find it stocked in many grocery and liquor stores.

This story ran in the May 2015 issue of: