Sangria, a Spanish wine and fruit punch, gets its name from the Spanish word sangre, or blood. In most cases, the only blood in the mix is that of the red wine grapes. On the other hand, the idea of blood in the juice is one of life. The beverage is soaked for several hours before being served and continues to mature as it sits in your glass. Along with red or white wine, sangria can contain any number of fruit chunks, sometimes a brandy or other hard alcohol, sugar and may or may not contain carbonation. Most of all, sangria is a drink of community, like any punch, meant to be enjoyed with friends.
Kasbah Lounge And Tea Room
2115 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
The Kasbah Lounge is a place dedicated to comfort and friendship, offering numerous pillows to sit upon and several small plates of classic Mediterranean cuisine. The lounge stays open until 3 a.m. each business day, with a late-night happy hour from 10 p.m. to close Thursday through Sunday. Among several unique drink choices is the sangria, a red wine fruit punch served by the glass or the pitcher. Order a pitcher for under $20 and enjoy it with the chicken shawarma with hummus. The Mediterranean spices complement the sangria in a unique, surprising and delightful way.
2115 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
Tapa the World is right next door to the Kasbah Lounge, but instead of Mediterranean dishes, you can enjoy tapas, or Spanish snack plates. Although both restaurants share a building and an owner, they are not the same restaurant. They do, however, share a wine list and serve the same sangria, or do they? The atmosphere and qualities of the food flavor the wine just as much as any fruit and sugar, so do not doubt the sangria is different depending on its culinary complement. Instead of chicken shawarma, try the sangria with the filet mignon beef tips sauteed in a spicy plum and ginger sauce.
1815 19th St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
Everything at Bows And Arrows is unique and special, and the sangria is no different. Served in a glass jar with just a speck of fruit, the red wine sangria goes down smooth. While sipping away at the bubbly and refreshing beverage, shop the consignment store for new clothes, or enjoy the outdoor patio. Had a little too much sangria? It’s easy enough with how light and tasty it is. No worries, just relax on one of the couches and enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich or one of the other culinary delights.
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Tower Cafe International Restaurant And Bakery
Sacramento, CA 95818
Tower Cafe is a restaurant with a reputation for an epic brunch. Tower offers the sangria roja which contains Sailor Jerry rum and pineapple chunks. Pineapple chunks are not a traditional fruit of sangria but neither is Sailor Jerry. To pair this amped-up version of the sangria with food, try the Tower monte cristo, a ham and cheese french toast sandwich with chipotle-raspberry jam. Brunch will never be the same again.
5540 Douglas Blvd.
Granite Bay, CA 95746
At the Source during happy hour, from 4-6 p.m., sangria is served for $3 a glass. Source sangria, however, is a white and zinfandel wine sangria, rather than a traditional red. The result is a lighter taste that gives more dominance to the fresh fruit flavors. Pair the lighter sangria with the pomegranate, pecan and goat cheese baguette or the asparagus soup with truffle oil. The Source is dedicated to sourcing sustainable, in-season food, meaning the fresh fruit in the sangria will change with the seasons. It’s an exciting way to experience a sangria, one that is continually changing.
Laurel Hanson is a freelance writer uncovering Sacramento’s healthy food secrets in local restaurants, locavore havens, and even local foraging. Her work can be found on Examiner.com