For all the sangría we’ve tasted, no two are alike. The beguiling mixture of wine, fruit, and liquor comes in every incarnation of red and white, and while some blends taste vapid or overly sweet, more often the mélange is enticing, sultry—even quixotic. Here, four spots where we’ll be tipping back a glass and drinking to the last of summer—especially during happy hour.
While this colorful restaurant in the Golden Triangle has become synonymous with mojitos (cross the threshold and you’ll smell freshly muddled mint and lime), those in the know order the white sangría. To keep up with demand, bartender André Dixion mixes four to five batches—dry Chablis, gin, Cava, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and sliced oranges, lemons, and limes—at a time. Then he lets the fruit soak for a day before fishing it out. Topped off with soda water and Sprite and garnished with lemon and lime wedges, the cocktail is so refreshing that it’s become a hot weather staple.
Price per glass: $7, half-price during happy hour (Monday through Thursday 5 to 6:15 p.m.)
1173 Delaware St., 303-605-2822,
The secret to Sketch’s white sangría is in the fruit—pineapple, orange, and sometimes mango—which soaks in a bath of vodka, gin, rum, and peach schnapps for four to five days. The final concoction, mixed with white wine, soda water, and lime soda, bobs with bits of fruit—but beware. “It’s not really fruit anymore,” jokes bartender Ben Olson. “It’s more like alcohol in the shape of pineapple and orange.” The drinks go down so smoothly that Sketch limits customers to three a night.
Price per glass: $8, $5 during happy hour (daily 4 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close)
11 W. First Ave., 303-484-9305,
At this Curtis Park gastropub, the de rigueur drinks are local wine, beer, and spirits. And so it goes with the sangría. For the red, the bar mixes to order a half glass of Carlson Vineyards cherry wine, a half glass of Book-Cliff Vineyards Friday’s Folly, a shot of house-made Colorado cherry brandy, a splash of Triple Sec, and soda and serves it over ice with a slice of orange. Owner Leigh Jones says the drink is “ridiculously popular for us,” and that customers joke it should come with a disclaimer.
Price per glass: $9, $2 off at happy hour (5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, all night Sunday)
400 E. 20th Ave., 303-863-7473,
When Soleil Mediterranean Grille closed this spring, many a sangría lover mourned the loss. Luckily, David Pellegrin and Rebekah Donovan Pellegrin continue the tradition at three-month-old Eco-Burger. Now called “Eco Wine Punch,” you can choose a glass of red or white. Order the red (our fave) and you’ll receive a glass poured two-thirds full of light- to medium-body red wine, orange liqueur, brandy, grenadine, and orange juice. It’s up to you to top it off with Sprite from the soda machine.
Price per glass: $4
2817 E. Third Ave., 303-316-9100