Move over Margarita, your Spanish 3rd cousin, Sangria is popping up on menus all over town.
The refreshing summertime concoction of red (or white) wine and boozy fruit layered over ice has become a menu staple for Valley restaurants. Here are 10 of our very favorites.
10. Sangria Blanco, La Bocca -- As one of the few sophicticated eating and drinking joints left on Mill Avenue, La Bocca's classy upscale pizza and wine bar isn't slacking on their take on white sangria. Like most of the restaurant on our list, the La Bocca bartenders wouldn't clue us in on the ingredients but can we tell you that the glasses of crisp white wine are filled with sweet fresh booze-soaked fruit and a touch of spice. This sangria is so good, we'll even battle the Mill Avenue scene for a Friday night glass.
9. La Sangria, Gallo Blanco -- Hipster hangout Gallo Blanco at the uber cool Clarendon Hotel has a happy hour menu that can put some of the best Phoenix restaurants to shame -- mainly because their outstanding white sangria is just $5 a glass. White wine is accompanied by fresh chunks of orange, mango, and tasty secret ingredients. The fruity cocktail is surprisingly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness. Watch out -- this is one of the strongest of the sangrias listed here. The booze sneaks up on you without warning and will have you on your ass before you can say "pool party."
8. Herb Box Sangria, The Herb Box -- Just a stone's throw away from the best high-end shopping in town, The Herb Box at Scottsdale's South Bridge serves up everything from organic salads to exotic twists on baby back ribs and tender lamb t-bones but we cant help but love them for their "Drinx" menu. Especially the lovely beverage at the bottom which is simply call Herb Box Sangria. Red wine with a healthy dose of peach schnapps, apricot brandy, fresh oj, a dash of cinnamon, a splash of fizzy 7-Up and a fruity garnish make this our go-to drink when we're in the area.
7. Whiskey Sangria, Carly's Bistro -- Whiskey and wine sounds like a hangover waiting to happen but we'll risk it for this tasty beverage. Carly's combines surly whiskey with red wine, raspberry liquor, Orangina, and a splash of Sprite in their non-traditional version of sangria. Top it off with a cute little upside down cherry and you have yourself quite a cocktail!
6. Saturday Sangria, Kitchen 56 -- Every week we count down the days till we can be sitting on a barstool on the patio bar of Arcadia's Kitchen 56 with a glass of their tangy sangria on the aptly named Sangria Saturday. For $5 you can score a giant glass of fruit filled red sangria that has just a hint of fizz and a spicy kick. Ride your bike and they'll take 10% off your tab. If you start peddlin' right now, we bet you can make it in time!
5. Hand Crafted Sangria, Citizen Public House -- Every cocktail that comes out of the brilliant mind of mixologist Richie Moe is a winner and his sangria is no different. Red wine is layered with pomegranate syrup, brandy, schnapps, and fresh fruit creating a drink looks as pretty as it tastes. Pair it with the Halloumi cheese sandwich for an exotic dining experience.
4. Mexican Sangria, Distrito -- Choosing between Distrito's red and white sangria's is difficult. The white is clean and crisp with bright citrus notes and apricot brandy and the red has a nice tang courtesy of blackberry brandy and a kick of cinnamon. Both are packed full of fruit chunks and deliver a solid buzz from a splash of tequila but the red gets us every time with its balanced tart and sweet flavors. Try a glass with a bowl of bartender Ben's favorite guacamole. And if you have too many, you can always grab a room for the night at The Saguaro, since you're already in a hotel(and then do it all over again the next morning).
3. la Sangria, Barrio Cafe -- It's no surprise that alongside Chef Silvana's epic margarita is an equally worthy glass of sangria. Made with Spanish red wine, fresh mangos, and Jack Daniels, the tart drink is strong with up front whiskey notes that are slightly sweetened by the sugar dusted rim. It's not for the faint of heart and you probably don't need more than one.
2. Passion Fruit Sangria, Ticoz -- Modern Mexican eats wouldn't be complete without a killer glass of sangria and Ticoz serves up one of the best. We usually skip the overly sweet watermelon sangria and the floral white for a glass of Ticoz's deep red passion fruit sangria. Made with a rich cabernet and real passion fruit, pineapple, and orange juices, the fruity flavors mask any of that pesky wine bitterness. But don't let the sweetness fool you, these boozy drinks will catch up with you fast!
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1. Red Sangria, Rita's Kitchen/R Bar -- Tucked away in the lobby of the beautiful Camelback Inn, the barstaff at Rita's Kitchen and the R Bar are whipping up what is quite possibly the best red sangria you will find in town. And for $12 a glass it better be! The mix of red wine, fruit juice, vanilla, and cinnamon is topped off with a healthy dose of rose scented apples and grapes and juicy chunks of orange. The combination of ingredients creates a thick punch perfect for sipping on the spacious back patio.
All our favorites lists also are available on our Best Of app -- see it in action here.
All our favorites lists also are available on our Best Of app -- see it in action here. And check out our other lists: 10 Favorite Sangrias 7 Favorite Paleteria 10 Favorite Breakfast Places 10 Favorite International Markets 10 Favorite Spots for Crepes in Greater Phoenix 11 Favorite Phoenix Beers 10 Favorite Spots for Seafood in Greater Phoenix 10 Favorite Gelato Spots 10 Favorite Burrito Joints in Metro Phoenix 10 Favorite Spots for Wings in Metro Phoenix 11 Things to Eat and Drink Before You Leave Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Hot Sauces and Salsas Top Ten Spots for Mac 'n' Cheese in the Valley Three Favorite Espresso Shots in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Farmers' Markets Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Eleven Favorite Favorite Places for Sushi in the Valley Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Cupcakes Eleven Favorite Barbecue Joints in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Wine Bars Ten Favorite Phoenix Irish Restaurant & Pubs Six Favorite Specialty Cocktails in Phoenix Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Craft Beer Bars Ten Favorite Gourmet Pizza Shops in the Valley Five Favorite Japanese Restaurants in Phoenix Ten Favorite Margaritas in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Coffee Shops in Phoenix Five Favorite Thai Restaurants in Metro Phoenix Eleven Favorite Ice Cream Shops in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Phoenix Happy Hours Five Favorite Sonoran Dogs in the Valley Ten Favorite Hot Dogs in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Desserts in Phoenix Ten Favorite First Date Restaurants Ten Favorite Burgers in Greater Phoenix Ten Favorite Downtown Phoenix Restaurants for Late Night Dining Ten Favorite Vegetarian Entrees in Metro Phoenix Ten Favorite Chinese Restaurants in Greater Phoenix