Sangria. This cocktail is unlike any other. When you’re craving one, nothing else will do. That’s the reason you Googled it, and came across this article, right? The name alone incites pop-culture reference, with The Voice star and country music sensation Blake Shelton releasing his #1 hit single “Sangria” two years ago.
Sangria has grown in popularity in Greater Vancouver, as the Spanish influence in cuisine has spread to the spirits and beverage scene as well. Some have mistaken it as being Italian in origin. Others claim it to have originated in Greece. However, while there is some mystery, the drink has definitive Spanish and Portuguese influence, with Spain coming as close as possible to birthing what is known to be a “real sangria”.
It traditionally (as far as one can trace) consists of wine, chopped/diced fruit, a sweetener, and a hint of brandy. The chopped/diced fruit is often a blend of orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, and grape, although in tropical arenas pineapple and mango also make an appearance.
Spanish influence is often found in Mexican cuisine (and beverages), which is why it is not uncommon (if not expected) to find sangria at the top of many Mexican restaurant cocktail menus. But as with many cross-cultural foods and beverages, Mexican influence must be exerted. When it comes to the sangria, we like to think we most certainly improved upon an already beautiful libation.
A Mexican sangria is quite similar to the fruit and wine of Spanish sangria, but it has a higher alcohol content. We like a little extra kick, because you do too! The higher alcohol content isn’t just about giving you extra bang for your peso. There is a culinary science behind it. The added alcohol content makes it a perfect pairing with spicy food, like the kind you will find in an authentic Mexican restaurant. Try a glass with our Chorizo Tacos or Pastor Burrito and you’ll see what we mean.
Of course, there is more to it than more alcohol. To keep things bubbly, we add soda to the mix, which balances the taste exquisitely, making it even more delightful as you sip, swirl, swallow. Salsa & Agave bartenders are not content to stop there. No indeed. We make it a more spirited occasion, by using white wine, which perfectly complements the soda water. The whole experience is lightened and heightened, delivering one of the best sangrias in downtown Vancouver, if not the entire Lower Mainland.
Come taste for yourself, and ask your server which dish you should pair your sangria with, depending on what you’re in the mood for on any given day, or night.
We look forward to seeing you!