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Sangria Series : Lambrusco Sangria 👯

Ed. Note: Sangria is, by most accounts, a universal crowd-pleaser and almost always a bunch of fun. My personal favorite is the $9 jug of Carlos Rossi and don’t you dare judge me for it. In all seriousness, what’s most interesting about sangria is that everyone has a different recipe and that recipe is usually indicative of his or her preferences and personality. There’s often a story behind the sangria someone made and I set out to uncover those stories.

Over the past three months, maybe more, I’ve chatted with some interesting people about their recipes and now, right before we say goodbye to summer, I’m sharing their stories. This week we meet a pair of twin bartenders who made some of the best sangria I’ve ever had using Italian Lambrusco. Enjoy!

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“We’re huge on Italian wines right now,” Alexis Stier told me as she pulled out a bottle of Lambrusco for her and her twin sister Megan’s sangria.

Often, a person’s taste in food and drink is heavily influenced by a combination of things – immediate surroundings, previous travel destinations and of course, good memories are all on the list. For Megan and Alexis, also known as @TwoTipsyTwins on Instagram, the past 7 months working at Italian hotspot The Ponte, formerly the French restaurant Terrine, has caused a shift in taste from traditional French wines to Italian ones.

“That’s definitely influenced us,” Alexis said. “It’s opened up a whole new world to us. I’d never even had Lambrusco until these past few months.”

Although Lambrusco seems like the last thing you’d use in your sangria, it’s actually spot on. “People think red wine is always heavy, and that it’s only for winter,” Megan said.

But the right Lambrusco offers fizz, subtle sweetness and a refreshing quality – all things that any good sangria aims to be.

For the twins, these qualities are what piqued their interest in using it as a sangria base.

But back to Italy. Part of the reason Megan and Alexis are so into the region’s wines is the climate. When it comes down to it, Italy produces wines that are, to them, lighter and all around more enjoyable.

“I like my wines to be refreshing,” Alexis said. “Italian wines aren’t as heavy as, say, a California Cab.”

Still, if you aren’t a fan of Lambrusco (but you should be) then Megan recommends using any wine that’s fruit forward or jammy, but not too sweet.

In a pitcher mix together the following:

  • 1 bottle Italian Lambrusco – make sure it’s not too sweet
  • 4oz Rhum Barbancourt
  • 6oz Cointreau
  • 10oz club soda
  • 4 dashes orange bitters
  • 1/2 squeezed lime
  • Garnish with blackberries, orange wheels and lime wheels.

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