A perfectly fruity raspberry sangria that’s easy to whip up for a party or to sip on the porch on a summer afternoon.
All I needed was one day above 70° to send me straight into summer recipe development mode. The moment I put shorts on to go for a walk, I started brainstorming all the things I wanted to grill, all the salads I wanted to toss together, and all the things I wanted to no-bake (because… hot).
But even more than any of those, I wanted to start coming up with new cocktail recipes. While I consider myself to have enough talent to make a decent pitcher of sangria at home, I’d never bet money on myself at a bar or event. I’d look like Ted and Barney in that episode of How I Met Your Mother where they’re trying their hands at bartending and it just results in shattered liquor bottles and alcohol dripping off every surface. No one wants to see good alcohol go to waste like that, and I would most definitely cost an establishment more money than I would make for it.
Thankfully, there are bagillions (scientific term, of course) of talented mixologists out there that we can turn to. In fact, there are entire events dedicated to their craft! Even better than that, there are events where they can put their skills to use in the name of charity. Next month in Las Vegas there is going to be an event at the Skyfall Lounge called For The Love of Cocktails, and it’s a cause I can seriously get behind, drinks or not.
For the Love of Cocktails is a one-night fundraiser to support the Helen David Bartender Relief Fund, with over 1,500 mixoligists attending to donate their time and skills to the cause. The Helen David Bartender Relief Fund is a charity that honors the memory of a Michigan bar owner and community leader who beat breast cancer twice in her life, but sadly passed in 2006. The more I read about her, the more I feel like she and I probably would have been friends had I been born, say, 70 years earlier. Then again, I would have had one year where I would have been of legal drinking age while she was alive, so if I’d ventured up to Port Huron during that time, who knows! Okay, back to the fundraiser.
The fund directly supports bartenders who are in need of important (and expensive) pre-screenings, utility support, and so much more. Think about your local bar – do you know if they have comprehensive health insurance for their bartenders? Sadly, they probably don’t. And if you find yourself facing a deadly disease in a profession that requires you to be on your feet and on your game at all times, but you don’t have the insurance or funds to cover the medical costs… needless to say, it’s devastating. That’s why the HDRF exists – to help women in the bar industry who are fighting breast cancer so that they can beat the disease the way Helen did. Twice.
And even if you’re not a drinker, I’m sure you can get behind such a great cause! If you live in the Vegas area, or maybe you’ve been contemplating taking a trip, the For The Love of Cocktails event on May 19th would be the perfect way to spend an evening in the City of Lights. Delicious drinks by the best in the business, with your money going toward saving lives? Uh, yeah. That’s not a terrible way to spend a Friday night. Finally – something that happens in Vegas that you don’t want to stay in Vegas! 😉
If I were able to attend this year, I’d love to see crew from Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar there. The margaritas are fantastic, but what I go for are the mojitos. Holy cow, friends. They make the best mojitos I’ve ever had in Boston. That reminds me – they just reopened after being closed for renovations, so I think I may need to swing by! And soon. Like… right now. Or in ten minutes after I finish this post. Nah… my pajamas are already on, who am I kidding. I’ll go tomorrow, and for now I’ll make my own cocktail at home!
Raspberries have been at the forefront of my mind lately, and I think it’s because they’re so bright and vibrant, and it just screams warm weather to me. I do my best to stay away from drab colors in the spring and summer (I’m looking at you, black hoodie and grey shirts), and the same goes for my food and drink. If what I’m consuming is all bright and shiny, that means I will be, too – right? Right.
I asked the boyfriend to be my model and help me taste test – thankfully, he was 100% down for both and ended up finishing his glass of sangria long before I finished mine. I think it’s safe to say he was a fan.
I wanted to make a new recipe that was simple, but not boring. I also wanted it to be easy to customize based on your personal preferences, because not everyone likes their sangria the same way. Some people want it to be as fruity as fruity can be, and others want it to be more dry. I enjoy it both ways, so this is easy to tweak as needed.
For the base of the recipe, you may choose to use…
- A dry rosé or a fruitier rosé. If you prefer a less sweet sangria, then you may lean toward a drier rosé and omit the raspberry simple syrup.
- Club soda or lemon lime soda. You can opt to use the club soda just for the additional carbonation, or use lemon lime soda to add a bit of sweetness and additional flavor.
- Simple syrup, or omit it altogether. This sangria is plenty delicious without it, but if you opted to use a dry rosé and club soda, maybe you’d enjoy the extra flavor and sweetness the syrup would provide.
tl;dr: You won’t know what you like until you try it! It’s a good excuse to make a few different batches for a party, labeling each as the dry, sweet, and sweetest – then you and your guests can try them all and vote! It could make for a seriously fun (and tipsy) party game.
While sipping on your sangria, brightly colored attire is suggested.
Serving yours in cute mason jars with striped straws is totally optional, although highly recommended.
Now go make a pitcher of this delightfully cheery sangria, sit back, relax, and pull up some travel deals to book your trip to Vegas for the weekend of May 19th. C’mon, you know you want to.
A perfectly fruity sangria that’s easy to whip up for a party or to sip on the porch on a summer afternoon.
Raspberry Simple Syrup (optional):
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 (750 ml) bottle rosé
- 1 cup lemon-lime soda or club soda
Raspberry Simple Syrup (optional):
- In a small saucepan, combine raspberries, water and sugar over medium heat to bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the sugar has dissolved and it has thickened to a thin syrup.
- Turn off heat and let cool for at least 5 minutes.
- Over a small bowl, push syrup through a mesh sieve to catch all the raspberries seeds, leaving you with only the smooth liquid.
- In a pitcher, combine simple syrup (optional), raspberries, lemon slices and rosé. Place in fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Add club soda or lemon lime soda to pitcher just before serving and gently stir to combine.
- Fill each serving glass with ice cubes and fill with sangria. Enjoy!