Where to sample sangria in Calgary

Sangria, a Spanish-style wine punch usually made with juice and fresh fruit, has become increasingly popular in North America for good reason: it’s an amazingly refreshing way to enjoy the flavour of wine. Here is a selection of restaurants that are prepared to quench your thirst. [Photo credit: iStock.com/bhofack2]

Ox Bar De Tapas

528 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B1

This Spanish tapas restaurant, known for its inventive cocktail list and impressive selection of vermouth and sherry, also hits the mark with its sangria. Whether you’re sitting on the bar-like “dark” side of the room or the brighter “white” side, a jug of sangria roja with red wine, brandy, lime, raspberry puree, cranberry juice and seasonal fruit sets the right mood.

Barcelona Tavern

501 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1G1

A Spanish restaurant should do a decent sangria and the Barcelona Tavern doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it offers three solid sangria choices: a rioja (red) with grapefruit, blood orange vodka and wild berries; a blanco (white) with elderflower liqueur, strawberries and kiwi; and a cava (sparkling) with pear vodka, strawberry and mint, all available by the glass or the litre.

Cibo Urbano Cucina

1012 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0A5

This casual and family-friendly Italian restaurant features a number of Italian-inspired cocktails (there’s plenty of Aperol and limoncello behind the bar) and the cocktail list dips into Spain with a by-the-glass red sangria. The Cibo version is spiked with cranberry, mulled syrup, apple and orange juice, and brandy.

Los Chillitos Taco & Tequila House

1309 17 Ave Sw, Calgary, AB T2T 0C4

Margaritas and tequila get the most fanfare at this casual and cheery Mexican joint, but big pitchers of sangria are also a regular sight on Los Chilitos’ roomy patio. Drink a glass or two to wash down a plate of authentic enchiladas or a big burrito Mexicana served with both red and green salsa.

Bookers BBQ Grill & Crabshack

316 3rd St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2S4

A big plate of barbecue is bound to get a person thirsty, and nothing quenches like a tall glass of sangria. Alongside New Orleans classics like Sazeracs and hurricanes, Bookers mixes up a nice sangria – we’d tell you what’s in it, but the recipe is top secret.

Unicorn Superpub The

223 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1B7

The main floor “Classic Calgary” and second floor “Sports Cantina” levels of this three-level pub (they take their “super pub” moniker seriously) both serve sangria by the glass or the jug. Like The Unicorn itself, the sangria – made with rum, triple sec, red wine and fruit juices – isn’t fancy, but it hits the spot.

Pampa Brazilian Steak House

521 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A8

This Brazilian steakhouse (in which waiters roam around carving portions of meat directly onto diners’ plates) specializes in a variety of versions of Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha, but if cachaça isn’t your thing, they also do a fine sangria. It comes by the pitcher and is available in red or white, perfect to share as you eat copious amounts of delicious, delicious meat.

500 Cucina

1003 9 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S6

Wine is what you’ll most commonly see on tables at this Italian restaurant in Inglewood, but a juicy glass of sangria is also a nice complement to its pizza and pasta. Served by the glass as a cocktail, this version gets some extra kick with the addition of cognac, Grand Marnier, soda and fresh fruit.

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