Sun, sea and sangria: it's a Costa del Crime cliché, but one not to be knocked. At Pintxo People in Brighton, they've turned Spain's much-maligned boozy beverage into a talking point with a blackboard of Sangria specials designed around the seasons. The classic red wine and brandy one isn't on the list per se; the nearest you'll find is the ‘Winter' sangria, a twist on the classic, where red wine is paired with rum rather than brandy.
"We started out by choosing the wines,"
explains Pintxo People's Jason Fendick. "We got the flavour profile from the wine, then matched liqueurs and spirits to it. The ‘Spring' version uses a wine with notes of elderflower and lychee, so we use an elderflower liqueur in it, and vodka, a neutral spirit."
Pitchers of sangria (four servings) already go down a storm at the Brighton bar, and are set to do just as well at the new London branch, Pinchito, opening in mid June. The four seasonal varieties, plus a cava version, will now be joined by a sherry sangria, a new idea picked up by Fendick on a recent trip to Jerez. During the Feria, an annual festival in the sherry-producing town, it's common to find fino sherry blended with lemonade. Fendick will be doing similarly – but he'll be topping up half bottles of Tio Pepe with soda and fresh lemon and lime instead.