Welcome to our new series, How It’s Made, where we pull back the curtain on how our gourmet food products are created. Here, Gloria Tai, our food development sourcing manager, shares the story of how our Rosé Sangria Mix came to be.
When it comes to wine preferences, I myself am an equal opportunist (yes to white, rosé, orange, and red!). Something about rosé, however, renders it appropriate any time of day or night. It’s approachable, easy on the palate and the wallet, and possesses the crispness of white wine while showing a little more body, like a red. It pairs nicely with brunch, barbecue, a hot afternoon, or a breezy seaside sunset. With an increase in the popularity of rosés (and their hashtags—#roséallday!) everywhere, we thought: Why aren’t we making sangria with this blush-hued wine?
Sangria, a wine-based punch of Spanish origin, has gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years for being syrupy sweet. In part, this is due to the fact that it traditionally includes pieces of high-fructose apples and grapes (a recipe for one whammy of a hangover). More recently, though, creative versions that include fruits like blood orange and passionfruit with splashes of different spirits such as pisco or vermouth have been popping up on bar menus.
The best sangrias I’ve tasted not only possess depth and balance but also are spare on sweetness despite having added fruit. We approached the project with this in mind, putting an emphasis on the drink’s inherent fruit character while keeping sweetness at bay with less sugar. The flavors of our mix were inspired by fragrant citrus fruits at the farmers’ market—think tangerines, Meyer lemons and pleasantly tart pomelos. We played with other fruit combinations, blending in some early season berries like raspberries and strawberries, but in the end, we omitted berries, since they leaned more towards summer with their ripened sweetness. Instead, we landed on a blend of Rio Red grapefruit for tartness, lemon for its aromatic notes, and orange for sweetness.
For a quick and simple sangria, just add a bottle of chilled rosé to a cold bottle of our mixer. (We recommend something like a dry Côtes de Provence or a Spanish rosado that’s within the $8-$15 range.) To add a little more heft, you can add a splash of brandy or even Campari. Garnish with your favorite fruit, and you have a pretty perfect spring libation.