Summer is heating up and the days are getting longer, perfect for a sangria crawl across town. There’s a wealth of juicy fruit at the farmers markets to make your own and about as many different versions as there are tacos in L.A. Here are a few that we stumbled across, starting at the beach:
A special treat if you are celebrating with a crowd for weekend brunch is the Sangria Punch Bowl at Playa Provisions in Playa del Rey, which serves four at $40 a bowl. The breezy dockside back porch is a relaxing spot to spend a Sunday or stop on your beachside bike ride.
Playa Provisions, 119 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey; (310) 683-5019, playaprovisions.com.
Leave it to the vegans. The Chic Summer Sangria at Café Gratitude in Venice is a mix of rosé, hibiscus, watermelon, lime and mint, and a good deal at $10 a glass.
Café Gratitude, 512 Rose Ave., Venice; (424) 231-8000, cafegratitude.com.
Perched at the corner of Argyle and Yucca, inside the Kimpton Everly Hotel, Jane Q is a neighborhood go-to for a laid-back Mediterrean dining experience in the heart of Beachwood Canyon. The all-day cafe offers Sangria on Tap ($14 per glass) and Sangria Punch Bowl ($25) with red wine, market fruit and brandy, perfect for groups to share.
Jane Q, 1800 Argyle Ave., Hollywood; (213) 279-3534, janeqla.com.
The Sinful Sangria at Granville includes a blend of Burgundy and merlot, cinnamon, mango, pineapple, oranges, brown sugar, orange juice and ginger ale. It is $9 a glass and $27 for a shareable carafe and available at all Granville locations.
807 American Way, The Americana at Brand, Glendale, (818) 550-0472; 121 N. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, (818) 848-4726; 12345 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 506-7050; 8701 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, (424) 522-5161; granvillecafe.com.
Whether your crawl begins or ends downtown, stop at the epicenter of modern Mexican cuisine, Border Grill. Always coming up with something new on the menu, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger slide into the summer season with their version, which combines red wine, brandy, orange, lime, melon and cinnamon for a cocktail that is both fruity and spicy. The BG Sangria is available for $10 on the sunny outdoor patio, just a short walk to the main Metro station at Seventh Street.
The Border Grill, 445 S. Figueroa St., downtown; (213) 486-5171, bordergrill.com.
Fundamental DTLA’s Claret Jug is a combination of grenache, gin, Luxardo maraschino, pineapple and sparkling wine. It’s available for brunch Saturday and Sunday in the airy downtown space and fills six full glasses at $35 a jug.
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Fundamental DTLA, 750 S. Grand Ave., #30, downtown; (213) 935-8180, fundamental-dtla.com.
And if you just want to stay in and lounge around your own patio, here’s one of my favorite sangria recipes, courtesy of Kandarian Organic Farms:
1 bottle Moscato wine
½ cup Courvoisier cognac
1 tsp. fennel pollen
Melons, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and pineapple — or your favorite fruit combo
Sparkling water (or prosecco!)
Slice fruit to your preference and add it to a pitcher with the fennel pollen. Cover with wine and Courvoisier and chill for several hours. Serve with a splash of sparkling water or prosecco for some bubbles.