Best Sangria In Washington DC

May 29, 2013 8:00 AM

(credit: Thinkstock)

Spring and summer drives Washingtonians to outdoor patios and rooftop decks to bask in the sun and gorgeous weather. They also begin to crave more seasonal cocktails. There’s no better cocktail that screams spring and summertime like sangria. Whether you’re looking for something traditional, something sweet or a more boozy sangria, here are the top five places for this Spanish favorite in DC.

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Rosé Sangria from Boqueria (Credit, Jamie Hardin)

1837 M St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 558-9545

With an emphasis on the freshest local cuisine, the cocktail menu is no different. Boqueria offers three different types of sangria on the menu year round in addition to its special seasonal sangria that utilizes what’s fresh. Be sure to try the rosé sangria. Usually sangrias are either red or white, but with the rise in popularity of rosés, it was only a matter of time before we saw a rosé sangria, which starts with a rosé wine and is mixed with Campari, triple sec, tequila, pomegranate juice, 7 Up and orange juice with fresh fruit. The sangrias are slightly sweet, making them a perfect accompaniment to the light tapas or treasured Iberico ham that you find at Boqueria

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Sparkling white sangria from Cava Mezze (Credit, Jamie Hardin)

Cava Mezze
527 8th St. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 543-9090

This popular Capitol Hill restaurant features Mediterranean cuisine and a hopping happy hour. The glass jars of the fruit-infused red or white sangria sit behind the bar, beckoning your taste buds. The Cava sangria is a lighter sangria that is a tad sweet and comes with apples and oranges. For a special treat, try the sangria with a shot of bubbly. The sparkling sangria in either white or red adds that extra bit of refreshment to the perfect summer drink. With seating on the sidewalk, it’s a great place to catch up with hill staffers, sip sangria and enjoy small bites of mezze.

El Centro D.F.
1819 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 328-3131

This popular 14th street restaurant with an enclosed roof deck features authentic Mexican comfort food. Although known for being a tequileria, El Centro’s sangrias should not be overlooked, especially for those looking for a sweet drink. El Centro offers several different sangrias by the glass, half carafe and full carafe. For a sangria that’s sweet enough to be a dessert, try the fresa blanca with white wine, strawberry liquor and triple sec topped with strawberries. If you want to go with a complex and flavorful sangria, try the tinta roja which starts with a base of red wine that is then mixed with brandy, triple sec, orange juice and cranberry juice with apple and oranges mixed in. Be sure to have some of El Centro’s famous guacamole to complement the cocktails.

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Perry’s Restaurant
1811 Columbia Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-6218

There’s no better place to enjoy your sangria than on Perry’s rooftop deck overlooking Adams Morgan during the summer months. Its refreshing sangria is unlike any other in DC. It’s a elderflower white sangria which starts with a base of white wine and elderflower liquor. Elderflower is such a subtle flavor that it could easily be overpowered by fruit and juices, so Perry’s adds vodka and sprite for a citrus note. The fruit is not your traditional apples or oranges, but cucumber instead, which lends a softer flavor. It’s then topped with a sage leaf for a very light and refreshing sangria that is only slightly sweet and perfect for the summer months.

Taberna Del Alabardero
1776 I St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 429-2200

Offering both white and red sangria, Taberna del Alabardero is a great place for authentic Spanish tapas and sangria by the glass or by the pitcher. The atmosphere reminds you of Spain with the classic red Spanish décor, heavy wooden chairs with padded red seats and gold accents of classic art. Its red sangria is slightly sweet with fresh fruit floating on top, but if you want something even easier, try the white sangria which is light and refreshing to complement the tapas and not weigh you down during the hot DC summers. Be sure to check out Taberna’s wildly popular happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., where a pitcher of sangria is half off.

Related: Most Creative Cocktails in Washington DC

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at

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