Header images courtesy of Julia Solonina (via Unsplash) and La Paloma (via Facebook)
Originally published by Nicole Hurip. Recently updated by Celia Lee.
Sangria is one of the most versatile summer drinks around, made differently in every restaurant, city, and country that serves it. Originating from Spain and Portugal, sangria means “blood” in Spanish, likely due to the blood-red hue from the red wine used. While there are strict regulations for what counts as sangria in its birthplaces, the rest of the world has a bit more leeway to get creative.
You can make sangria with white wine, rosé, or bubbly, as well as a generous helping of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, mixed berries, apples, and other tropical fruits. Whether you wish to enjoy it by the glass or by the pitcher, here are the best bars in Hong Kong to sip on the fruity concoction.
In addition to sweeping views and a great Sunday brunch menu, you can also enjoy sangria at this lovely Spanish restaurant tucked away in a corner of IFC mall. Spend a relaxing afternoon sipping their sangria de vino (comes in a glass or jug) or the bubbly version, sangria de cava (comes in a glass or jug). You can also come for happy hour, available every day on the terrace from 3 pm to 8 pm with jugfuls of red sangria or sangria with cava.
La Rambla, Shop 3071–73 Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central | (+852) 2661 1161
Open since 1998, Olé is one of Hong Kong’s oldest Spanish restaurants. The interior transports patrons to an idyllic Catalan home, an effect magnified by the guitar-strumming vocalists that serenade you as you tuck into tender suckling pig and paella by the pan.
Its sangria is top-notch, best enjoyed as part of a free-flow brunch on the weekend. Three varieties are on offer: the classic red sangria (comes in a glass or jug) made with Rioja Tempranillo red wine, fresh orange, lemon, and cinnamon; the white “Verdejo” sangria (comes in a glass or jug), made with the aromatic and fruity Verdejo white wine, green apple, mint, and lime; and the strawberry sangria (comes in a glass or jug) made with white wine, gin, strawberry puree, fresh strawberry, orange, and lime.
Olé Spanish Restaurant, 1/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24–30 Ice House Street, Central | (+852) 2537 8856
This restaurant turns into a nightclub at night, but during early evenings, it serves up Spanish tapas and drinks to go with them. Nibble on croquetas and jamón as you sip on sangria and other classic cocktails, plus some alternative ones. Its sangria is made with tempranillo, brandy, white rum, apple liquor, peach liquor, and rhubarb bitters; if you prefer a more citrusy kick, opt for the white sangria, made with viura, brandy, white rum, apple liquor, peach liquor, rhubarb bitters, grapefruit juice, and fresh lime juice.
Cassio, 2/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central | (+852) 3792 0129
Sangria and beaches are a match made in heaven—who doesn’t want to sip on a fruity glass of happiness while lounging on a white sandy beach? Bathers is a beachside restaurant on Lower Cheung Sha Beach on Lantau Island. Its red sangria (comes in a glass or jug) is made with red wine, lemonade, seasonal fruits, and a dash of cognac. A bit far out from the city, but a peaceful option for those looking for fewer crowds.
Bathers, 32 Lower Cheung Sha Beach, Lantau Island | (+852) 2504 4788
Ship Street made its return with a new look, a new chef, and a new menu. Its drinks menu focuses on Spanish wines, sangrias, and other street-style drinks. As usual, both red and white sangria is offered: the red sangria is blended orange curaçao and white rum with red wine and soda, while the white sangria incorporates peach liqueur, Amaro Montenegro (an Italian herbal liqueur), lemon juice, white wine, and soda. Both are topped with orange foam, making for an aromatic start and tangy finish.
22 Ships, 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai | (+852) 2555 0722
This colourful Spanish tapas restaurant serves paella by the pan—it doesn’t get more authentic than that. Apart from great food, it also has four different types of sangrias for patrons to choose from: red sangria (comes in a glass or pitcher), made with a splash of vermouth; passion sangria that is flavoured with passion fruit and peach vodka for an extra dose of fruitiness (comes in a glass or pitcher); rose and roses sangria (comes in a glass or pitcher) made with rosé, dry roses, and roses syrup; and a virgin sangria (comes in a glass or pitcher) that is a delicious cocktail of seasonal fruit juices and Sprite.
La Paloma, 189 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 2291 6161
Named after one of the central districts of Madrid, Chueca transports patrons right to the heart of Spain with its authentic delicacies and irresistible drinks. Chueca’s signature red sangria is a simple yet effective concoction made with brandy, Tio Pepe sherry, orange juice, and, of course, vino tinto. A selection of mains, tapas, and desserts are available from the á la carte menu, such as Ibérico ham croquettes, spinach canelón, gambas al ajillo, and flan de nata. If you’re looking for a well-rounded dining experience, opt for the tasting menu.
Chueca, 8–10 Gough Street, Central
A contemporary tapas bar serving up modern, innovative takes on Spanish delicacies, Pica Pica is the place to be for those looking for a twist on authentic tapas with sangria to pair. At Pica Pica, sangria concoctions are available in red and white with an abundance of seasonal fruits and mint leaves to top it all off.
Pica Pica, Shop G–H, G/F, Kai Tak Commercial Building, 317–321 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan