Header images courtesy of Cassio (Facebook) and La Paloma (Facebook)
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 ($110 per glass; $550 per jug) or the bubbly version, sangria de cava ($128 per glass; $650 per jug). You can also come for happy hour, every day on the terrace from 3 pm to 8 pm and order jugfuls of red sangria for $450 or sangria with cava for $550.
La Rambla, Shop 3071–73 Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central | (+852) 2661 1161
This neighbourhood eatery has multiple locations across the island and dishes up hearty sandwiches, salads, and pasta. Their Repulse Bay location is one of our personal favourites because it’s right next to the beach and features an open façade and hanging benches. You have a choice between red or white sangria ($55 per glass; $188 per jug). If you go during happy hour (every day from 5 pm to 8 pm), a glass goes for just $30!
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.
Their 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 ($98 per glass; $350 per jar) made with Rioja Tempranillo red wine, fresh orange, lemon, and cinnamon; the white “Verdejo” sangria ($98 per glass; $350 per jar), made with the aromatic and fruity Verdejo white wine, green apple, mint, and lime; and the strawberry sangria ($108 per glass; $380 per jar) 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, they serve 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. Their sangria ($130) 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 ($130), 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. Their red sangria ($80 per glass; $350 per 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 their return last year with a new look, a new chef, and a new menu. Their drinks menu focuses on Spanish wines, sangrias, and other street-style drinks. As usual, both red and white sangria is offered: the red sangria ($88) is blended orange curaçao and white rum with red wine and soda, while the white sangria ($88) 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, they also have four different types of sangrias for patrons to choose from: red sangria ($98 per glass; $368 per pitcher), made with a splash of vermouth; passion sangria that is flavoured with passionfruit and peach vodka for an extra dose of fruitiness ($98 per glass; $368 per pitcher); rose & roses sangria ($98 per glass; $368 per pitcher) made with rosé, dry roses, and roses syrup; and a virgin sangria ($90 per glass; $300 per 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
Rubia specialises in premium Spanish beef, accompanied by seasonally-inspired tapas like gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic prawns with dried chilli) and huevos rotos (broken eggs, served with either mushroom, morcilla, or chorizo). They offer the two classic types of sangria; the red sangria is made with Cabernet Sauvignon, cava, fresh orange, and Cointreau, and the white sangria is made with Galician apple cider, cava, and fresh lemon. Both options are $95 per glass and $398 per jug.
Rubia, UG/F & 1/F, C Wisdom Centre, 35–37 Hollywood Road, Central | (+852) 2889 1199
Helmed by Spanish chef Antonio Moran, this tapas joint in Tsim Sha Tsui serves four distinct varieties of sangria. The OM sangria ($98), which is their signature, is a sunset-hued glass of red, white, and rosé, mixed with fruits and topped with molecular sangria foam. The El Clasico sangria ($98 per glass; $360 per jug) is a more traditional blend of red wine, brandy, fruit juices, and mixed fruits.
For more modern interpretations, order the Royal sangria ($98 per glass; $360 per jug), a mixture of strawberry vodka, cava, apple juice, strawberries, and a sprig of mint, or the pink lychee sangria ($88 per glass; $350 per jug), made with gin, rosé, red berries, and lychees. Be sure to save room for some nibbles, like their chorizo, which is served flaming—we recommend you order one just for the drama.
OM Tapas, 1 Minden Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2722 1707