Taste Test: Sipping Sangria on Summer Patios

We tackle the ultimate summer beverage.

Is there any better antidote to a hot day than an ice-cold beverage? Heat waves practically demand a thirst quenching, refreshing drink served over ice, and of course these are best when enjoyed outside on some of the great patios around the city. The most quintessential patio drink, of course, is sangria, the booze-and-fruit-infused wine punch most often associated with Spanish and Latin cuisine. I decided to check out the sangria offerings at a variety of patios around town—ahead, see how they stacked up.

I started at Joe’s American Bar and Grill, located on the edge of the North End. With a patio featuring views of both the Harbor and Christopher Columbus Park, it is one of the best outside spaces in town. Joe’s sangria, however, was a bit disappointing. It’s made to order, but here that’s leads to inconsistency from glass to glass. My first round was too sweet, with a soda fizz diluting the liquid. The second round, however, went too far the other way, with a bitter blast of alcohol and not enough fruit.

Next up was Cafeteria, situated in the heart of bustling Newbury Street. While their view doesn’t feature sailboats, it does have some of the best people watching this side of the river. But how does their sangria stack up? Poured out of a pitcher, every glass is well-balanced, with an up-front punch of alcohol and a sweet aftertaste full of fruit and deep red wine.

Finally, I ducked into the recently redesigned outdoor spot The Landing, a summertime-only space sitting on Boston Harbor with a view of the ferries, the notorious Codzilla and the Aquarium. This prized spot for summertime cocktail doesn’t fuss with glasses or a refined atmosphere. Their drinks are pre-mixed and served in plastic cups. The sangria is sweet, but not overly so, and a couple of glasses will result in a healthy (and pleasant) buzz. There isn’t any adornment to the cups here, but with the background of gentle music and the sun displayed in its unadulterated glory, none is needed.
Of the three patios and three glasses of Sangria The Landing was my favorite spot to celebrate the season, sip on a refreshing beverage and soak up all of the rays of the sun. Remember to pack your sunglasses, and get ready to relax.

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