The Palms are Alive with the Sound of Sangria

Melon Infusion

Melons infusing for sangria compliments of ella at District Sounds, a fall acoustic series kicking off Thursday in Palm Court. Thanks to Vanessa Nunez, kitchen manager and photographer extraordinaire.

Cropped District SoundsIt’s not Tristan Ferchl’s first corrida.   As one of our shift leaders at ella, our café in the Design District’s Palm Court, Tristan is responsible for running the front of house, but we like to think the highlight of his day is crafting the daily sangria.

“It’s more important that the sangria complements the food we do more than sticks to tradition,” he explains.  “I’m looking for lighter flavors, a canvas for seasonal fruit and something that plays well with our lovely warm Miami weather.  It’s always nicer to dine outside on our patio with an glass of sangria to cool you down.”

Tristan’s experience at Cure, an uptown district bar in New Orleans, served him well.  A focus on classic cocktails meant a shelf of fortified wine to play with.  He’s always conscious of two key principles when building a sangria recipe — proportion of wine and sweetness.  First, he usually begins based off of half a bottle of wine per carafe, with leanings toward white.  “We’re currently using the house Albariño… Something crisp which won’t overpower the fruit.”  He adds it’s also a good base for carbonation, either from Pellegrino or Dry Soda flavors like vanilla or blood orange.  Secondly, and maybe even more importantly, sweetness should be kept to a minimum and come from natural sources, i.e. from the fruit itself, not additive sugar, whenever possible.  When used improperly, simple syrup can mask the palate and easily ruin a meal.

Lua Sangria

With a couple bottles left of Lua Rossa No. 2, Tristan moved it out to make way for No. 3 making a red sangria for a change of pace, with cantaloupe and white grapes. It’s been his favorite yet, breaking the mold but keeping it light and fresh.

On Thursday night from 6-8PM, Miami’s Design District launches a weekly live music series curated by Miami Beach Jazz in Palm Court.  This Thursday IOGO’s Adrian Gonzalez and J.J. Freire perform with sangria on us.  Parking is available at City View & Palm Court Garages on NE 38th St between N Miami Ave & 2nd Ave.  Cheersing and see you there with our cocktail bells on.  Tristan’s got a mix planned of Albariño, melons infused by Casoni liqueur, honey and peppermint, blood orange Dry Soda, fresh-cut oranges and rosemary from our garden.  And join us for Happy Hour, when it’s half price from 5-7PM daily!

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