Yum, Yum: Sangria in the City

If you’re like us, there are certain types of drinks that are enjoyed during weekend brunch. Sangria is one of them. While weekend brunching with girlfriends, a fruity sangria option often jumps off the menu as the thirst-quencher of choice, especially on a hot day. And since summer weather showed up a little earlier this year, our patio season and summery refreshment tour has been in full force since, well, March if we’re honest.

As the hunt continues, here are three establishments who have seemed to perfect the boozy punch:

Milagro (Three locations: 5 Mercer St., 3187 Yonge St. and 783 Queen W.)

Juicy and refreshing.

With a broad selection of sangria to please even the pickiest of taste buds, Milagro has six blends, including their ‘American’ blend that’ll put a little hair on your chest, complete with bourbon AND peach schnapps. Why not, huh? Summer suggestion: Sangria de Mango…in a pitcher. 

Psst: They have special deals on sangria on Thursdays. What better day to end the week than a delicious glass or two of this cocktail, for less?

Follow @Milagro_cantina on Twitter.
School (70 Fraser Ave.)

School sticks to the basics: red and white. I mean, sure, you could mix them if you want a rose. School creatively serves their wine concoction by glass and by flask. Suggestion: try both! Sangria white is slightly more innocent, combing pinot grigio with green grapes and apples, while the red is a little more daring, mixing rioja (Spanish wine) with orange and cinnamon. Again, enjoy them in a flask.

If you give their Sangria an A+, tell them @schoolville.
Café Nervosa (75 Yorkville Ave.)

Enjoy a frosty glass of sangria and keep an eye out for celebs on this beautiful patio.

This Yorkville spot comes up on a lot of people’s “fave” lists and yes, their pizza is fantastic. But they’ve mastered their sangria as well. When we’re feeling like some solid people-watching and enjoying the quiet buzz of Yorkville, this is our go-to spot. You feel rather posh sipping on their cute patio, and you never know when you might catch a glimpse of a Jonas brother at the table next to you. Their sangria is strong and fruity, with fruit juice as well as the regular wine and spirits.

Drake Hotel (1144 Queen St. W.)
Ok, so we might be a bit biased about this one, but we can’t help but love every cocktail that comes from the Drake’s skilled bar team. Their sangria lives up to their high standards, and the Sky Yard is one of the best spots in Toronto to enjoy a summer cocktail. They’ve got some other tasty concoctions this summer as well (Rum + Raspberry Lemonade, anyone?) but we often stop by after work for a relaxing glass of wine, fruit juice and fruit chunks, complete with art, indie rock and some eye candy.

As always, Drake offers a classic with a twist – the warm Simmering Sangria.
Image courtesy of the Drake Hotel.

Pssst: this past winter, Drake had simmering sangria – a warm version of their summer recipe. It was amazing. Here’s hoping they bring it back next winter!

Tell them you want them to bring back the Simmering Sangria – @thedrakehotel

Victory Cafe (581 Markham St.)

Another fourth floor fave that takes us back to our days of undergrad, but in a good way. They’ve got one of the best patios in the city as well, and in case we haven’t made it clear yet, sangria + patio = summer perfection. Their white sangria is delicious and won’t stain your summer whites should you happen to spill a drop or two.

White sangria on this patio is pretty much perfect.

Keep up with the latest Annex news @victorycafe_TO.

Happy drinking! 

My ‘Hood: Marsh

We’re so excited to welcome Marsh to the fourth floor, our newest team member. We wanted to get to know her better, so we asked her to spill the beans about her ‘hood, Liberty Village.

My recent move to Liberty Village marks my first time living solo and as a homeowner. It’s been six months and I couldn’t be happier. I had always thought of Liberty Village as nothing but a condo mecca, but my real estate agent (luckily) convinced me otherwise. Sure, there are a ton of new developments left, right and centre. In fact, I’m often woken by the sounds of construction. But what makes me most excited about living here is the emerging sense of community. I love being a part of its progress and can’t wait to see how the area takes shape over the next few years.

Most Saturday mornings begin with a visit to Barista, an authentic Italian espresso bar in the heart of the other Village. What sets Barista apart from many other cafes in the city is the polished white marble countertops, lush velvet seats and distinctly Italian-style espresso. This isn’t a coffee house where you scrounge for a seat and share newspapers with your neighbour to the left, but it is the perfect place to enjoy a bit of quiet (and be whisked away to Rome).
Sundays you can find me at Noir Nail Bar catching up with a girlfriend over mani/pedis. It’s a great place to de-stress and the staff are always friendly. The complimentary Wi-Fi is great when I sneak in a treatment after work and finally take some time to read the news, tweet, pay bills – and send that long overdue e-mail to my mom!

One of the main reasons I moved to the area was the sheer convenience of being a stone’s throw from the Metro grocery store, BMO,  Blockbuster and the LCBO. I even trudged most of my furniture home from West Elm Modern Furniture! But recent additions to the bar and restaurant scene are making it nearly impossible for me to ever leave my ‘hood.
This summer, InLibertyVillage, a group that organizes creative and cultural events for residents, hosted a weekly community social hour. Every Thursday, we were invited to check out a different spot for post-work cocktails with neighbours. Not only did I discover some neighbourhood gems like Mildred’s Temple Kitchen and Merci Mon Ami but I also met some really fantastic people.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across Vocado, an adorable boutique carrying brands like Lipsy, J Brand and Velvet. Love at first sight? That would be an understatement. Since then, I’ve tried convincing myself that a simple browse can be just as satisfying, but without fail, walk home with yet another addition to my closet every time. If we’re all allowed a vice, Vocado’s mine.

Last week’s purchase: The Ear Hart by J Brand.
 If you haven’t been, Liberty Village is worth a visit. Spend a few hours shopping, wining and dining and come back periodically to see what new developments pop up.