If you’ve ever travelled to Spain, then chances are you’ve indulged in your fair share of jugs of sangria.Sangria

 If not, well there’s no reason you can’t emulate the streets of Barcelona at your own backyard barbecue with Sangria – this refreshing cocktail.

The beauty of sangria is that it’s the perfect cocktail to share, it’s easy to make and better still, the recipe is open to interpretation! Perfect for those who are happy to experiment, and to work with ingredients found in the fridge and pantry at a moment’s notice.

With the opening of Spanish restaurant Ole’s sangria bar, along with the impending summer, what better time to talk about this traditional Spanish beverage?

We asked Luke Stringer, the general manager of Ole Bar & Restaurant, for his tips for making the perfect sangria (and more specifically, how he would tailor this to the Brisbane climate).

According to Stringer, the perfect sangria is all about quality and balance. As with cooking, don’t use wine you wouldn’t drink, and Ole uses Nudie juices in their Sangria as they are the closest thing to freshly squeezed. A good hit of citrus is very important and the spirit needs to harmonise with the rest of the flavours, not stand out or dominate.

“Serve in a large jug, topped with lots of ice (nothing worse than warm sangria) with a generous scoop of fresh fruit and then topped off with lemonade for some fizz and a touch of sweetness. Home punters feel free to substitute soda water if you prefer your Sangria dry.”

For a sangria tailored for the Brisbane climate, Stringer recommends topping the cocktail off with Bundaberg ginger beer instead of lemonade and garnishing with mint.