The Winners Of The 2018 Women of Wine Charities Sangria Throwdown In Houston

The 7th Annual Women of Wine Charities Sangria Throwdown was held June 11 to benefit the Houston Area Women’s Center. The competition was held at Mercedes Benz of Houston Greenway where industry experts were challenged to develop creative twists on the classic punch. Judges evaluated 15 entries that ranged from light and summery to boozy and fruity. Awards were given in three categories: Judge’s Choice, Most Creative and People’s Choice.

Bear Dalton of Spec’s took home the Judge’s Choice award for his melon and cilantro infused white Carpe Sangria. Photo by Phaedra Cook.

Bear Dalton (Spec’s) won Judge’s Choice for his refreshing melon and cilantro infused Carpe Sangria. The white sangria was on the dry side and Dalton encouraged guests to snack on Marcona almonds and olive tapenade before taking a sip. Dalton’s first appearance in the competition was in 2016 when he won Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards for his Green Sangria.

The Most Creative award went to Leslie Ross (Aqui) for her Aqui Ambrosia. Her fruity cocktail had a delicate blend of gin, vermouth, Asian pear, galia melon, green guava, lychee, rambutan and mangosteen. The ambitious ingredient list resulted in a unique and tasty drink.

Ashely Nichols (second from left) and Alli Jarret (far right) of Harold’s received the People’s Choice award presented by Women of Wine Charities President Denise Ehrlich (far left). Photo by Phaedra Cook.

Alli Jarrett (Harold’s) won Judge’s Choice in 2017 but took home People’s Choice this year. She shares the award with bartender Ashley Nichols. They presented a beautiful La Sangria del Fiore (The Flower Sangria) displayed in a large ceramic bowl from Mexico. The more traditional sangria was made with Rioja wine, brandy and mango liqueur and then topped with fresh fruit and edible flowers.

Jarrett and Nichols shared their recipe for La Sangria del Fiore, written below. The cocktail is simple to make at home for a refreshing treat.

La Sangria del Fiore (The Flower Sangria)
Serves one

3 oz. Federico Paternina Gran Reserva Rioja
½ oz. E & J Brandy
½ oz. Patron Citronge Mango Liqueur
½ oz. Grand Marnier
½ oz. lime, orange and simple syrup

Top with lemon-lime sparkling soda and garnish with sliced mango, strawberries, frozen raspberries and edible flowers.

Women of Wine Charities is a non-profit organization established in 2007 that hosts wine related events and programs throughout the year to benefit the Houston Area Women’s Center. Visit their web site for more information.

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