From Market to Carafe

Jaleo's amazing off-menu sangria

The bar staff at Jaleo jokes that a touch of sugar makes fruit cry, but they don't mean it in a bad way: Sugar helps draw out the flavors in this impressive new summer drink special.

This Spanish restaurant's staff has started taking advantage of the nearby Penn Quarter farmers' market on Thursday afternoons to create an off-menu seasonal sangria.

Jaleo has long offered sparkling and red sangria using traditional recipes, but the new concoctions ($38 a carafe), which are based on whatever is on the market's tables, change weekly.

Beverage director Jill Zimorski mixes fruits, including apricots with blueberries, or white peaches with blackberries (click here for the recipe), with a full bottle of wine and a splash of other liquor, such as elderflower liqueur. The carafes are mixed tableside to show off the different stone fruits, berries and melons, before they're added to the drink.

Light and fruity, the refreshing sangria is best enjoyed on Jaleo's patio overlooking the Portrait Gallery. It also pairs nicely with spicy dishes like chorizo with crispy potato ($8), and lomo Iberico–acorn-fed cured pork loin ($15).

Each week's recipe debuts Friday afternoon–only at the Penn Quarter location–and lasts until the fruit runs out.

Jaleo-DC, 480 7th St. NW (at E St.); 202-628-7949 or jaleo.com