As a fan of Adam Carolla’s podcast, I first became aware of Mangria (official site) before he marketed it and sold in in stores. He explains the origin on the back label of the bottle: Wine, vodka, orange juice.
The description does not inspire confidence. All the same, I was intrigued enough to give it a try. Sangria can be a nice party punch, and I wanted to know if this was a worthy drink. Mangria isn’t sold at any of my local stores, but I finally got my hands on it thanks to the carolladrinks.com website. Depending on your state, it can be shipped directly as well.
As a wine fan, I was pretty skeptical of Mangria. If you haven’t yet picked up on it, this is a sort of a pre-mixed Sangria that is quite high in alcohol. The Original Orange Cocktail is 20.9% alcohol and the follow-up White Peach & Pear is just behind at 19%. On paper, these wines look like a Night Train Express to Wild Irish Rose. Bum wines for rich people. I bought each bottle at $20 a piece at a liquor store in Hermosa Beach.
Original Orange Cocktail
The bottled version of Mangria is made with red wine from Napa, grape-based hard alcohol (like a grappa) and orange juice. I was a bit surprised how good it tastes. The important thing to keep in mind is that this is intended as a starter wine, not a desert wine. Like sangria, this is a great drink to sip on while the food is cooking and one is mingling in a party. If you don’t have the time to make your own home-made sangria, this is a compelling substitute. My only worry is that the high alcohol content will probably sneak up on certain people. It does go down smooth. Perhaps too smooth. Best not to fill up on this too early in the evening.
White Peach & Pear
On Mr. Carolla’s podcast, he touts this as the feminine equivalent to his red wine version of sangria. To my taste, it is far more fruity (peach/apricot/apple) and suffers a worse aftertaste than I would like. It seems more like a highly alcoholic Pinot Grigio than a sangria. Still, for those with a sweet tooth, it may hit the spot.
Keep in mind that both of these drinks are meant to be consumed on ice. They are meant to be a refreshing starter to the evening. Obviously, “Mangria” is also a potential conversation starter as well, so bottoms up!
By Guest Writer Mike Tomren.
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