4

Stirred and Shaken: Sangria at Sassafras

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

We were traversing the dark back streets of northwest Houston in search of Sassafras — not the leaves, but the bar. At night, the area around 5022 Pinemont seems old, forgotten and a little broken. “Are we going to get stabbed or shot?” my companion joked. It wasn’t very funny, but the surroundings made the bar and its pleasant patio, bordered by plants, seem even more like an oasis when we found it.

The regulars, many of whom are bartenders themselves, stop in for the usual boilermakers and other bar staples. “If you’re ever in the mood for shots, there’s always Jägermeister and Fireball, and it’s always chilled,” said our bartender.

The surprise, though, is that one of the most-ordered cocktails is that garden party staple, sangria. There’s a red and a white at Sassafras daily. The recipe is ever-changing, because the beauty of sangria is that it is flexible and the ultimate way to use leftover wine.

The twinkling, metallic fringe hung along the top of the bar and the red lights that shine down behind it give Sassafras a vaguely disco vibe. Undoubtably, the prize possession here is a pillow propped on a shelf with Patrick Swayze’s face on it. I wonder how many people have offered to buy that pillow.

On the night of our visit, folks at The Eat Retreat food trailer out front were dishing out French dip sandwiches, pizza and nachos stacked high with braised beef, chicken, cheese, fresh jalapeños and more.

Red Sangria at Sassafras

Sangria is the ultimate way to use wine leftovers and doesn’t rely as much on proportions and specifications as on flavors. Here are elements Sassafras used on the night of our visit. For those who need proportions to feel comfortable, there’s a basic recipe and sangria tips at the Kitchn website. 

Really, though, the fun of sangria is starting with a bottle of wine and adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that until it tastes good. Check what’s in your liquor cabinet to see what can be substituted before you run to the store.

2013 Vina Borgia Garancha (which also serves as the house red wine)
El Presidente brandy
Paula’s Texas Orange Liqueur
Orange juice
POM Wonderful Pomegranate Cranberry Juice
A touch of crème de cassis
Mixed fresh fruit, like cherries, grapes and pineapple chunks
Top off each glass with Wycliff California champagne

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.