Spirited: With Paul Shireman

Our recommendation from an area pro

From Paul Shireman, who next month will celebrate his 12th anniversary as a bartender at Buckley’s Tavern

SANGRIA

I find making drinks fun. Kind of like having a chemistry set, only nothing is going to blow up or set you on fire. One of my favorites for a warm summer evening on the deck is sangria.

Forget those memories of insipid sangria sold in a big jug that you drank back in college. Sangria isn’t difficult to make yourself. You don’t need specific esoteric ingredients, and you can make a single glass —you needn’t commit to a whole pitcher. 

• For a red sangria, I muddle together a few slices of lemon and orange in a cocktail shaker, add about 2 1/2 ounces Grand Marnier and crushed ice, and shake it. Strain it into a glass of ice and top it with chianti (my personal preference) or pinot noir.

• For a sangria using white or rosé wine, I muddle together three chopped strawberries and 1/2 lemon, sliced, in a shaker. I add 1 ounce St. Germain and 1 1/2 ounces white rum and shake with crushed ice. Strain it into a glass of ice and top it with rosé or a pinot grigio.

Now, these recipes are not set in stone. I added a few raspberries to the red sangria, and that was delicious, too. Experiment with whatever brandy or liquor you have, and whatever fruit you like—there is so much in season right now, and there are no wrong answers.

So, what do you think? Please comment below.