HUFFINGTON POST
06/17/2011 05:51 pm ET | Updated Jun 29, 2011

Spanish Drinks: 4 Drink Ideas From A Bartender

For inside tips on Spanish drinks, we talked to Casey Phillips, one of the night bartenders at The Banana Factory. Located a mile north of the Sarasota International Airport in Florida, it's a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.

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Casey Phillips's Picks

Sunset Sangria

How do you make it?

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces margarita mix


2 ounces red wine


1 slice lime


2 slices orange


Small bit of sugar


Instructions:


In a large shaker, mix one and a half ounces margarita mix and two ounces red wine. Muddle one slice each of lime and orange. Add to the bottom of your glass, strain in the wine mix and add a small bit of sugar. Float an orange slice on the top.



At the Banana Factory, we make them one at time. You can make them on a larger scale if you are serving more than one person.



I like the margarita mix because it adds the extra hint of citrus to it, and it is not the norm. I recommend using a dry red wine for your wine base. It adds to the flavor without taking away from the overall drink. If you are making this at home, make it on a larger scale and chill it for a few hours before serving. This really brings out the flavor.

How would you describe its taste?

A Sunset Sangria has a combination of flavors. Very fruity. You get the full flavor from the wine, yet the explosion of citrus in your mouth after the wine hits your tongue. Chilled with muddled fruit is my favorite method to serve it. Mix it with a hint of sugar, strained and served in a wine glass.

When is it best to drink?

It is best to drink a Sunset Sangria with any Mexican or Spanish meal. It's a great combination. Of course, after a hot day here in Florida, a Sunset Sangria hits the spot.
Cinco de Mayo is another great day to drink it. I say go untraditional. Set down the Corona and order a Sunset Sangria!

Who drinks it?

The locals like a Sunset Sangria with a meal. The tourists like it after a hot day. Men and women both really enjoy this great drink.

Lethal Sangria

How do you make it?

Ingredients:

2 ounces dry red wine


2 ounces margarita mix


1 ounce vodka


1 slice lime


1 slice lemon


2 slices orange


Small bit of sugar


Instructions:


Served in a wine glass, I muddle one slice each of lime, lemon and orange before I add the Lethal Sangria mix. In a larger shaker, mix two ounces dry red wine, two ounces margarita mix and one ounce vodka. Shake and strain into the wine glass. Put a small bit of sugar in the glass and float an orange slice. The margarita mix really brings out the Spanish side of the drink and offers a familiar taste to the customer.

How would you describe its taste?

A Lethal Sangria has a hint more alcohol flavor to it than a traditional sangria. It's still very fruity, though.

When is it best to drink?

A great time to pick up a Lethal Sangria is after a long day on the golf course or out by the beach. Cinco de Mayo celebrations, or after a day of enjoying the nice warm weather here in Florida, are also great times to enjoy one.

Who drinks it?

At the Banana Factory, it varies. Some days it's all tourists and our winter visitors and the next day, the locals. I have found the women order this more than the men. Maybe it has something to do with the floating fruit.

White Sangria

How do you make it?

Ingredients:,br>
1 slice lime


1 slice lemon


1 slices orange


1 1/2 ounces peach schnapps


1 ounce cognac


1 1/2 ounces white wine


Small bit of sugar


Splash of ginger ale


Splash of triple sec (optional)


Instructions:


Add muddled slices of orange, lemon and lime to the bottom of a wine glass with a dollop of sugar. In a shaker, add one and a half ounces of peach schnapps, one ounce of cognac and one and a half ounces white wine. Mix and strain into the waiting wine glass. Add some ginger ale, float an orange slice and serve.



The muddled fruit with the dollop of sugar really brings out the flavor of the fruit. Any good dry white wine will be sufficient. You can add a splash of triple sec in the mix if the customer prefers more of a citrus flavor.

How would you describe its taste?

A White Sangria is a variation of the traditional sangria, just made with white wine. Having a much fruiter taste, the alcohol is very present. More of a sipping cocktail, the White Sangria is very refreshing.

When is it best to drink?

After a long day in our nice Florida weather. Pairing with a chicken or fish Spanish cuisine, the White Sangria is a perfect beverage while enjoying a great meal.

Who drinks it?

Women more than men drink a White Sangria, and tourists more than the locals. However, occasionally we get a few locals who will see one served and order a White Sangria for something new to try. If they like white wine or cognac, they will order another.

Vida Margarita

How do you make it?

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces tequila


1 ounce pear schnapps


1/2 ounce lime juice


1/2 ounce triple sec


A bit of salt or sugar to rim the glass


Instructions:


In a larger shaker, add one and one half ounces tequila, one ounce pear schnapps, half an ounce lime juice and half an ounce triple sec. Mix well and strain over ice if served on the rocks. The blended version is a great summer cool-down cocktail.



Depending on the customer request, you can rim the glass in salt or sugar for a Vida Margarita. Since the drink has a hint of sweetness to it, I prefer to use sugar. Of course, it is the customer's preference.

How would you describe its taste?

A Vida Margarita is an explosion of your traditional margarita flavors with a hint of pear. Served in a your traditional margarita glass, I prefer to rim the glass with sugar and not salt. This gives it a sweeter taste.

When is it best to drink?

It is best to enjoy a Vida Margarita during the summer months. The cool, refreshing, mildly sweet taste is a great way to cool down and relax from the sun. Sitting on the beach watching the sunset or at a beach barbecue are other great places to enjoy a Vida Margarita.

Who drinks it?

Women more than men order a Vida Margarita. Mostly the tourists during the summer months who come to Florida to enjoy the nice hot weather.

More From This Bartender

Casey Phillips

Photo: Bartender Casey Phillips and owner Bobby Butera

Casey Phillips

The Banana Factory

6916 14th Street West Bradenton, FL 34207

What are your favorite Spanish drinks?

Sunset Sangria, though I usually have to be enjoying a Spanish or Mexican-inspired meal to drink it.

What are your customers’ favorite Spanish drinks?

Our customers enjoy the Lethal Sangria, because it has the awesome sangria taste combined with vodka. They call it "lethal" for a reason. It is very intoxicating.