SangriaFest

SangriaFest

Dear Lehigh Valley, we’ve just about made it to summer. It’s a time of fireworks and grilling, of camping and fairs—a time when our biggest complaints are how much sand is stuck in our swimsuits and how the humidity is ruining our hair.

How sweet it is, no? What’s even sweeter is fruit-filled wine, and ’tis the season. Known as sangria, this ubiquitous on-the-rocks libation originated in Spain. Deliciously versatile, it can be concocted completely to your taste—fortified with a glug or two of hooch, tranquilized with a splash of juice, or sweetened with sugar—but fresh fruit is what makes sangria sing, and 10 types of it will be flowing at this year’s SangriaFest.


SangriaFest

What: A festival devoted to sangria, thanks to ArtsQuest and South Italy Imports

Where: PNC Plaza at SteelStacks
645 E First Street, Bethlehem

When: Saturday, July 15 at 1-4 p.m. (Session 1) or 6-9 p.m. (Session II)

General Admission Tickets: $34 in advance, $39 at the door

VIP Access Tickets: $69 in advance, $79 at the door

Designated Driver Tickets: $10

More Information: steelstacks.org

Whet your appetite for the soiree with two sangria recipes on the next page, and then mark your calendar for the event.

Summertime Splash

1 bottle (750 mL) dry white wine

1/2 cup citrus flavored rum or vodka (optional)

1/4 cup simple syrup

2 kiwis, peeled and sliced

1 mango, peeled and sliced

1 cup of raspberries

1 bottle of seltzer

Combine all ingredients except for the seltzer in a pitcher. Chill 2-4 hours before serving. Serve over ice and top with a splash of seltzer.

Serves approximately 14 (4 ounce pours)

Ruby Red

• 1 bottle (750 mL) medium-bodied red wine

• 1 cup Ruby Red grapefruit juice

Juice of 2-3 limes

• 1/4 cup sugar

• St. Germain Elderflower liqueur (optional)

Combine all ingredients except for the St. Germain and stir well, until the sugar is dissolved. Chill 2-4 hours before serving. Serve over ice and top with a splash of liqueur.

Serves approximately 14 (4 ounce pours)

How has the event changed since last year?

This year, SangriaFest has expanded to two sessions instead of one long day. The first session takes place from 1-4 p.m. and the second runs from 6-9 p.m. Last year, there were 5 pouring stations; this year there are 10. In addition, last year’s 3 ounce pouring size has doubled—each sangria sample is a generous 6 ounces. (Yes, please.)

Is there anything to do other than drink sangria?

Listen to live music as you sample sangrias. In between sips, you can use your liquid courage to compete in games like bocce ball, or practice your throwing chops in horseshoe and cornhole beanbag tosses.

Once you’ve sharpened your skills, show them off at the dunk tank, where proceeds will benefit Angel 34, the nonprofit dedicated to bringing hope and healing to families of those affected by childhood cancer.

Will there be anything to drink other than sangria?

With a full bar in tow, you’ll find everything from draft beer and cocktails to soda.

Is there food?

There will be a diverse array of bites from visiting food trucks like gourmet flatbreads from Fired Up Artisan Oven, and sweet and savory stuffed waffles from Dough Heads Stuffed Waffles.

What’s this about a VIP ticket?

VIP ticket holders will have access to a special tent with sangria from local restaurants like Tapas, The Bayou, and The Brick, where you can vote for your favorite punch of the bunch.

In addition, you’ll be admitted into the rest of the festival an hour early (at 12 noon for the first session and 5 p.m. for the second session) to beat the lines.

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