Great Baltimore cocktails: The Pomegranate Sangria at Sunset Cove

For The Baltimore Sun

Let's face it: Summer's over. But still, warm weather and plenty of daylight have me trying to squeeze those last few drops from the season.

Read: Drink outdoors as frequently as possible. One of my favorite places to do so as of late has been at Sunset Cove in Bowleys Quarters in Baltimore County.

The waterfront destination's sand, palm trees and boat slips are transformative enough to make you feel as if you're somewhere far away from life's reality. Its extensive cocktail list, filled with tiki-themed favorites and specialty crushes, make the tropical transporting even more seamless. Wanting to be adventurous, I decided to try the intriguing Pomegranate Sangria, a surprisingly light, fun twist on a classic.

I'm pretty picky when it comes to sangria. Use the wrong red wine and the tannins overpower; mix in too much brandy and it's a syrupy mess. Then there's the fruit. I won't name names, but it's easy to tell when a restaurant pre-makes a huge batch and leaves it sitting and sitting and sitting. The fruit takes on a ripe, fermented taste.

The Pomegranate Sangria, though, has none of these problems. Manager Lea McDonald called it a "refreshing change of pace," an experience Sunset Cove banks on. The best thing about Sunset Cove's take on sangria (they also offer a Fuzzy Navel Peach Sangria) is that each glass is made to order. That includes lightly muddling fruit in the bottom before mixing together the main ingredients. Forget the huge stagnant pitcher of rotting fruit. Instead, I had fresh cherries, limes and lemons in the bottom of my cup.

But what makes the Pomegranate Sangria so drinkable is that the heavy wine-and-brandy taste is completely eliminated because, well, there isn't a drop of brandy added to the base wine, a merlot. Instead, Pinnacle Pomegranate vodka and orange juice blend to create a sweet, tangy blend. Finished off with a little simple syrup, the drink is flavorful without the filmy, sugary aftertaste we often expect from the realm of tropical drinks. And the even, more neutral taste of merlot is easily infused with the other ingredients.

Sunset Cove has plenty of outdoor space — from a tiki bar to a covered outdoor deck bar to shaded tables in the sand — for you to take a proper "staycation," minutes from home. You're seemingly weeks away from caring about much — maybe anything other than plotting your next round of cocktails, that is.

How to Make The Pomegranate Sangria

3 parts light-bodied red wine, such as merlot

1 part Pinnacle Pomegranate

1 part orange juice

Splash simple syrup

Assorted fresh fruit (cherries, lemon, limes, apples)

Muddle fruit in the bottom of the glass; add ice; add all other ingredients and mix well and serve.

Where to Get The Pomegranate Sangria

Sunset Cove

3408 Red Rose Farm Road, Bowleys Quarters



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