behind the bar: jose + joel’s mexican sangria

Today is going to be a great day.  For one, it is Friday and that alone makes it good.  As I write this it is 72 and sunny here in Philadelphia, so that makes it even better.  But today we are seeking greatness and greatness we have.  Our Friday greatness comes in the form of Mexican Sangria as prepared by the talented (and sweet) couple consisting of photographer Jose Villa (view his blog here) and cinematographer Joel Serrato.  Normally I like to keep my comments to a minimum but I need to expound on a few things.  First of all, everyone needs to check out the wine that was used in this drink.  It is a boutique wine (low production) made by a family with 4 generations of winemaking experience.  It is the kind of rare find that all wine-lovers dream of.  Secondly, a very special ‘Thank You’ to Lacie Hansen who shot the beautiful portrait of Jose and Joel as well as some of the detail shots of Jose preparing the drink.  And finally, the location of this amazing shoot was J. Woeste, a beautiful garden and store in Los Olivos, CA.  They don’t have a website but it should definitely be a stop on your next southern California sojourn.  Now on to Joel and Jose… -ryan & alissa

“We really love where we live and find it an inspiration to drink, eat and enjoy ourselves locally.  We frequently find ourselves traveling both near and far for work so we always cherish the opportunity to enjoy our local home of the Santa Ynez Valley in CA.  When we were asked to be a part of this feature we thought long and hard about what type of drink would best represent us and decided we had to showcase one of our favorites – “Mexican Sangria”.

CLICK HERE for more beautiful images and the full drink recipe after the jump!

Mexican Sangria is a drink that looks as if it is far too complicated to attempt but the reality is it’s SO simple your guests will wonder just how you managed it.  Share the secret or not – its up to you!

The drink was first discovered when Jose and I were asked to come to a gathering at J.Woeste in Los Olivos. J. Woeste is an amazing, ever-changing haven for home and garden lovers that will draw you back for many visits to come. During the spring this whimsical garden is a lovely place for friends and family to gather and enjoy gifts, books and indoor/outdoor art. For this particular gathering we were asked to bring a drink but couldn’t decide what would fit into such an organic atmosphere.  After a little research we discovered we could mix some of our favorite drinks from our heritage.  We are both Mexican and we always, ALWAYS, have Tequila at home.  We combined that with our love of wine (specifically Sarloos and Sons red) and then chopped and mixed our favorite fruits and TADA! “MEXICAN SANGRIA”

We hope you enjoy!

[Joel & Jose]


1 bottle of red wine (we prefer to use Sarloos and Sons red)

1 cup of tequila (we prefer to use 1800 Silver)

1/2 a cup of orange juice (living in such an organic environment we only drink organic orange juice from New Frontiers in Solvang, CA)

1/2 a cup of brown organic sugar

1/4 cup of fresh squeezed organic lime juice

1 sliced organic red apple  (and other fruit if you desire – raspberries, watermelon, oranges, mangos, etc)


In a pitcher mix ingredients in this specific order.  Add ice to chill.  The longer it sits in the pitcher the more flavorful it will be.  Using a little lime juice, give the glasses a nice brown-sugar rim and then serve and enjoy!


Um yum. After reading this and checking out the photos, I can also say, it’s going to be a great Friday. Cheers!

Enid Wilson

Can’t wait to try this…and I know someone who just brought a bottle of Tequila straight from Jalisco…sounds like destiny to me, no?

chelsea {oh, my deer!}

oooh, look who it is! well done, boys! this looks delicious. the only thing that would make it better would be sipping it with you two!

love, the petajas

barbara kumar

A lovely sip of summer and not complicated! Viva to the J’s; Jose and Joel!

Dawn Marie

This looks delicious. They are handsome, they know how to make a great drink….what more could you want?

Ariel Yve

Joel and Jose are such awesome guys. So accomplished yet so down to earth.

And Lacie…outrageously talented and fun to work with. Congrats on the gorgoeus shoot guys!


Ooh, the Sangria started to look refreshing and tastier as I was reading your post. Thanks for sharing Joel and Jose with us and they’re marvelous recipe. I am gonna give a try soon. I visited Los Olivos last year and I am longing to visit it again after reading about J.Woeste.


Bookmarking this. Thanks for the recipe. :) I may have to get creative with the red wine I choose and get one with a low tannin content (get migraines) but I’m sure I can find something that will work.

Erika Tracy

SO great! As always, the images make me want to twirl in a field in a sundress with flowers in my hair. You guys are adorable!

So how about a Monday Sneak Peek on Jose and Joel now?!?


my fav design blog, fav photog, fav filmaker, fav wine and a bit of tequila = a perfect post!!! i love the pic of you two! it shows how you both just exude laughter & kindness!


Out of all the ‘behind the bar’ posts, this has to be one of my favorites. I loved hearing from Jose and Joel, and I can’t wait to try this drink.

the purcells

love this behind the bar! jose villa shot our wedding and he was amazing – sounds like a fabulous sangria and has us missing the santa ynez valley on a gloomy new york day.

julia Akpan

First – I love sangria – no summertime gathering is complete without it!
i’m definitely going to try this one out on memorial day :)


I’m such a huge fan of Jose Villa’s photography! I love the soft hues he uses! I always feel like I’m in the country when looking at his photos!


Yum! I’m going to try it at one of our porch parties- as soon as the weather warms up here in Chicago…


I’ve had sangria with tequila before and to be honest it was kind of awful. I don’t know about this.



well, when you try this, let us know what you think. not all recipes with similar ingredients taste the same ;)



Can’t wait to try it! I grew up only a few miles from Los Olivos and have been a little homesick, I can’t think of a better cure.


Ok, so I don’t know much about wines, but i was looking at this website for wines, and a lot of the wines on there on red….so which one was the one you used?

Sølvi Elise

Just made this, and it is perfect for the first days of summer. Fresh & fruity. Yum! Thanks for sharing. :-)


Have been following D*S for a long time and first time tried one of the recipes posted up on here. This sangria turns out to be the HIT! I made it for a BBQ party and all my friends loved it! Thanks!


Ahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa looks good for our Sunday Mexican dinner can hardly wait!!!