The French press is a popular tool for making coffee, but its utility doesn’t end there. Apply a little ingenuity, and you can repurpose the manual gadget to create delicious cocktails and infusions. For proof, look to the French Press Sangria, a fun, large-format take on classic Sangria that combines red and white wine with rum, cognac, orange liqueur, agave syrup, raspberry purée and multiple types of fruit.
The drink was created by Jasmine Jernberg, a bartender at Blue Bohème in San Diego. Rather than using the French press to coax out flavor from coffee beans, she uses it to house batches of the cocktail, which is pressed tableside for guests.
“This preparation really brings out the brightness of the fruit and blends it into the drink beautifully,” she says. “It’s a mainstay on our patio during social hour because it’s thirst-quenching and easy to drink yet still packs enough of a punch to take the edge off a long hot day.”
If you have your own patio—or even if you don’t—you can recreate the experience at home by gathering all the requisite ingredients, combining individual servings in a French press and then doling out portions for you and all your friends. It’s probably the most fun you can have with a French press, and since the recipe serves seven, there is plenty to go around.
- 2 cups fruity red wine
- 2 cups white wine
- 1/4 cup light rum
- 1/4 cup cognac
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1/4 cup raspberry purée
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- Garnish: orange slice
- Garnish: basil sprig
In a large bowl, combine the red wine, white wine, light rum, cognac, Grand Marnier, agave syrup and raspberry purée.
Layer the orange, lime and lemon slices along the base of a French press.
For each serving, fill the French press with the combined liquids and press down slowly.
Pour into a wine glass over fresh ice.
Garnish each glass with an orange slice and sprig of basil.