Sangria from the machine at Chico Madrid.

To celebrate the early emergence of summer—since it usually doesn’t rear its head before July 4th—I’d say some wine punch is in order. A big, icy pint glass filled to the brim. Traditionally the fruity punch is made with red wine—sangre meaning blood in Spanish—but you’ll find it in refreshing white and sparkling varietals as well. And at these spots you’ll find it on the happy hour menu. Salud!

This Belltown tapas bar has happy hour daily from 5 to 6. Snacks like bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese or a tortilla Espanola are $3, while Serrano ham with manchego or albondigas go for $5.25. A juicy sangria for $4.50 or an Estrella Damm lager for $3 complete the meal. And you might just leave speaking a little more Spanish than when you came in.

Chico Madrid
This fairly new sandwich joint on Bellevue Ave is a perfect afternoon spot for a snack and a drink. And Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 6 the platos frios are a $1 off, as are the pours from the locally famous sangria machine. Yes, that’s correct, an amazing form of boozy technology is just up the Hill, waiting for you.

Tango Restaurant and Lounge
The corner of Boren and Pike is bustling with traffic, but the dark intimate bar of Tango keeps the city off your mind. House-made sparkling sangria with raspberry syrup is $4 a glass at happy hour from 4:30 to 6 daily, but on Tuesday it lasts all night long. Food prices range from $5 to $7.50, with hearty queso fundido served with apples and crostini or shrimp ceviche, just to give you a taste.   

Of course, the newest edition to the Cactus Empire is in the up-and-coming neighborhood of South Lake Union. The happy hour caters to the laborers ready for a post workday drink from 3 to 6, and 3 to 5 on weekends. The Tex-Mex style cuisine keeps those crowds satisfied with $4 grilled jalapenos, a spiced Caesar salad, or smoked chicken quesadilla. Mojitos and margaritas are available on special, as well as its sparkling sangria made with fresh fruit and brandy for $5.

Pan Pacific Hotel Sips of Summer Series
All summer long, visit the patio or lobby bar at the Pan Pacific Hotel for cocktails, jazz, and wine tasting for charity on Tuesdays from 6 to 8pm. Throughout the series winemakers hold court with free samples of their wares. Next week it’s Gilbert Cellars and the Hedges Family Estate. A special cocktail menu is in place with two sangrias for $12 ($4 donated to One Day’s Wages) and other classic summer drinks. Food is available from Seastar; it’s not just anywhere that you can order sushi along side a sangria. 

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