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Published July 30, 2012, 11:30 PM

Summer sips: Maxwell's cools things down with sangria

WEST FARGO – Sangria is the perfect summer treat: cool and refreshing, sweet and tangy.

By: Wendy Reuer, INFORUM

If you go

What: Maxwells Happy Hour

When: 4-6 p.m. daily

Where: Maxwells, 1380 9th St. E, West Fargo

Info: Daily specials include

$7 martinis, $2 glass wine, half-price tap beers and complimentary snacks

Online: www.maxwellsnd.com

WEST FARGO – Sangria is the perfect summer treat: cool and refreshing, sweet and tangy.

At Maxwells in West Fargo, they agree.

It’s why batches of sangria are made nightly as just one of the many signature drinks that match the high flavor of the restaurant.

Head bartender Soni Cariveau said the red wine, triple sec, brandy and fresh-squeezed orange and lime juice concoction has been very popular this summer.

Cariveau said she’ll often add a sweeter juice to the sangria mix for taste.

“Just something to give it a little extra sweetness, otherwise it’s too pungent,” Cariveau said.

The sangria is then served with fresh fruit garnishes that include strawberries, blackberries, orange slices and raspberries.

“It’s a really refreshing drink,” Cariveau said.

On Paella Wednesdays, the crisp cooler is paired with half-priced orders of the classic Spanish rice dish.

“It just pairs really nicely,” Cariveau said. “We make (sangria) on Tuesdays so it can marinate.”

Although delightful to look at, and delicious to boot, Maxwells’ sangria is not the only exclusive concoction bartenders there like Cariveau have created.

Cariveau said the staff regularly introduces new drinks that often become fast favorites.

Her latest drink, a watermelon martini, tastes just like the summertime superfruit with a kick.

Cariveau said she thought of the martini flavor on a Saturday while the restaurant and bar was still quiet.

The cocktail is a mixture that includes rhubarb cordial from Maple River Winery in Casselton.

“We try to use local brands when we can,” Cariveau said.

The common mojito is also a popular summer drink, as other martinis drummed up by the bartenders have become year-round favorites.