A new sangria called JOYA is popping up throughout South Florida.
With both red and white blends, the sangria has half the amount of sugar as regular sangria and has the same alcohol content as a bottle of wine.
“It’s not like any other sangria out there,” said Jay Gannon, partner and director for East Coast Sales of JOYA.“It’s sangria for grownups.”
In fact, “Made for Grown Ups,” is Joya’s tagline.
Imported from Spain, JOYA is the Spanish word for jewel. Its origins are in a small town of La Puebla de Almoradiel, nestled between the rolling hills and vast plains of Castilla La Mancha. It launched out of California in 2015 and is growing in the South Florida market.
Gannon said he didn’t believe JOYA was any better than other sangrias until he sampled it from his friend’s brother who owns the company.
“Most sangria is just a sugar bomb,” he said. “I thought it was outstanding. I was really surprised at how good it was.”
He recommends filled a glass at least two-thirds of the way with ice and then pouring the sangria in. He said the ice doesn’t dilute the sangria, but helps it open up when it melts.
“It has a good finish,” he said.
Gannon has some experience with the food industry. His family was the first to franchise Taco Bell on the East Coast. Then, he had a career on Wall Street for more than 20 years before moving to Boca Raton and wondering what his next step would be.
That is when he tasted JOYA and began on ways to get it in to restaurants and liquor stores in South Florida.
“Now it is really starting to get momentum,” he said.
Restaurants like Delray’s Buddha Sky Bar are serving JOYA as sangria and as a part of a cocktail.
He said restaurateurs are buying JOYA because its consistent, doesn’t tie up the bartender who may be making the sangria per serving and doesn’t waste any sangria that restaurants often make in bulk.
But one of the best parts of being involved in JOYA is seeing the look on someone’s face after they try the sangria.
“People are shocked every single time,” he said.