3/22/2013 12:50:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Coqueta's Frozen Sangria Moderna

Michael Chiarello was not in the house last night at the San Francisco installment of Taste of the Nation, but that didn’t prevent him from stealing the show thanks to this dramatic frozen treat, dubbed the Sangria Moderna, which we’re told will be a featured cocktail at Coqueta, his forthcoming Spanish-inspired restaurant on San Francisco’s Embarcadero waterfront. The fruity, boozy beverage is comprised of lime-spiked house-made sangria that’s frozen to order via liquid nitrogen and then topped with blueberries, apple gelee and crunchy raspberry fizzy (aka housemade Pop Rocks) that explodes in your mouth.

If you missed it last night, you’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to try it. We’re told that Coqueta is inching closer to a spring opening, possibly even April (or as Chiarello quipped “sometime before asparagus goes out of season"). Chiarello has already named Bottega alum Ryan McIlwraith, as the restaurant's head chef, and Joe Cleveland, who has worked with the Iberian celeb chef José Andrés, to oversee the bar program, which in addition to fresh and frozen sangria drinks, will specialize in house-distilled gin and tonic drinks, something that's apparently are all the rage in Spain at the moment.

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