Drink of the Week

Fanta? Don't you wanta? As a kid, I loved Fanta Orange soda. As an adult, though, I hadn't found a compelling reason to seek it out -- until the 9th Door, a new tapas bar and lounge, gave me fresh reason to Fanta-size. When the exceedingly knowledgeable and vivacious waitress suggested the Tinta de Verona ($6) -- a cocktail consisting of red table wine and Fanta Orange soda -- I sneered as though she was about to serve up Brussels sprouts that had been in the refrigerator too long. This sounded like a drink you'd come up with after a heavy night of boozing, at around 3 a.m., when the only wine in the house was corked and you figured that adding some sweet orange soda might mask the rank, musty taste of corked vino. But after just a sip of this, I felt like one of the Spice Girl-ripoff Fantana girls, dressed in a sexy little orange outfit. The Tinta de Verona tastes like amazingly good sangria, fruity but less sweet than the traditional version. If you're not a Fanta fan, the 9th Door offers at least one red and one white sangria weekly; I caught the white sangria ($6) made with Santa Ema white wine, champagne, vodka and Fanta Orange with orange, cranberry, lime and lemon juices. Other 9th Door amenities not to be sneered at: exposed brick walls, eclectic lighting fixtures, a lounge area with gorgeous, oversized red-and-gold sofas, a great people-watching patio on Blake and a community table that's made from 275-year-old Spanish doors. Fanta-stic!


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