The Concord Crush from Will Cook for Friends
Grapes usually make their way into our cocktails through wine, Pisco, vodka or other grape-based alcohols. But the fruit itself is full of flavor. And it’s grape season. Take that grape and smash it, juice it or infuse with it!
Here are a few grape cocktails to try.
Napa Valley Mojito ~ Grapes and sparkling wine are the perfect pair in this brunch cocktail (that you can drink any time).
Green Grape Pisco Sour ~ The Pisco Sour is rich, light and airy all at the same time. Adding grapes adds more flavor while keeping the luxurious feel.
Grapes of Wrath ~ Concord grapes, mezcal and sherry take the lead — with help from Barolo Chinato, a spiced fortified red wine that enhances the drink’s graped-up flavor.
Concord Crush ~ A grapey Gimlet with a splash of elderflower liqueur. Ooh, la la!
Grape Negroni ~ Grape-infused vermouth is an ingenious way to add the flavor of Concord grapes to this Negroni-inspired cocktail.
Cloud Hopper Cocktail at GreenRiver in Chicago (photo: Kailley Lindman)
Yogurt: It’s not just for breakfast.
Because of its health benefits, yogurt has taken over the dairy section. Greek, Icelandic, whole fat, non-fat, goat, cow or sheep — there are more varieties of yogurt at most markets than all other milk products combined. But the next frontier for cultured dairy is behind the bar.
I wrote about yogurt cocktails for Tales of the Cocktail (also includes a recipe for Top of the Monk’s Honey Almond & Chevre Fizz!)
Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of spiced rum! Skip the Captain Morgan, because making your own is so easy. Try your DIY Spiced Rum in a Dark ‘n’ Stormy or any other cocktails you’d normally use the store-bought stuff in.
3 cups light rum
1/2 cup gold rum
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
zest of half an orange
1 cinnamon stick
3 allspice berries
1 star anise pod, broken
2 cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
1 slice of ginger, roughly the size of a nickel
3 black peppercorns
Combine ingredients in a glass jar. Let steep for two days. Sample to check flavor and make possible adjustments. Steep for up to five days, shaking daily. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the larger items and then strain again through a coffee filter into a bottle.
The recipe I created and posted here was first published on Serious Eats in my DIY vs. Buy column.
I played with dry ice! It’s easy to make a smoky, foggy Halloween cauldron for your punch. I’m not that careful and I managed not to get hurt!
You don’t need eye of newt or wing of bat to brew a batch of toil and trouble this Halloween. All you need is some dry ice. This magic ingredient turns an ordinary punch bowl into a bubbling, smoldering cauldron that’s perfect for parties.
Dry Ice Punch Bowl Tutorial at SheKnows
If you’re looking for a fun Halloween punch that isn’t just a novelty drink, try my blood-red punch recipe.
Halloween inspires a lot of cocktails that look creepy but don’t taste like anything you’d go near the rest of the year. Skip the sticky-sweet liqueurs and food coloring. This punch is not only on theme for the holiday, but it’s also a sophisticated and seasonal drink for grown-ups.
Blood-Halloween Punch at SheKnows