Divide and Concord
Apples and pumpkins get a lot of the cocktail attention in autumn, but the drink below is a worthy way to buck those trends and go grape.
Grape jelly is one of the most delicious memories of childhood and produces hands-down the best PB & J. That flavor of Concord grapes is the one we most associate with grape-ness. But it’s time that grapes get off our sandwiches, and make the jump from our juice – or wine – glasses to our cocktails.
One great cross between grape and cocktail is the Divide and Concord, featured in the September/October issue of Imbibe Magazine and credited to Tona Palomino at Trenchermen in Chicago. Combining grape juice, gin, absinthe and egg white, it is fruity and creamy without being cloying.
Divide and Concord1 oz Concord grape juice (fresh pressed or store-bought bottled) 1 ½ oz gin ¼ oz absinthe ¾ oz simple syrup ½ oz lime juice ½ oz egg white ¼ oz heavy cream
Combine all ingredients and shake without ice. Add ice and shake again. Double-strain into a chilled glass. For more details about using egg whites in cocktails, see my previous egg white post.
Note: I omitted the cream because I didn’t have any on hand, but didn’t feel like anything was missing.
One obstacle to eating Concord grapes is those annoying seeds, but growers have solved that problem with the introduction of the Thomcord, a cross between seedless Thompson table grapes and the Concord. You can even use store-bought Concord grape juice (I tried it with great results) if the produce is unavailable: Look for brands with no added sugars. There’s nothing holding you back from this drink!
PS: Do you know, photos are a big reason I don’t post much? They aren’t my strength in the first place, plus I often forget/circumstances don’t allow me to take a photo of a great drink and then I never end up posting about it because I lack a picture. So I’m breaking with “blog protocol.” Maybe I will post more, and then you will just have my ramblings and great drink recipes unpunctuated by mediocre pics. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it?