Posts Tagged ‘purple_drinks’

Divide and Concord

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

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 Concord

1 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!

Cheers, ICE


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? 


A Second Chance for Aquavit

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

In my pre-family, pre-suburbs days, I spent a lot of time in Ballard. Ballard is now full of fresh restaurants and craft cocktail havens, but that’s not the Ballard of my youth. That Ballard was The Sloop, Hattie’s Hat and sometimes the Tractor Tavern – these gems are still there, still treasured, but fairly overshadowed. Somewhere among these I once tried aquavit, probably encouraged by one of Ballard’s transplanted Norwegians (one of whom introduced me and Red, but not in a bar!), the prized Scandinavian liquor.  A shot and a shudder: No more aquavit for me. Uff da!

But then I tried the Trident (aquavit, sherry, Cynar and peach bitters) at the Zig Zag Café and re-examined my opinion of aquavit, a neutral spirit flavored with caraway seeds, anise, fennel and citrus peel. In the right cocktail it is lovely and soft, not harsh. Thinking about aquavit after some blackberry foraging, I created the following cocktail. Enjoy!

Uff Da

 4 blackberries
1 oz aquavit
½ oz yellow chartreuse
¾ oz lemon juice
¼ oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water shaken to mix)

Muddle the blackberries with lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients and shake well to chill. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

When not playing fetch, Nacho loves some hang time.

A Nacho Libre Update: Despite my scoffing, the meds are actually working. He wakes us up only once in awhile, is cuddlier again, and spends less time on patrol. But he still loves his upside-down time.

Cheers, ICE

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.


It’s Tequila, Not Te-kill-ya

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Let’s talk tequila, shall we? I know, I know: you had a bad experience with tequila in college/your 20’s/Tijuana/Cinco de Mayo/whatever. Yeah, yeah, we all have those tequila stories.  But I’ll bet if you’re really honest with yourself, you also had those nights with vodka, rum, everclear, spodi, Mad Dog… But now we are adults (marginally) and it’s time to put that baggage behind us. Time to put Cuervo behind us.

Trust me, there is a world of tequila out there that does not involve dual streams of liquid poured into your awaiting mouth. While tequila may have knocked me down a time or so, I’ve always been able to come back; however, only since starting my cocktail experimentation have I learned more about this spirit, so here’s a brief summary AND a great tequila-entry drink awaiting.

All tequilas are not equal

Six months ago I was unaware that there are different types of tequila.  I’ve learned enough to now seek out what I like. Here’s a rundown of tequila types and Wikipedia provides more details:

Blanco/Silver tequila: This is the “youngest” tequila, in that it is aged only a maximum of 2 months before filtered, bottled and distributed. This tequila usually has the strongest taste and sharpest bite, and is the core of most margaritas.

Reposado tequila: This is “medium” aged tequila, and can rest in wood or steel barrels from 2-11 months prior to bottling. These tequilas, called aged or rested, tend to be smoother, darker and mellower than the blanco varieties. Do not confuse the reposados with the Joven/Oro (or Gold) types, which are blancos with coloring and additives (like Cuervo Gold). Bleh.

Añejo tequila: Aged for at least one year in smaller barrels, these tequilas are very smooth and complex and often fall into the “sipping neat” category, if that’s your thing. Extra añejo tequilas are aged for 3 or more years.

Although purists might be appalled (purists are such buzz-kills, aren’t they?), I now frequently substitute reposado tequila in recipes calling for blanco because I like the mellower taste and additional flavors of the reposado (and a bottle usually costs just a couple dollars more).

Ready to put your tequila fears behind you? Try out the Purple Haze, a recipe from the DRY Soda Company, a Seattle-based provider of all-natural, more adult (not XXX adult, silly) sodas.  Red Hook thought this cocktail did a good job of moderating the tequila.

Purple Haze

1¾ oz  tequila (reposado or blanco)
½ oz Chambord
2 oz lime juice
2 oz simple syrup
4 oz Lavender DRY Soda
Sugar Rim and a Lime for garnish (optional)

Prepare a bucket glass with sugar rim and add ice. Pour lemon and lime juices, simple syrup, tequila, Chambord, and Lavender DRY into glass and stir gently. Garnish and serve.

Note: the original recipe calls for 4 ounces of “sweet and sour mix,” usually meaning 2 ounces of lemon or lime juice (or a combination of the two) and 2 ounces of simple syrup.  I broke it out here because I felt the drink was a bit too sweet, so next time I will add less simple syrup to taste.

So, try out a different, better quality tequila and a good recipe to put your tequila-phobias behind you. Then you will never have to hide on Cinco de Mayo again.

Cheers, ICE