Saturday, October 04, 2014

The New York Times: Concord Grape Sparkler

Who says newspapers are dead?  Well, this is the New York Times we're talking about.  And I assume they probably know their concord grape cocktails.  Why?  Just a gut feeling.  And guess what?  They do!  This is definitely something different.  But different in a good way.  Like the weird artsy girl who everyone wishes they were friends with in high school.  Except this one is spicy in a special, star anisey kind of way.

Concord Grape Sparkler
From The New York Times

1½ ounces Concord grape purée
1½ ounces vodka
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Citrus-based sparkling water
Cluster of whole Concord grapes for garnish.

Fill a cocktail shaker with several ice cubes, and shake together the grape purée, vodka and lemon juice.

Pour into a martini glass (or into a highball glass over ice) and top with sparkling water. Stir gently and garnish with a tiny cluster of grapes.

Makes 1 cocktail

Concord Grape Purée
1 pound whole Concord grapes, washed and stemmed
½ cup sugar, or to taste
2 pieces star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of ½ lime

Put all of the ingredients in a wide-bottomed stainless-steel pot, stirring to combine. Cook over medium-low heat until the grape skins fully separate, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool.

Strain the mixture using the back of a large spoon. The purée should be a vibrant eggplant color and thick.

Makes about 1 cup

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