Flight of the Concords cocktail
The Concord grape was developed in 1849 by a man named Ephraim Wales Bull in, you guessed it, Concord, Massachusetts. After perfecting his grape for 4 years, Bull won first place at the Boston Horticultural Society Exhibition! From there, Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch developed the now famous, Welch's Grape Juice, using Bull’s Concord grapes. Typically, when you think of grape jelly, juice, pie, soda, or candy...it’s all the Concord. Hats off to you, Mr. Bull.
These grapes tend to grow in regions like Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington state, and Ontario, Canada. Supermarkets don’t usually carry them but if you are lucky enough to see some at your local farmer's market, swipe them up! The season is short! In my case, I happened to be out for a walk in central Massachusetts when I was hit by an aromatic wall of sweetness. I knew they had to be close! Sure enough, there were several vines just off the road. I grabbed as many as I could, and then ran away because I think I was totally in someone's yard. (Sorry)
There are so many wonderful ways to use a Concord grape...but I’m quite partial to using them in a cocktail. I feel this way for a couple reasons. 1. I love cocktails. 2. The grapes have a large seed that is kind of a pain to remove. When you muddle the grapes in a strainer you don’t have to deal with seed removal.
This cocktail is dee-lish! The natural, candy-like sweetness of the grapes really shines, with just the right amount of tartness from the skins. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser! Drink up and drink responsibly!
Makes 2 cocktails Ingredients: 30 Concord grapes, washed 1 oz. rosemary simple syrup 4 oz. Vodka (we love Berkshire Mountain Distillers Ice Glen Vodka or Ketel One!) Dry Champagne or sparkling wine, to top lemon twist, for garnish rosemary sprig, for garnish
Directions: In a martini shaker, muddle the heck out of the grapes and rosemary simple syrup until you have released as much juice as you can! Add 4-5 cubes of ice, and vodka. Shake it up! Strain into martini glasses and top with champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist and rosemary sprig. Cheers!