I’m a bit embarrassed of this confession. You see, I have been writing recipes for the kosher audience for over eight years. I’ve been editor of a kosher food magazine, written two cookbooks, and developed at least 1,000 recipes, probably more. With all that on my résumé, I have to admit that I knew nothing about … cocktails.
I went out to eat with some friends a few months ago. Two of them ordered cocktails, using words like virgin, on the rocks, dry, and bloody. It sounded like a secret code, making me feel completely unsophisticated and ignorant. But I’m proud to say that this has all changed. I was attending the afternoon debut of the Kosher Food and Wine Expo (KFWE) in Chelsea Piers, Manhattan. These shows are a lot of fun, especially for frum Jews who are unaccustomed to seeing so many kosher booths in one place. My first stop was the guy handing out rice crispie treats on a stick. But as I walked around with Mishpacha writer Barbara Bensoussan, we decided that it was silly to stick to old flavors, when new ones stared us in the face from all directions.
I walked over to a booth and took an impressive and unusual-looking drink from a gentleman who was eager to share his creation.
I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. “So this is a cocktail?” Yes, it was a blueberry lavender bourbon sour.
This experience opened a whole new world for me. Cocktails are refreshing, with well-balanced flavors, a hint of alcohol, and a splash of fruity flavor. A far cry from the kiddush schnapps I was never a big fan of.
“I gotta get this recipe” was my first reaction. David gladly shared it with me, and it’s here for you to enjoy.
It turns out that the concept of cocktails isn’t as elusive as I’d originally thought. My assumption that cocktails are confusing and labor intensive has been shot down (pun intended), and one of my favorite experiments was a simple mix of equal parts Disaronno liqueur and fresh lime juice, served over ice. Straightforward, refreshing, and just a bit exotic.
I can’t say that I’ve become a regular alcoholic, but the concept of mixing fruit, herbs, and flavored alcoholic beverages is less of an enigma and more of an adventure … a delicious adventure I’ve come to appreciate.
You can also try:
Common Terms You May Recognize:
Punch A party-size beverage consisting of fruit, fruit juices, flavorings, and sweeteners, soft drinks, and a wine or liquor base.
Sangaree A chilled and sweetened wine or liquor garnished with nutmeg.
Shooter A straight shot of whiskey or alternate spirit.
Cocktail An alcoholic beverage usually consisting of brandy, whiskey, vodka, or gin combined with fruit juices or other liqueurs and often served chilled.
Highball Any spirit served with ice and soda water in a medium to tall glass (often called a “highball glass”).
Lowball A drink made of spirit sserved with ice, water, or soda in a small glass.
Virgin A nonalcoholic drink.
And one last important one … to “muddle” means to extract maximum flavor from fresh ingredients like fruit or mint. You crush the ingredient with the muddler on the back of your bar spoon, or with a pestle.
This article originally appeared in Mishpacha Magazine.