While I was still sleeping this morning, an email arrived from a friend living upstate requesting a cocktail idea featuring Finger Lakes Distilling’s Wildberry Vodka. She’s involved with a benefit this weekend and wanted to get some more exposure for a local product. She needed the cocktail to be easy; something she could pre-batch and pour.
Coincidentally, I’ve been searching for a good fall cocktail using the Wildberry, too. Over the summer it contributed to a killer lavender lemonade, but sadly, it’s time to move on. Fall and berries don’t really go hand in hand the way apples or pumpkins do. My first thought was cranberries and I did make a tasty Cosmopolitan, but I thought I could do better.
My next thought was harvest time, which led me to grapes, which then led me to white grape juice – Welch’s white grape juice made from Niagra grapes to be exact. Interestingly enough, some of the grapes used to make FLD’s Wildberry vodka are Niagra. I was very tempted to call my new concoction “The Chicken and the Egg”, but it would involve quite a lengthy explanation and not everyone shares my goofy sense of humor.
Vintner’s Wildberry Harvest
2 oz. Wildberry vodka
4 oz. Welch’s white grape juice
0.5 oz. Cointreau (could sub triple sec if you’d like)
0.25 oz. orange juice (makes the flavors pop, gives the needed acidity)
0.5 oz. simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, strain and serve up in chilled vessel. Garnish with grapes – my first choice would have been white (or green), but red was all that was on hand.
This grape juice is sweet and intensely grape-y, but the drink is well-balanced. It reminds me of being a little kid, playing in the fallen leaves and coming back inside for a glass of grape juice. Funny how what we consider refreshing changes as we get older.