If you need help making the transition from summer to fall, grapes are a great seasonal support system.
While their upper-crust cousins are being crushed and aged into fine wine, the common table grape is typically saved for snacking.
Not today. It’s time to let the everyday grape take the spotlight. Where to start? Smash those red and green gushers into glasses spiked with gin, rum and sparkling wine.
1. Grape, Rosemary & Gin Crush
If you’re friendly with a nearby winemaker and can get your hands on some Zinfandel grapes, great. If that’s a tall order, this cocktail is easily made with red table grapes. First step: Muddle those juicy orbs to within an inch of their lives along with fresh rosemary, then strain the purple juice and pour it over a glass of ice with gin, lemon juice and sparkling water.
Fall’s right around the corner, which means it’s time to start the hunt for Concord grapes. If you can’t find them fresh, use 100-percent Concord grape juice to make this cocktail’s richly-flavored base syrup. Aged balsamic vinegar and crystallized ginger add spice and savory depth to said syrup, which reaches its peak when stirred into a glass of rosé Champagne and orange bitters.
Pisco in a fresh grape cocktail? A no-brainer. The South American grape-based brandy is a natural choice to star alongside sparkling wine and muddled red grapes, which give this coupe its blushing hue.
4. Frozen Grape Daiquiri
Everything’s better frozen. Those are words to live by. And, yes, that includes fresh grapes. What were once mini juice bombs transform into satisfyingly chewy nubs when frozen. With those in hand, you’re ready to blend an eye-popping fuchsia Daiquiri with dark rum, citrus, grape soda and freshly grated nutmeg.