The Concord Crush -- Grape Gimlet
Serves: 1 cocktail
A tasty twist on a french style gimlet. This recipe makes one drink, and enough grape puree for several. Feel free to scale up as needed, and store leftover puree in the freezer for future use.
For the cocktail (makes one drink):
  • 1½ oz. gin (such as St. George Botanivore)
  • 1 oz. fresh grape puree (recipe below -- or 100% unsweetened concord grape juice, see recipe notes for details)
  • ½ oz. elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain)
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice (about ½ a lime)
  • ¼-1/2 oz. simple syrup (see recipe notes)
  • 1 two-inch sprig rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off the glass
For the grape puree (makes ¾ cup puree, or enough for 6 drinks):
  • ½ lb. fresh concord grapes, removed from the vine
  • ½ tsp. fresh lime juice
For the grape puree:
  1. Blend both ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pass through a fine mesh seive, pressing with a flexible spatula or spoon to get as much liquid out of the solids as possible. Discard the skins/seeds left in the sieve. Grape puree can be stored for several days in the fridge, or frozen for future use.
For the cocktail:
  1. Add the gin and rosemary sprig to a cocktail shaker, and muddle gently to release some of the rosemary oils. Add all the remaining ingredients and a handful of ice, and shake vigorously for 5-10 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over ice (or serve in a coupe glass without ice, like a traditional gimlet) and top off with club soda. Garnish with an extra sprig of rosemary, or a couple concord grapes.
You can make this cocktail with homemade grape puree, or store-bought 100% concord grape juice (look for a bottle that lists nothing but concord grapes in the ingredients, not even water). I can't say what the difference is between the two -- they're both made from pure concord grapes -- just that there is a difference, and it's a big one. The fresh puree has a lighter flavor and retains more of the fresh concord grape tartness, while the store-bought juice has more of a "grape popsicle" flavor, as I like to call it; sweeter, and somehow more "grapey." I definitely prefer the homemade puree, but both are delicious, and the store-bought juice will work in a pinch if concord grapes are too pricey or just out of season. That said, if you're using store-bought juice in place of the puree, I recommend using a little less simple syrup to make up for the sweetness.

For the simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water (1 cup each) in a small saucepan or microwave safe container, and heat until sugar has dissolved. Once cool, syrup can be stored in a jar in the fridge and used for future cocktails. Feel free to adjust the amount in this recipe according to your tastes (I like ½ an ounce if I'm using homemade concord grape puree, or just ¼ ounce if I'm using store-bought grape juice).

You can also feel free to swap the rosemary for any other herb you like or happen to have. I tried using fresh sage, and also lavender, and both were delicious.

Cocktail adapted from and inspired by this grape gimlet from Gramercy Tavern, via Serious Eats.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at