Is there any flavor more divisive than grape? You’re either the kind of person who always goes for the grape lollipop or snatches all of the purple Skittles from the bag, or you avoid it all. It’s Olivia’s least favorite flavor and she will avoid purple popsicle mouth at all costs. Emily thinks grape flavor always tastes like cough medicine, and her life would not be affected if all grape flavored things disappeared overnight. When we both got bags of Concord grapes in our CSAs, we were stumped. While we generally like fresh grapes, Concord grapes are arguably the weirdest, worst grape species. This is because when you bite into them they’re gummy and unyielding, and prompt anyone attempting to chew them them to shout “SLUGS” or “EYEBALLS” compulsively. On top of that, they have seeds! What a nightmare. They’d be great for Haunted Houses....
At BKTX headquarters, we live by one rule and one rule only: when in doubt with your questionable CSA haul, make it into a cocktail!
We’re no strangers to the Gin and Juice combo and were first thinking of going in that direction with our grapes, but juicing was not going to work with these gummy disasters. We decided to melt them down into a syrup and strain them to get a more highly concentrated flavor. Also, we took advantage of our genius roommate’s new Soda Stream to make fresh, highly palatable version of grape soda… which we promptly made into a (fancy) Purple Drank Cocktail by tossing in some gin and fresh lemon. Purple mouths: worth it.
Purple Drank Recipe
1 cup Concord grapes
½ cup water
⅓ cup sugar (not packed)
1 oz gin
Squeeze of lemon
Seltzer to taste
Lemon peel for garnish
First, make the grape syrup: Bring the grapes, water, and sugar to boil saucepan. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and keep stirring until the mixture has boiled down a bit and has a sticky texture, about 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve to remove the grapes.
Mix 2 ½ tablespoons of grape syrup with 1 ounce of gin, and top with soda water to taste. Squeeze in a quarter of a lemon, and garnish with a nice long twirl of lemon zest. Drink up!