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Four Specialty Cocktails Inspired by Passover

June 21, 2021
Photoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photo Jeremy Brooks/Flickr; matzah iStockphotoPhotoillustration Tablet Magazine; original photo Jeremy Brooks/Flickr; matzah iStockphoto

If you’re a Jew on Facebook, you may have seen a link recently to The Sipping Seder, a look at the traditional Seder plate through a modern-day cocktail-lover’s lens. Two connoisseurs of mixed drinks, Rob Corwin and Danny Jacobs, came up with six drinks representing the six items on the plate: Charoset (a sweet paste of fruits and nuts), Maror and Chazeret (bitter herbs), Karpas (vegetable), Z’roa (shank bone), and Beitzah (egg). Sounds like a joke, but when you look at the site, you see that Corwin, 41, and Jacobs, 36, are utterly serious. They thought hard about what gives karpas, say, its essential karpas-ness: Because Sephardic Jews dip their vegetables into vinegar instead of salt water, the cocktail incorporates Balsamic vinegar, parsley, and gin (and a footnote points out that No. 209 Distillery’s gin is kosher for Passover). The beverage is herbal and spring-like, but with an acidic hit—the ritual act in a martini glass.

Featured in: Refill

Ingredients

For the Z’ROA

  • 2oz Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
  • 2oz ruby port
  • 1teaspoon gum syrup
  • ¼ oz. lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Maraschino liqueur

For the MAH NISHTANAH

  • 1oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1oz Campari
  • 1oz Cynar

For the PASCHAL PUNCH

  • 1.5 oz. potato vodka
  • 1oz Lairds apple brandy 100
  • ½oz pomegranate juice
  • ½oz lemon juice
  • ¾oz honey (or to taste—I prefer less sweet)
  • 1tablespoon red khreyn (horseradish with beets) or 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

For the DAYENU

  • 1 ½oz Karlsson’s Gold (a potato vodka)
  • ¼oz Averna liqueur
  • ½oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3oz sparkling apple cider (chilled)
  • 1dash Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6
  • Garnish: Watermelon radish sliced in half

Preparation

To make the Z’ROA

  • Step 1

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake well with ice.

  • Step 2

    Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.

To make the MAH NISHTANAH

  • Step 1

    Pour ingredients over ice into a large Old Fashioned glass or wine goblet.

  • Step 2

    Garnish with sprigs of dill and parsley and an orange twist.

  • “The fact that the garnish is a long twist of orange is a perfect reference to the orange on the Seder plate,” Sharaga reflects. “And it’s red, which feels very Passover.” He thought a potato-vodka-based drink incorporating myriad flavors of the holiday would be great too.

To make the PASCHAL PUNCH

  • Step 1

    Shake and strain through a fine mesh strainer, over ice, into a large Old Fashioned glass or wine goblet.

  • Step 2

    Garnish with wedges of apple and/or pickled beet (I love Rick’s Picks Phat Beets).

To make the DAYENU

  • Step 1

    Combine Karlsson’s, Averna, lemon juice, and bitters in mixing glass with ice.

  • Step 2

    Stir for 30 seconds to dilute.

  • Step 3

    Strain into a martini glass and top with chilled sparkling cider.

  • Step 4

    Garnish with radish.

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