Concord grapes are a bridge between summer and fall. They're one of those items that show up in the markets and people go a little wild—in some circles, these purple beauties are touted as the ultimate grape. These three cocktails showcase Concords with a fresh puree and an easy Concord grape syrup. They're worth whipping up for the color alone, but the flavors would impress even if your guests were blindfolded.
Scotch, Sherry, and Concord Cocktail
With alternating smoky, nutty, and jammy notes, this cocktail plays up the complexity of the Concords' flavor. It features a Concord grape syrup, which is bold enough to stand up to the base of blended Scotch. Dry oloroso sherry, which has a nutty richness, brings everything together. The result is a bit of a confounding cocktail: three assertive flavors that marry amazingly well. Don't tell the others, but this cocktail is a new favorite of mine.
Cardamaro Concord Cocktail
Cardamaro is relatively mild, sweet amaro made from wine infused with cardoon and blessed thistle. It's definitely reminiscent of spiced or mulled wine, although a bit more complex, so it's perfect for cool-weather sipping. Paired with robust bourbon and a bright, fresh Concord grape puree, this is just the drink for ringing in the season.
Fall French 75
Playing up the tart, fruity side of Concord grapes, this drink pairs fresh grape puree with floral St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Although Concords rightfully have a reputation for having a very bold flavor, they're just as at home with lighter spirits in this dressed up take on the classic French 75—a mix of gin, sparkling wine, fresh lemon juice, and sugar. The gorgeous color that the concord puree brings this drink is just a nice bonus.
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