A spirited toast to all things alcoholic! By Leslie Dinaberg
Winemakers have traditionally seduced delicious tastes from the vineyard and chefs blend verjus—the fresh pressed juice from green grapes, varietal grape juice, and grape skins—to bring flavor to the forefront of their creations. Now these same techniques have been used to craft a fun, new line of grape-based mixers: adding the nuance and complexity of wine grapes to a range of cocktails and mocktails.
Using the fresh pressed juice of grapes dropped during thinning and dried wine grape skins, Sonoma-based Stolen Fruit takes what is normally discarded from the winemaking process to create the base for each mixer. Then the concentrated natural juice of a specific grape varietal such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier or Grenache, is blended in along with complimentary fruit and botanicals to build a layered, balanced drink base.
We tried them out last weekend and they’re delicious, with or with the booze! Mix them with sparkling water or club soda or lemonade for a non-alcoholic drink that still feels fun and festive. Add in sparkling wine and/or your favorite spirit and you have a terrific cocktail. We tried Stolen Fruit with Pisco, Rye, Vodka and Prosecco. I liked them all, as well as in combination with Jardesca, a refreshing wine-based aperitif.
Created by Dry Creek Valley AVA grape growers Doug and Susan Provisor, owners of Provisor Vineyards, and Healdsburg-based Chef Peter Brown, these versatile mixers are a great addition to your home bar, as well as nice gift for your host.
Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers ($18) are initially available for purchase online at stolenfruit.com, which also has recipes for cocktails, mocktails and food pairings, as well as on Amazon. Check them out and let me know what you think.
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When she’s not busy working as the editor of Santa Barbara SEASONS, Cocktail Corner author Leslie Dinaberg writes magazine articles, newspaper columns and grocery lists. When it comes to cocktails, Leslie considers herself a “goal-oriented drinker.”