Stories

Grape Expectations

Grape Expectations

Grape Expectations

Autumn on our tiny hobby farm means harvesting our very, very small concord grape vineyard. These few rows of vines provide us with enough grapes to make jam and juice to last us much of the year. This year, I decided to celebrate our harvest by finding the perfect grape cocktail. Over the course of a few months, I recruited my husband and a few friends to gather in our barn to taste different grape creations. Using spirits from three local distilleries, we tested and tweaked many combinations before choosing our three favorites.

The Fleecy Dutchman
Serves 4
Named in honor of our alpha sheep, Dutch. He’s a big handsome guy that rules the sheep shed with old-world style. While this fluffy Dutchman stands regal and tall, don’t let him fool you — deep down he’s all nuzzles and snuggles. Dutch is everything you could want in an alpha — a little bit of kick and a little bit of cuddle.

½ cup River Raisin
Cane and Grain
½ cup grape juice
¼ cup elderflower liqeur
¼ cup lime juice
2 tbsp Simple syrup
1 1/3 cups club soda

Star Ingredient:
Cane and Grain from River Raisin Distillery, Manchester
Combine. Stir. Serve over ice. Enjoy.

The Nedward Charles
Serves 4
Named after our male Nigerian Dwarf goat. He’s got personality, gumption, and to die for bourbon-colored eyes. Like a good bourbon, he’ll cozy up nice and smooth on a rainy day, but he’s not afraid to give you a little ram with his horns when he wants attention.

1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup grape juice
4 tsp. pure maple syrup
4 tbsp. lime juice

Star Ingredient:
Kentucky Style
Bourbon from
Ugly Dog Distillery, Chelsea Mix. Pour over ice. Drink.

The Sadie Mae
Serves 4
Named after our female Nigerian Dwarf goat. Sadie Mae may be sweet and petit, but she smolders on the edge of singe. She is as beautiful as a sunset after a storm, and she’ll melt you like a hot bath after a cold day of chores.

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 cup concord grape juice
¾ cup gin
½ cup club soda
¼ cup lime juice
4 rosemary sprigs

Star Ingredient:
Little Gin from Alevri Distillery, Clinton
1. Create a rosemary simple syrup by combining sugar, water, and four rosemary sprigs in a pan. Simmer for a few minutes until sugar has dissolved. Let cool. Remove rosemary sprigs.
2. In a pitcher, combine the cooled rosemary simple syrup with the rest of the ingredients. Stir and serve over ice.

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