Every holiday season I am reminded of my very first experience with wine.  The holidays, of course, were a big meal deal in my house which called for the "good" tablescape, including Mom's full set of crystal.

As one of these glasses was for wine, wine had to be served. Since my mother was not a wine drinker, the wine on our Christmas and Thanksgiving table was always Manischewitz Concord Grape, a very sweet, low proof version of grape juice. It might seem odd that a family would have a Christmas tree and a bottle of kosher wine but it wasn't the kosher my mom was after, it was the sweetness.

Because it was the holidays, even the children were allowed a small glass of the Manischewitz. As a kid I loved it, what's not to love? After all, it was booze and it tasted like grape juice.

The start of the holiday season made me a little nostalgic and I went out and bought a bottle of Manischewitz. I skipped over the Concord grape and bought the blackberry, a flavor not available when I was a child, at least as far as I know.

Yup, still very sweet, but not beyond redemption if I skipped a few years ahead in my booze memoirs and applied the 70's spritzer fad to the recipe.

Ladies & Germs, I present you with a cocktail inspired by the holiday season, disco bars, Mom's crystal and a trip back to my youth:


3 Oz. Manischewitz Blackberry Wine, Chilled
1/3 Cup Fresh Blackberries
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Tsp. Honey
1 Oz. Club Soda, Chilled
5 Fresh Blackberries
Lemon Twist

Chill your cocktail glass in the freezer.
Muddle the 1/3 cup of fresh blackberries, lemon juice, and honey in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
Add a cup of ice then pour in the blackberry wine and shake until well chilled.
Strain into your chilled martini glass, top off with the club soda and garnish with the five fresh blackberries and the lemon twist.

Mazel Tov, L'Chaim & Boogie Down!

Updated 12-2018

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