Concord Grape Gimlet

Concord Grape Gimlet
We were at the Cold Spring Market last weekend and one stall was totally buzzing. Literally. Like, full of bees. Of course I sent Matt over to check it out (I’ve mentioned before that if there is a stinging insect in a 5 mile radius, it will get me). It was concord grapes!  We bought a big, sweet-smelling bag and I couldn’t wait to make… something out of them. I wasn’t sure what exactly but it was unseasonably warm and creeping ever closer to cocktail time so I had a feeling booze was in our future. It’s pretty much always in our future but this time I could see it coming in all it’s grapey-glory.

Concord Grape GimletConcord Grape GimletI mean, come on. Look at this drink! Is that not just the prettiest cocktail you could imagine drinking on a crisp, early fall day? Luckily, Concord grapes are in season right now. Our farmer’s market was full of them but they’ll only last another week or so, so make it now while there’s still time. No pressure or anything.

 This recipe is inspired by a really lovely blog called Brooklyn Supper. They use vodka which would be really fantastic too but I’m on a gin kick so that’s what I went with. I made a few little changes (like straining the grapes after cooking) but the concept definitely came from them.
Concord Grape Gimlet
Concord Grape Gimlet
For the Concord Grape Syrup
  • 3 cups concord grapes, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water

Add the grapes to a blender and pulse on low 4 or 5 times to break up the skins and seeds a bit. Pour into a non-reactive sauce pan and add the water and sugar.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes (don’t boil it. The mixture should barely steam.). After 15 minutes, turn heat a little higher and stir as mixture bubbles up for about three minutes. Remove from heat.

Pour mixture through a mesh sieve to strain out skins and seeds. Press firmly with a spoon to get all the liquid.

Set aside to cool, then pour into a clean bottle or jar. Chill before using. Syrup will keep in the fridge for about a month.

For the Concord Grape Gimlet
  • 2 oz gin (or vodka)
  • 1 oz lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
  • 1-3 oz Concord grape syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • Club soda

Fill two tall glasses with ice. Add gin and lime juice, stir. Add a good splash of club soda. Pour in the grape syrup to taste and stir. Garnish with sliced limes.

Concord Grape Gimlet

Concord Grape Gimlet

3 thoughts on “Concord Grape Gimlet”

  1. Fantastic recipe! The concord grape syrup was simply divine, and the drink was very yummy! A good summer to winter Fall transition drink.

    I also tried making pear syrup following the same recipe as the concord grape syrup – I used three very ripe pears and it turned out well. I wouldn’t use it for the same cocktail, but thought you might be interested in other fruit syrup variations for cocktails. 🙂


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