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Need a great pre-Passover cocktail? Check out ‘Elijah’s Cup’

For years, I’ve been wondering why there hasn’t been a great cocktail created for the Seder. I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t four cups of wine enough? Well, no.

I grew up drinking the customary four cups of Manischewitz Concord Grape Wine. I have a strong sensory memory of that experience, which I used to create a new cocktail for our first almost post-pandemic Passover. I call it, Elijah’s Cup.

Passover cocktail

A very grape-y Passover cocktail

Elijah’s Cup is a delicious grape wine-inspired cocktail. I use the grape distillate Pisco, but it’s hard to find kosher Pisco so please feel free to substitute your favorite kosher vodka.

The drink includes Concord grape syrup, which is easy to make at home. Just slowly reduce your favorite grape juice in a sauce pan on low heat until it becomes a syrup. It also includes Jullius bitters from Israel’s Galilee region made of local herbs. If you must, substitute any herbaceous bitters.

I shake all that up and strain it into a chilled wine glass. It is tangy, a little sweet, with a fleeting flavor of the hillsides where Passover was first celebrated. Can “Elijah’s Cup” count as one of your four glasses? Please consult your rabbi.

Enjoy and Chag Samaech!

Elijah’s Cup

1 3/4 ounces pisco or vodka
1/2 ounce reduced grape syrup
1/2 ounce Jullius bitters

Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Shake, then strain into a a chilled wine glass. Garnish with a frozen Concord grape — or any grape.

Happy Passover!

Jay Sanderson is the former president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

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