Hello November, the month where we barrel towards the holiday season and mentally prepare for the snowy, cold winter. Sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas though, as she has this week by providing us with just a little more summer weather before we plunge into the depths of frigid temps. Guess what goes well with nice weather? Duh, a perfectly crafted cocktail.

In honor of the mild temps, we celebrate this week with a drink from the cocktail book Shake  by Eric Prum and Josh Williams, from which I’ve published recipes from previously. This drink combines gin, St. Germain, lemon and concord grapes, which provide such a delightful flavor profile to compliment the spirits. The original name of the drink is The Indian Summer. I did a little tweaking to the recipe, to give it my own flair, so I decided to call it something different.

The Concord grape, named for the Massachusetts town in which it was developed, becomes perfectly ripe towards the end of September and early October, so it’s easy to find them in stores this time of year from locally sourced places. Eric and Josh write in the book that the grapes, ripe from the hot weather, give this drink a flavor that helps us transition into fall. I couldn’t agree more.

I made this drink following the exact instructions to begin with. I liked it, but I felt that it was a little too boozy and could use a little mixer to give it a little more oomph. I also didn’t taste the St. Germain as much as I wanted to, so I tweaked the recipe a little and added the seltzer water to give it a little bit of effervescence. I also used a few more grapes than called for, because I just love their flavor and think you will too. The smell of a Concord grape just floods my mind with childhood nostalgia (Think peanut butter & jelly sandwiches).

So as we divulge in this last round of warm weather, soaking in as much Vitamin D as we can, give this elixir a try. It will help you hold on to the suns warmth for the days ahead when we are lacking it. Happy cocktail making!

Last Round of Summer

(This will make 2 drinks)

4 1/2 oz Gin

2 oz St. Germain or any elderflower Liqueur

2 oz Fresh lemon juice

10 Concord grapes (plus a few for garnish)

Seltzer water

1 – In a shaker, muddle 10 Concord grapes until thoroughly crushed.

2 – Add the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice and ice to the shaker. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds.

3 – Double strain the mixture into 2 glasses filled with ice. Top with seltzer water. Give a little stir and then garnish with a small cluster of grapes and a lemon wheel if desired.

4 – Sip and remember, summer always returns. Salud.