Verjus, the freshly pressed, unfermented juice of wine grapes, is tart and tangy. Long used throughout the Middle East as a vinegar substitute, domestic wine regions coast to coast are now bottling versions (including biodynamic estate Montinore in Oregon and Wölffer Estate in New York). Try it in a G&T or Whiskey Sour, or mixed with Cognac, sparkling wine and bitters in this cocktail from Daniel Shoemaker.
1 oz. Peychaud’s bitters
¾ oz. Cognac
¾ oz. verjus
¼ oz. honey syrup (2:1)
2 quarter-size lemon peels
1½ oz. sparkling wine
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Combine all ingredients, except sparkling wine, in a shaker and stir with ice. Strain over one large ice cube into glass and top with sparkling wine.
Daniel Shoemaker, Teardrop Lounge, Portland, Oregon