Classic cocktails (and mocktails) with a twist

Drinks to spice up your seder

Cocktails for Passover image

We all know the traditional custom of drinking four glasses of wine during the Passover seder. It is beloved by many and certainly makes the long seder more fun, but how do you incorporate this element when you have members of your family who don't drink? 

My family owns wine stores in the city and suburbs, but, ironically, my mother and husband both don't drink. So, I invited my husband to help me discuss the traditions of Passover, and provide cocktail recipes (with zero-proof counterparts). 

Passover is the first holiday that we hosted together as a couple. In 2022, we invited a few of our friends over to my mother-in-law's house to celebrate with us. We made the traditional elements of a seder meal: matzah ball soup, brisket, potato kugel, matzah kugel, and, of course, matzah toffee (or matzah almond roca as my husband's family calls it). 

As we sat around the table, singing and praying, it was time for the first glass of wine. Before anyone could pour themselves a glass, I ran to the kitchen and pulled out a pitcher of bright purple liquid with fruit floating in it. I grabbed the wine glasses that I had lined with a mixture of crushed matzah and sugar, and served my charoset sangria. 

So, what is charoset sangria? You can find the recipe here, along with a non-alcoholic version, as well as another family favorite, the parsley gimlet.

Charoset sangria

●      1 bottle grape juice

●      ½ cup cinnamon simple syrup (pour equal parts sugar and water into a pan with 3 cinnamon sticks. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.)

●      1 cup soda water

●      1 cup kosher for Passover vodka (omit for non-alcoholic version)

●      1 Granny Smith apple, diced small

●      Crushed nuts, matzah, and sugar (blitz a few time in food processor to create the mixture)

  1. In a large pitcher, mix grape juice, simple syrup, and vodka (if using). Stir in diced apples and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and dip the top of the wine glasses in water and then in the nuts, matzah, and sugar mixture.
  3. Pour mixture into a glass and top with soda water.
  4. Serve immediately. 

Parsley gimlet 

●      2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

●      1.5 ounces gin (omit for non-alcoholic version)

●      1 tablespoon simple syrup

●      ¼ cup soda water

●      Parsley leaves 

  1. Place parsley leaves in a cocktail shaker with the simple syrup. Muddle a few times and add everything else to the cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
  3. Serve with a lime slice and sprig of parsley. 

Marissa Wojcik is the founder of the Jewish baking blog North Shore to South Bay (, where she shares her modern and updated versions of beloved Jewish classics.  


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