For millennia, winemakers have coaxed flavors and aromas from the vineyard and chefs have used the fresh pressed juice of green grapes, called verjus, to make their dishes sing. The creators of Stolen Fruit bring this tradition to the glass with their new line of grape-based mixers: adding the nuance and complexity of wine grapes to a range of cocktails and mocktails.
Using the fresh pressed juice of green grapes dropped during thinning and dried wine grape skins, Stolen Fruit takes what is normally discarded during the winemaking process to create the backbone for each mixer. Concentrated natural juice of a specific grape varietal such as Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier or Grenache, is blended with complementary fruit and botanicals to build a layered, balanced drink base. Simply add sparkling water and you have a non-alcoholic drink. Pair with sparkling wine and/or your favorite spirit and you have a cocktail.
Created by longtime Dry Creek grape growers Doug and Susan Provisor, and Sonoma County-based Chef Peter Brown, Stolen Fruit lets you create food friendly drinks, with or without alcohol, with ease. These extremely versatile mixers make intriguing concoctions with as few as two ingredients. In celebration of summer, the brand recently rolled out five flavors.
Blood Orange Muscat – Fruity and dark with a tart edge. The orange flavor has a natural fresh-squeezed flavor that is supported by earthy and herbal, sprightly grape juice. Refreshing and perfect for a Mimosa, Sangrita or with a dark rum. GSN Rating: B+
Fig Grains of Paradise Zin – The nose is quite intriguing, with a sweet, musky fig essence. Upon tasting, it has a quality reminiscent of many obscure beverages of the middle ages. Unique, tasty and unlike any other mixer I’ve had. The closest beverage in character is tamarind aqua fresca. Try this with a dark rum, bourbon or anjeo tequila. GSN Rating: A
Hibiscus Grenache – slightly spicy on the nose, with a nice cinnamon and clove note. The taste carries this even further with a slight ginger heat that grows softly. The verjus keeps everything in check however, with a tangy, mouth-watering burst of fruit. I’d honestly try this in place of a dash of grenadine in any cocktail. It adds a whole new dimension. Very nice mixed with sparkling water, vodka, gin and silver rums. GSN Rating: A-
Jasmine Juniper Viognier – I was quite looking forward to this one, as I am a juniper-head. However, even after two separate nosings and tastings, I couldn’t detect even a slight note of juniper, nor jasmine. There is a bit of tannic tea essence that lingers after the initial tartness of the verjus dissipates, but that seems to be the only distinguishing character of this mixer. It seems to lack any real character, instead just focusing on the verjus itself. GSN Rating: C-
Lemongrass Ginger Sauvignon Blanc – Yes, this has an herbal lemongrass character, instead of lemon citrus. That makes all the difference here, and in a good way. The amount of ginger is just right with a warming and friendly heat that goes extremely well with the combination of herb and juice. This is great to mix with a light lager beer to create a Shandy, or with vodka, silver rum or tequila and sparkling wine. This one really encapsulates summer. GSN Rating: A
For more information go to: Stolen Fruit