Don’t pass over these cocktails for Easter or Passover

Spring has already sprung (March 20) making it that time of the year when the planets align and the earth renews itself. For those who doubt the veracity of that claim, I must point out that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and the moon all did, just recently, in fact align (March 28). But we aren’t really talking science here.

The Spring equinox brings with it a variety of religious feast days. The two most prominent, Easter and Passover, are linked in a multitude of ways. But due to the complexities of religious calculations they may not exactly align, but they often do sort of overlap, as they do this year. In 2023, Passover will begin on Wednesday April 5 and end on Thursday April 13 and Passion Week runs from April 2 through April 8. Ah, the joys of moveable feats.

There are many who believe the “Last Supper” of the passion cycle was in fact a Seder meal. And as far as Jewish holidays go, “Kosher for Passover” is usually a more rigid standard than regular kosher, which makes celebrating one of the holidays, or the other, or both of them, a tricky proposition.

When it comes to matters of religion I wholeheartedly suggest that one rely on one’s own heart and convictions, and utilize the services of the wise folks who lead their respective congregations. But when it comes to cocktails, I know a guy…

So gathered here are a few Passover/Easter libations that have been localized and Koshered for your consumption – as far as possible under the circumstances. Just bear in mind, that when ultimately facing your maker, telling him/her/it that you relied on advice from a bartender who writes for the local paper, just might not be enough.

Pass Me Over Sour

2 ounces Cali whiskey (Star K)*

1 ounce Luxardo Maraschino liqueur (KLDB)**

1 ounce fresh Meyer lemon juice

1 kosher egg white

½ ounce simple syrup

Combine all five ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously until foamy. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Note: typically, I prefer aquafaba to egg whites for both flavor and food safety, but beans are specifically not Kosher for Passover.

Kosher Negroni

1 ½ ounce 209 Kosher for Passover gin

¾ ounce Luxardo Bitter (KLDB)**

¾ ounce Kedem sweet vermouth (OU)***

1 blood orange wheel

Combine all three liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain over a large format square ice cube and place blood orange wheel on top.

Note: the ratios of a standard Negroni, 1:1:1 have been altered because Kedem sweet vermouth is sweeter than most sweet vermouths and Luxardo bitter is more bitter (and slightly different) than Campari.

Old Kosher Cuban

2 ounces Dead Drop dark rum (OU-P)***

1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice

5 fresh mint sprigs

1 ounce simple syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters (OU)***

1 ounce Herzog Special Reserve sparkling wine (OU-P)***

1 sprig flowering mint

Combine rum, lime juice, bitters, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Tear mint leaves and place on top. Shake until combined. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with flowering mint sprig.

Spring Sunrise

1 ½ ounces Tosco Special Reserve Plata kosher tequila (OU)***

1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice

½ ounce fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice

½ ounce Stirrings Authentic Grenadine (OU)***

1 blood orange wheel

Fill a double old fashioned glass with ice. In order, add tequila, orange juice, and lemon juice being careful not to mix. Pour grenadine on top (it will sink) creating a layered sunrise effect. Garnish with blood orange wheel.

Note: the traditional (and tasty) garnish for a Sunrise is a maraschino cherry. I can find no kosher version, so use them at your own risk.

kosher certifications:

*More information on Star-K here:

**More information on KLBD here:

***More information on OU and OU-P here:

OU-P is the only designation specifically for “Kosher for Passover”