Friday Happy Hour: 12 Grapes Tequila Cocktail Guarantees a Prosperous New Year

12 Grapes Tequila Cocktail/SBPR

Champagne, noise-makers, funny hats and fireworks are all sure signs of the New Year’s Eve celebrations to come tomorrow night, but in true Uncommon Caribbean style, we’re adding a rather unusual combo to this year’s party mix, namely grapes and tequila.

No, really, those are the two main ingredients in a 12 Grapes Tequila Cocktail, the shimmering drink you see pictured here. I was inspired to create this uncommon libation earlier today by one of the more unique New Year’s traditions observed in our region… one that has roots all the way back in the late-1800’s, all the way over in Spain.

The tradition, simply called The 12 Grapes, was started by farmers in the famed Alicante wine-producing region of Spain to encourage incremental sales of their grapes during particularly abundant harvest seasons. As the tradition goes, you’re supposed to eat 12 grapes at midnight, though you don’t just gobble them up all at once.

Basically, the idea is to eat ’em one at a time, with each grape consumed to coincide with each of the 12 chimes on the clock at the stroke of midnight.

It’s a nice little custom that has made its way over the generations from Spain to Mexico, and other parts of the Spanish-speaking world. If you follow the custom, it’s said you’ll be rewarded with a year of prosperity, and who couldn’t use a good dose of that in 2012, or any year, for that matter?

So, to ensure a little prosperity and live up to a bit of the 12 Grapes tradition, I give you my first-ever original drink creation: the 12 Grapes Tequila Cocktail! Here’s how you make it…

  • 12 Green Seedless Grapes
  • 2oz Patrón Silver
  • 1.5oz Tonic Water
  • 3/4oz Grenadine

STEP 1: Take your 12 seedless grapes and mash ’em in a cocktail shaker into a pulpy, juicy mess.

A note about grapes: I tried both green and red grapes and the green ones definitely gave a better flavor. If you opt for red, be sure to peel ’em first. This will give you a finer consistency, and less bitter flavor.

STEP 2: Add your tequila and grenadine to your pulpy, juicy mess and keep mashing. Once it’s all combined, strain loosely into a martini glass allowing some of the pulp to come along for the fun.

A note about tequila: As you can see in the photo, I went with the Patrón Silver. This meshed well with the green grapes, effectively limiting the quinine flavor some find so offensive in the tonic water. Not sure what a gold tequila might do for this, but I aim to find out tomorrow.

STEP 3: Fill your glass with ice-cold tonic water and enjoy!

For those who don’t like pulp, you can always strain your pour 100%, but I kinda’ like checking on the mash as the drink goes down. The flavor is light and refreshing with a late tequila kick that sneaks up on you later… like when you’re trying to write a Friday Happy Hour post and get it published on-time (oops!).

Anyway, from all of us at Uncommon Caribbean, here’s wishing you a very healthy and prosperous 2012!


Last updated by Steve Bennett on .