The French always have their own way of talking about wines or spirits. Some liquors are called aperitifs, as they open the appetite before a meal. The ideal drinks for Kiddush would thereby fall into that category. Other spirits are called digestifs, as their purpose is to ease the digestion after a festive and copious seudah.
For Sukkot, an appropriate selection of spirits would include aperitifs such as slivovitz or vodka to serve ice cold, as a refreshing welcome in the sukkah after coming home from shul on a warm day.
Zachlawi produces some of the most delicious vodkas, including a very special Chocolate Dream Vodka. This vodka offers nuanced flavors, as opposed to many of the somewhat overpowering flavored vodkas that are found in abundance on the stores’ shelves. The traditional slivovitzes made by R. Jelinek are some old favorites and the perfect way to start a meal. The 10-year-old slivovitz is delicious poured over an ice cube and features deep flavors of almonds and plums.
It is a well-known custom to mark a pause with a glass of whiskey in between the fish appetizers and the meat being served for the main course. The Boondocks is a world-class American whiskey blended by Master Distiller Dave Scheurich, winner of the Whisky Advocate’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Whether sipped with or after a plate of gefilte fish or herring, the Boondocks provides a delightful sensation of warmth and satisfaction. It will be enjoyed even more if it is chilly out there.
The new Walders Banofee provides a delicate and creamy sweetness with dessert, the flavors of banana and toffee pairing wonderfully with a hot slice of banana cake. The Heavens Peanut Butter liquor is another must-try, especially with a scoop of chocolate or vanilla ice cream... You won’t even consider leaving the sukkah, at least not until finishing the entire bottle!
By Gabriel Geller
Gabriel Geller is a wine consultant for Royal Wines.