It’s 5:00 somewhere.

This week that timeless phrase means two things- it’s time to light the Chanukah candles, and time to grab a drink after a long day.

In that spirit, after (or perhaps before) you belt out Mi Yimalel in a round, here are this year’s suggestions to amplify the enjoyment of boisterous driedel games with some 21+ refreshment.


For the first time ever, this year an Israeli wine, Recanati Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee, made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list. Given the 18,000 wines they review, making the top 100 is a pretty big deal, so what better excuse to splurge on a lovely bottle of red for your special someone this Chanukah? Sounds like a pretty good gift to me, and it will only set you back about $16.


For fans of Whale’s Tale, Grey Lady, and Pumple Drunkin, Cisco Brewers has another new beer just in time for the dark days of deep winter. Winter Shredder is a seasonal selection by the boys from Nantucket, and this one goes big with an 8.8% ABV. It’s not the most subtle flavor combination, with a pretty serious nutmeg/clove/anise taste underneath the malt, but it’s definitely bold and fits the bill for a decent winter warmer.


I’ve been thinking of the name for this drink for a while, and now I’m proud to share it with the world. I call it the E-1, after the infamous parcel of land in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Maalei Adumim that is at the epicenter of the settlement controversy. Since the battles of the Maccabees were fought almost exclusively in the hills of Judaea and Samaria, why not use a geographically-relevantly-sourced product to remind ourselves of the Chanukah miracle? SodaStream’s factory in Mishor Adumim, just to the east of E-1, offers us the chance to do just that. Too bad this drink won’t be as clever once the factory moves to the Negev by the end of 2015.

The E-1

8 ounces of SodaStream seltzer water

3 ounces of Stolichnaya vodka

Lime juice to taste

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

A small number of pomegranate seeds

Lime wedge

(Feel free to make this more or less boozy)

The turbinado sugar won't realy dissolve, leaving a dirty, desert-y, sandy residue at the bottom of the drink that should bring up fond memories of the Judaean Desert, and the pomegranate seeds offer either an optimistic, sweet flavor, or a cruel twist on the double meaning of the word "rimon" in Hebrew.

I was so tempted to call this one “Realpolitik” or “Sanctions” instead, because there’s an amazing joke that could play on the Russian/Israeli Stoli/SodaStream Putin/Bibi combination of ingredients, but I didn’t go for it. Not that E-1 was a tame choice either, though.

This did get me thinking about fascinating beverages once might concoct combining Israeli SodaStream with other international liquors. I could see a Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin/SodaStream concoction called “The Disraeli” or, tongue-in-cheek and questionably funny, an Absolut/SodaStream libation called “Leaving Malmo” due to the rampant anti-Semitism in the coastal Swedish city.

But that’s for another time.

For now, Chag Sameach, and L’Chaim. May your candles burn brightly.

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