Wednesday, February 20, 2013
On 10:03 AM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine in 67Wine, Arak, fig arak, Kosher wine, purim, single malt scotches, vodka, Zachlawi No comments
“Drink until you can’t see the difference to be blessed as Mordecai and cursed like Haman.” – paraphrased from the Talmud.
Yes, Jews drink a lot during Purim.
Although Passover is considered the holiday heaviest in alcohol consumption, since we drink four cups of wine during a Seder, Passover actually pales in comparison to what we drink during Purim.
Purim is the holiday commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people of ancient Persia from the destruction of Haman, and the festive Purim daytime feast is called the Purim Seudah. (The dessert we eat on Purim, Hamantaschen, has three points just as Haman’s hat did; it’s usually filled with apricot, poppy or prune pastes). A huge variety and quantity of spirits and wines are consumed during Purim, too.
First, let’s talk liquor — specifically, Arak. Many Jews of Eastern European descent are not as familiar with Arak as those of Sephardic descent. When I was growing up, the Sephardic side of my family always kept Arak around as an after-dinner digestif. This strong liquor, made from a molasses base, really “puts the burn on” as soon as it crosses your lips. My favorite Arak is produced in Israel; however very good Arak also comes from Zachlawi in New Jersey — their fig flavor is superb, and they make an Arak that is Kosher for Passover.
I recommend sipping Arak throughout the night, as doing shots during Purim may not be the best approach unless you want to get intoxicated very fast. Different vodkas and single-malt Scotches are also very popular during Purim, but remember that timing them with the meal is important for staying lucid.
Depending on what kind of Seudah you have, you’ll want to carefully pair wines. Stick with light reds, such as Pinot Noir, in the beginning of the meal; progress to heavier wines as you work through the courses. If you prefer white wines, the light, fruity flavors of Sauvignon Blanc will complement the meal without being as overwhelming as a buttery or over-oaked Chardonnay.
Happy Purim! Call us for any of your Purim needs.