Thirsty Thursday

Grapes & Roses is a romantic Pisco cocktail sure to woo your Valentine

Aline Peres Martins | Staff Photgrapher

The Grapes & Roses cocktail is sweet, light and aromatic. The drink contains Pisco, grapes, juices and rose water.

This Valentine’s Day, instead of going out to the local florist to pick up a bouquet of roses, head to the grocery store and pick up a bottle of rose water and some grapes, walk a few feet to the liquor store for a bottle of Pisco and make a romantic cocktail to share with that special someone.

Grapes & Roses, a cocktail created by Gabriel Orta, is a refreshingly sweet, light, aromatic cocktail sure to win over anyone who takes a sip.

Orta, a product of the Miami mixology movement, is known for his tropical concoctions and ability to spin classic cocktails into something new. He is one of the co-founders of Bar Lab, and Grapes & Roses is no exception to his specialty. Are grapes tropical? Not exactly. But combined with the other ingredients of this cocktail, simple grapes are transformed into something luxurious and complex.

The color of this cocktail is beautiful. The cloudy white liquid surrounds the colorful muddled grapes like a white fur blanket enveloping a colorful duvet. It looks romantic.

The elements evoke a sense of romance. Grapes bring to mind Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility and wine. Roses are a well-known symbol of romance and love. In fact, the connection roses have to passion goes back to the Victorian era, when people used the tradition of fluorography to evoke emotion through flowers without words, according to Metro.

Pisco, a Peruvian liquor distilled from grapes, was created to emulate the brandy brought over from Spanish conquistadores.

Actually, the Grapes & Roses cocktail would be nothing without Pisco — it’s central to the look and the taste. Making it with brandy, whisky, rum or anything else just doesn’t have the same effect. This is because the small amount of lemon juice used in conjunction with muddled grapes is used to sort of emulate the Pisco Sour – the most iconic Peruvian drink. Pisco Sours are what couples immediately get at the bar as soon as they step off a plane in Lima. Much like the Grapes & Roses, it is sweet without being overwhelming, slightly tangy without being too sour and, simply, gorgeous.

So while it would be easier to run to the store and pick up a cheap bottle of Barefoot Merlot and a bouquet of flowers this Valentine’s day, this year try out something more complex. Cook a nice dinner, make Grapes & Roses to drink afterward as you leave your valentine speechless and convinced you are a Miami mixologist well-versed in international spirits.


1 ½ parts Pisco
4 muddled grapes
¾ part grape juice
½ part lemon juice
½ part simple syrup
1 light spray of rose water

Combine liquid in ingredients in a glass, place grapes in center, and serve.


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