Bergen County Holiday Fun: Vodgria!

Bergen County's Gary Spivak has received a great deal of press lately as the inventor of Vodgria. Vodgria is a pre-mixed and ready-to-drink vodka sangria cocktail that may very well be the hot new cocktail of the 2010/2011 holiday season.

The fruit that make up the sangria flavors in Vodgria include Grape, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Apple and Cherry. The premium vodka is grain vodka and two times distilled. Vodgria has a 15 percent alcohol content, lower than most vodkas.

Vodgria can be found throughout New Jersey and is sold at Montalve Wine & Spirits, Ridgemont in Park Ridge, Stew Leonards in Paramus, Gallos in Rochelle Park, and many other locations in Bergen County.

In the spirit(s) of the holiday season, here are a few great holiday cocktail recipes using Vodgria:

New Year's Eve Bellini Vodgrini Martini

1/4 cup Vodgria

2 oz peach liqueur

1 cup ice cubes

2 oz champagne

3 fresh raspberries

Shake ice, Vodgria, and peach liqueur in shaker until frothy. Strain into martini glass and top with champagne. Garnish with fresh raspberries

New Years Eve 2-Step

1/2 Eggnog and 1/2 Vodgria (or to taste)

The Resolution

5 oz seltzer

1 oz gin

3 ice cubes

3 oz Vodgria

Place ice cubes in cup, combine seltzer, gin, and Vodgria. Stir and yell Happy New Year!!!!

Christmas Red Vodgria with Pomegranate

2 bottles Vodgria

3/4 cup pomegranate juice

1 large pomegranate

1 red Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced

1 orange, thinly sliced into rounds

1 cup red grapes, sliced in half lengthwise

1/3 cup honey

1 bunch fresh mint leaves, reserving some for garnish

1 bottle sparkling water (optional)

Combine ingredients except sparkling water in a glass pitcher and let sit at room temperature for one hour. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight. Spoon some fruit into glasses and top with a splash of sparkling water (if using), garnish with mint.

Winter Spiced Vodgria

1 cup apple juice

1/4 cup Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)

4 whole cloves

3 blood oranges, cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 lemons, cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

1 Bartlett pear, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 (750-milliliter) bottle Vodgria

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher; stir until sugar dissolves. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.