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The Proper Place for Manischewitz at Passover? In a Cocktail

It's the time of year when Jews around the world reflect on their ancestors' exile from Egypt and celebrate the the miracle of Moses parting the Red Sea, allowing for the Jews to escape from slavery. That's right, it's Passover!

We like this holiday for many reasons, but we especially love it for its mandated 4 glasses of wine throughout the course of the seder (the meal).

Since the Jews were forced out of Egypt too quickly to let their bread leaven - hello Matzah! - no grains or leavened goods are permitted on this holiday, which means most cocktail go-to's are no-go's on this holiday.

A little creative challenge has never kept us from a good cocktail, and so we offer up to you, the Oy Vey Iz Kir as an aperitif for all your Passover seder - or in the case of gentiles who aren't partaking in a seder - your Monday night.

The Oy Vey Iz Kir cocktail originates from the minds at Shalom Japan, a Brooklyn restaurant whose name tells you most of what you need to know. Corned lamb's tongue with a side of sake? Totally normal. It comes as no surprise that the co-chefs Aaron Israel and Sawako Okochi have given Manischewitz a new purpose in life, via their riff on a Kir Royale.

"Manischewitz is—we can all agree—a little bit on the sweet side and has that dark berry fruit to it," Israel explains. Hence it made a logical substitution for the syrupy, sweet cassis traditionally used in Kir Royales. Plus: "It exemplifies what we try to do here," says Israel: "It's a little witty, a little fun, but also stays true to the classics." 

Oy Vey Iz Kir


  • 1/4 oz Manischewitz red wine
  • 3-4 oz dry sparkling wine
  • Lemon peel


  • Peeler
  • Champagne flute


Pour the Manischewitz into the Champagne flute. Top with chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with a lemon peel and serve. L'chaim!

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