The Sipping Seder
Maror Cocktail Chazeret Cocktail Charoset Cocktail Karpas Cocktail Z'roa Cocktail Beitzah Cocktail
Mar 062011

Z'roa Cocktail

Z'roa Icon

Z’roa symbolizes the traditional Passover sacrifice, a lamb that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and then eaten as part of the seder meal. On the modern seder plate, z’roa is represented by a roasted lamb shank bone.

Developing a z’roa cocktail was one of the biggest challenges in creating The Sipping Seder. Rather than focus on the symbolic bone, we turned our thoughts to the origin of the custom. We crafted a deep, crimson cocktail to remind us of the blood of the sacrificial lamb.

Our recipe is a variation on St. Charles punch, which originated in New Orleans and appeared in the 1862 edition of Jerry Thomas’ famous bartending guide. Our version replaces brandy with bourbon, uses slightly less ruby port and adds a bit of maraschino liqueur to round things out.

As you sip the z’roa cocktail, think about the sacrifices others have made for you. How can you repay their kindness?


2 oz (60 ml) Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

2 oz (60 ml) Ruby Port

1 tsp (5 ml) Gum Syrup

¼ oz (7 ml) Lemon Juice

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) Maraschino Liqueur


1) Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake well with ice.

2) Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass.


Please see notes on keeping kosher if that’s important to you.


  2 Responses to “Z’roa”

  1. Love this site! what did you all serve as the main course???

    • Thanks, Steve. When we debuted the cocktails for friends last year, we served tasting portions of each in sequence. They were spaced out over an evening and accompanied by an obscene amount of Jewish finger foods to keep everyone upright for the duration. The end result was a lovely evening that taught our gentile guests a good deal about Passover — and kept the tipsiness somewhere on the four-glasses-of-wine scale.

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