If you grew up Jewish you drank this

Growing up in a Jewish household gifts you have many anecdotes to share at a not strictly kosher  – I said strictly, OK? – dinner party. You can talk about the scientific differences between regular best friends and camp best friends, why learning twelve years worth of Hebrew has still left you embarrassingly unilingual, and the unique libations you’ve sipped along the way. Yes, Judaism is pretty into wine (there are entire laws dedicated to it), but if you grew up in a mezuzah-adorned home, you know there’s more to the religion than vino. For instance…

1. Jack Daniel’s

This is Jack DanielsI know what Jack Daniel’s is, not because of college, but because I grew up watching old men in synagogue (shul for the MOT’s here) drink it. I don’t know why Jack was their refreshment of choice, but I always saw them sip some of the Tennessee whiskey between services.

2. Scotch

The high rollers in the building would bring out expensive Scotch. Believe it or not, there are a lot of kosher certified Scotches out there, and they are the fancy Friday night gifts of choice.

3. Kedem Grape Juice

Otherwise known as crack for children at kiddush. Mixed with Fresca, it’s irresistible.

4. Bartenura

bartenura headerOnly slightly more alcoholic than Kedem grape juice, the blue bottle Moscato is the no-brainer offering to bring to your friend’s house when you’re sleeping over on shabbat. Bartenura is also my grandma’s wine of choice.

5. Shoko BeSakit

Translates to “chocolate in the bag.” This is, appropriately, chocolate milk in a bag – a commonality in Israel. When Jewish students make their first pilgrimage to the holy land in high school, they’ve only heard of this strange, unicorn of a drink discussed in hushed tones from older students. By the end of the trip, they’re hooked.

6. Potato Vodka

Passover is coming up. Better stock up on the Chopin.

7. Manischewitz

Manischewitz Cocktail HeaderI purposely did not lead this article with Manischewitz, because it’s become a false representative of all kosher wine. There’s a lot more than Manischewitz, OK? That being said, we all drank Manischewitz at one point. Usually, we felt like huge rebels for doing so underage. We did not know the joke was on us.

8. Turkish Coffee

Typically consumed after a meal of shawarma. Points if you drank it without gagging.

9. Mint Tea

This one is for all my Moroccan, Tunisian, and Persian friends. Real mint tea is a delicious treat. I’m talking real leaves in the tea, not a two-bit tea bag. Which brings me to my next drink…

10. Wissotzky Tea

You drank this if you were JewishThis tea comes in a million different tempting flavors. But it’s a trap! It’s so bad. Just bland. Dry. But I will still drink it faithfully, because as a Jew, I value my traditions.

11. Prigat Juice

That super nice Hebrew teacher always brought this to class parties, along with imitation Oreo cookies. The banana flavor of Prigat was particularly delicious. Still waiting for banana juice to come to the U.S.

12. Slivovitz

This is a type of plum brandy, and hey, it’s actually not bad. It’s often certified kosher-for-Passover, and it makes an interesting addition to cocktails. And it’s typically high in alcohol, perfect for getting through a long seder.

13. Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Soda

You drank this if you were Jewish

For some reason, this celery flavored soda seems to only be available at Jewish delis and Passover programs. It straddles the line between repulsive and somewhat refreshing.

14. Seltzer

Seltzer is the tap water at Eastern European Jewish homes everywhere.

15. That One Surprisingly Kosher Spirit

Sometimes, you’ll buy an obscure, hand-crafted brandy made in Wyoming or something and discover that it’s kosher. You’re not sure why, you’re not sure how, but you are sure that you’ll be bringing it to the next family meal and impressing the shit out of everyone else.