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The Transfusion drink is a refreshing highball cocktail starring Concord grape juice, vodka and ginger ale. It’s bubbly and highly sippable.

Transfusion drink

Here’s a fun cocktail that’s surprisingly refreshing: meet the Transfusion! This drink might sound like a super potent neon nightclub drink, but it’s anything but. It’s a refreshing highball drink that’s popular at golf clubs, of all places! It’s similar to a Pimm’s Cup, but made with Concord grape juice, vodka, and ginger ale. The flavors really work: sweet tart, bubbly, with a bit of spicy ginger and the musky finish of the grape juice. We think the Transfusion drink is a must-try in any season (though it’s perfect for summer!).

What’s in the Transfusion drink?

The Transfusion is a highball cocktail starring vodka, Concord grape juice, lime, and ginger ale. It’s popular at golf clubs and country clubs, but no one seems to know the origin or story behind this drink! There’s a separate drink called a “Blood Transfusion cocktail” made with rum, lime juice, and grenadine, but that’s a whole different story.

Whatever the case, the golf club version appears to be pretty standardized in terms of ingredients. Here are the ingredients you need for a Transfusion drink:

  • Concord grape juice: This is a special style of grape juice made with Concord grapes. Make sure to find this variety, because its flavor is so unique!
  • Lime juice
  • Vodka
  • Ginger ale: You can also substitute ginger beer, which has a stronger, spicier ginger flavor.
Transfusion drink

Why Concord grape juice?

Concord grapes are a unique variety type of grape you don’t often see in the produce section at the store. They’re a deep blueish purple and have a sweet, musky flavor. Take one bite and you’ll recognize the flavor immediately: it’s what’s used to flavor Concord grape jelly, used in that classic PB&J! This type of grape also is used for grape-flavored candy and Concord grape juice.

Concord grapes are not often sold fresh at the store because they have a “slip skin.” This means it separates from the flesh easily, which makes it hard for them to stay shelf stable. But you can sometimes get lucky and find small containers of Concord grapes: which we found for the garnish of this drink!

Whatever the case, make sure to find Concord grape juice for the Transfusion drink. It brings a flavor that tastes like grape soda, except it’s all natural.

How to make a Transfusion drink: a few tips

The Transfusion drink is a classic highball cocktail, the style of drinks that’s the easiest to make. Highball cocktails are almost always built in the glass: meaning you don’t have to dirty a cocktail shaker or a mixing glass. Mix it up and you’re good to go! Here are a few things to note about the Transfusion:

  • Add the ginger ale last. You’ll add the Concord grape juice, lime and vodka first and stir. Then top off with the ginger ale, which preserves the bubbles.
  • Use clear ice to step up the drink. To make an impressive looking Transfusion, mix up a batch of clear ice the night before. Clear ice is crystal clear ice you can cut into organic shapes to make professional-looking cocktails.
  • Garnish with Concord grapes if you can find them. The garnish in the drink might look like black olives, but it’s Concord grapes! They’re hard to find at the grocery because their skins are so soft, they’re not always sold fresh. But if you can find them, they’re absolutely worth it.
Transfusion drink

More highball cocktails

Looking for more great highball cocktails? This style of drink is one of our favorites because it’s so carefree and laid back. There are also several ginger ale cocktails to help you use up that bottle! Here are a few more highball drinks to try:

When to serve a Transfusion drink

The bubbly, lightly sweet Transfusion works anytime! It’s a natural fit for summer, but works in the winter when you’re craving something light and refreshing. Try it as a:

  • Summer cocktail
  • Happy hour drink
  • Dinner party drink
  • Late night drinks drink
  • Guys or girls night drink
  • Cocktail hour drink
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Transfusion drink

Transfusion Drink


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

The Transfusion drink is a refreshing highball cocktail starring Concord grape juice, vodka and ginger ale. It’s bubbly and highly sippable.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ½ ounces* vodka
  • 2 ounces Concord grape juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 4 ounces ginger ale or ginger beer
  • Ice, for serving (or try clear ice)

Instructions

  1. Add the vodka, Concord grape juice, and lime juice to ice filled highball glass and stir.
  2. Top off with the ginger ale.

Notes

*For conversion to tablespoons: 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Transfusion drink, Transfusion drink recipe, Transfusion cocktail

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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