Schapiros, the people who nearly turned New York City into the Napa Valley as the big Apple’s only winemaker, the people who brought you wine “so thick you can almost cut it with a knife” (actual slogan), the ones with the wine store on Rivington Street that was allowed to stay open during Prohibition, because officials thought there was no way this “sacramental” wine was in danger of being overimbibed, except by the most desperate winos, has unveiled a drink for the new generation: Sederade.
First of all, what the hell is it? Not the drink, the word. I didn’t get the word Seder was in it. I said it all in one go like Scheherazade, a legend that has something in common with the seder, because she stayed up all night telling stories. Perhaps they should spell it SederAde, to make it clear its said as two separate words, but then it would not longer look like lemonade. In any case, it is never too early in the year to start preparing for Passover, and Schapiros is trying to raise $10, 000 for the manufacturing of this new all-natural, 100 calorie, honey sweetened, gluten free, vegan 12 ounce beverage available in three different flavors orange, black cherry and (of course) lemon, which, as the ad says, “Is great for washing down the burnt brisket.” Does that mean if you chug a lug this at the seder, in addition to the four cups of wine you have to drink anyway, your mother might take offense, since the gesture would imply she burned the brisket?
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But wait. Do they mean for us to drink this instead of wine? Well from the ad, that is implied, with a sub-heading that says “Why Sederade and not wine?” Yes, very good question. If I drink Sederade at the seder, people will start to wonder if I’ve been hiding my drinking habit all these years and am about ready to announce I’m in AA. I can just imagine the looks, darting eyes, toward the brightly colored Sederade bottle, then back to me, waiting for an explanation. “Oh, I’m trying this now. Who needs wine? I prefer Sederade, actually.” Uh-huh…I can imagine the lady sitting across from me, searching my chest for an AA medallion.
Well that ad says the “Changing Kosher Demographics” and the fact that a fourth of millennial Jews keep kosher is the answer to “Why Sederade instead of wine.” But no, that doesn’t answer the question. Then kosher-conscious millennials would just drink kosher wine. But seriously, it is great to have a beverage to drink during the intermediate days of Passover, a healthy alternative to cane sugar sweetened kosher for Passover Coca-Cola.
But not only does Schapiros want us to start drinking Sederade. It is a way of life. More than that. A religion. A religion within a religion.And in fact, they are sounding a bit evangelical in their ad, strange since Jews don’t usually proselytize; “We want to re-introduce Schapiro’s brand to a whole new generation, converting (!) America and the world!” … “You don’t have to be Jewish to convert to Sederade.” And even less traditional is, in the same paragraph, something implying polytheism, “help Schapiro’s brand reclaim its rightful place in the pantheon of Great American Jewish Brands.”
I didn’t know we had a pantheon. If so, would Manischewitz be Zeus? Kedem be Aphrodite? Hebrew National be Apollo?