Hebrew Hammer

This fruity, bright pink Hanukkah cocktail combines framboise and a yeasty simple syrup in homage to the flavors of sufganiyot, Israeli doughnuts.

Hebrew Hammer

Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Total Time:
10 mins

At Maccabee Bar, a Hanukkah-themed pop-up bar, bartender Naomi Levy, crafts playful cocktails that draw inspiration from the holiday, its traditions and celebratory foods. In the Hebrew Hammer, Levy pays homage to  the flavors of a beloved Hanukkah dessert, sufganiyot, or Israeli doughnuts, usually filled with jelly and generously dusted with powdered sugar. Fluffy, sweet sufganiyot are a Hanukkah staple. During the holiday, foods fried in oil are eaten to commemorate the miracle behind the holiday. Hanukkah celebrates the victory the Maccabees, a faction of a Jewish army, reclaimed Jerusalem and rededicated the Second Temple with one pot of oil meant to only last one day that lasted eight days and eight nights. Thus, the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, was born. 

Inspired by the flavors and ingredients of sufganiyot, Levy’s Hebrew Hammer is a delicious and balanced take on the classic dessert. By dissolving a bit of active dry yeast into sugar and water, Levy’s “leavened” simple syrup brings a subtle yeasted flavor that is so characteristic of fluffy, perfectly risen doughnuts. In lieu of sickly sweet jelly, Levy calls for subtle and complex crème de framboise to give the cocktail delicious raspberry flavor and a gorgeous pink hue. Any great jelly doughnut has a generous dusting of powdered sugar, and the Hebrew Hammer follows suit. The outside of each coupe glass gets dusted in powdered sugar for a fabulous effect. Whether you enjoy a Hebrew Hammer at a Maccabee Bar pop-up near you or make it in the comfort of your home, toast to the Festival of Lights and perhaps the most satisfying and delicious dessert around.


“Leavened” Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup hot water (about 120°F)

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (from 2 [3/4-ounce] envelopes)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar


  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) vodka

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1/4 ounce (1/2 tablespoon) crème de framboise (such as Giffard Crème de Framboise)


Make the “leavened” simple syrup:

  1. Combine 1 cup hot water and yeast in a small bowl; whisk until yeast is fully dissolved, about 20 seconds. Add granulated sugar; whisk until sugar is fully dissolved, about 1 minute. Let cool 5 minutes.

Make the cocktail:

  1. Dust outside of a coupe glass with powdered sugar. Set aside.

  2. Combine vodka, lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons “leavened” simple syrup, and framboise in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Place lid on shaker; shake until mixture is cold, about 15 seconds. Strain into prepared coupe glass.

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