Harvested Grape Wine Slushy
It's the end of summer, grapes are dripping off of the vines in the Midwest, and I was lucky enough to actually pick some this year. I've always wanted vines of my own, and for the past few years, my husband and I had one growing in our backyard. The grapevine would stretch along the fence, start producing tons of juicy-looking grapes—green, then purple and gorgeous—and then all of a sudden, they would shrivel up and turn brown, like dry little raisins. It was so disappointing. After a few years of this happening, we decided to pull the vine and start over when we had more space and knowledge of how to maintain a thriving vine.
As it turns out, my neighbor also has a vine (one that actually produces amazing grapes), and one day he told me to pick as many as I wanted. The neighbors weren't planning to use any, so it was me vs. the birds. I didn't hesitate! My four-year-old son and I went over and picked a huge bowl. We were even nice enough to leave some for our feathered friends.
Then it was time to figure out to do with all of the grapes! There's always the good old standby, making jelly, but I wanted to try something different. My husband and I ended up fermenting a small batch of wine, then I baked two whole-wheat harvest grape cakes, and the rest went to make grape juice for the Moscato wine slushy featured here.
I served this slushy at a small family gathering, and it won over the crowd (especially my mom). Best part? It's a super easy recipe, and the fresh grapes may even offer some health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Grapes are rich in health-protecting antioxidants, including resveratrol and flavonoids." So if my late-summer wine slushy offers a few health benefits in addition to being tasty, I'll take it!
As with any alcoholic beverage, please drink safely and responsibly.
- 2 cups grape juice
- 1.5 cups moscato wine
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Wash the harvested grapes.
- Make fresh grape juice. Place whole grapes into a saucepan. Mash with a potato masher to release the juices. Simmer over low heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and strain through a piece of cheesecloth into a bowl. Squeeze out as much juice as you can!
- In a bowl, combine fresh juice with your favorite Moscato wine.
- Add sugar and stir until the sugar crystals are dissolved.
- In a freezer-safe container, put in the freezer. I let mine freeze overnight.
- A few minutes before you're ready to serve, take out of the freezer. Using a metal spoon, scrape the top of the slushy and scoop into a glass. Enjoy!
Step 1: Make the Juice
The first step in this simple recipe is to make fresh grape juice. Wash your harvested grapes and put them into a saucepan. Use only the best looking grapes. You can press as much juice as you want, but I only used two cups of juice for the slushy recipe (about 3-4 cups of whole grapes). If you make extra, you'll have some fresh juice for breakfast!
Mash the whole grapes with a potato masher to release the juices. Simmer over low heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and strain through a piece of cheesecloth, into a bowl.
Note: Be careful not to splatter, as grape juice will stain fabric!
Step 2: Just Add Wine (and Sugar)
In a bowl, add 1.5 cups of your favorite Moscato wine to the fresh grape juice. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and stir thoroughly until the sugar crystals dissolve.
Step 3: Freeze and Serve
In a freezer-safe container, freeze the mixture. I froze mine overnight. When you are ready to serve, remove the mixture from the freezer a few minutes ahead of time. Scrape the slushy with a metal spoon and scoop into a glass. Serve and enjoy!
This is best served on a patio while relaxing in a deck chair, watching the sunset as the warm summer breeze drifts by (in my humble opinion).