One of my favorite ways to end a meal is with a sweet, rich glass of dessert wine. The concentrated fruit flavors of a moscato or sweet sherry are uniquely delicious — they transcend syrupy stickiness into a lush bloom of ripe fruit and fragrant aromas that linger on the palate. But I don't often want a glass of dessert wine and a dessert — too much! So I started thinking of ways I could have them both: the concentration of peach and strawberry, and the sweet bite of dessert.
Here's one way: An incredibly easy dessert — it needs only ingredient, and yet it has all the pleasure of ice cream, as well as the intensity of an after-dinner drink.
Cocktail Week at The Kitchn
It's Cocktail Week at The Kitchn! Here are a few of the things we've talked about so far:
• Best Bargain Booze: 7 Top Picks From Bar Experts
• 12 Noon to Midnight: A Non-Alcoholic Wine Substitute
• Best Liquors: Your Favorite Rum
• Best Liquors: Your Favorite Gin
• Cocktail Parties: 5 Hors D'œuvres & Cocktail Pairings
• Why Drinks Taste Better When Sipped Through a Straw
• Easy Homemade Ginger Ale
Sweet Wine Slushies
This is just about the simplest dessert I know how to make. Freeze sweet wine in ice cube trays; blend quickly into a slushie. Serve with a slice of fruit and a spoon. It's cold, elegant, and a total snap.
You don't need terribly expensive wine for this; in fact, I would suggest you not splurge. I used an inexpensive bottle of California moscato from Trader Joe's, and its aromas of apricot and strawberry came through beautifully. Watch out, though — these wines are usually only 7% to 8% alcohol, but it's hard to stop eating! I do offer a less alcoholic alternative recipe below.
Sweet Wine Slushies
One 750ml bottle sweet, fruity wine, such as moscato or icewine (see recommendations here)
Fresh orange juice or white grape juice (optional)
Ice cubes (optional)
Orange or strawberry slices, to garnish
Pour the wine into empty ice cube trays. You will need about 2 standard-sized ice cube trays. (Each cube portion is about 1 ounce.) Freeze the wine overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
When ready to serve, place 4 frozen wine cubes in the bowl of a small food processor or a blender. Blend quickly, in sharp bursts, just until the cubes have broken up. They will be soft and flakey to begin with, and it shouldn't take too much processing to turn them into a slush. Don't overprocess; this will turn them into liquid.
Scrape the slush into a martini glass, garnish with a piece of fruit, and serve immediately. Repeat for each serving.
Less-alcoholic variation: If you would like a less alcoholic treat, replace several cube portions in each tray with orange juice, white grape juice, or a mixture of the two. For each serving, replace 1 cube of wine with juice. You can also do the same with ice. This will dilute the flavor, but will make each serving lighter and a little more of a palate cleanser.
More Quick Frozen Desserts:
• Almost-Instant Sweet Wine Ice Cream
• How To Make Creamy Ice Cream with Just One Ingredient!
• Extra-Quick No-Cook Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
• How To Make Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Machine: An Easy, Foolproof Method
(Images: Faith Durand)
(Originally published August 19, 2010)