Remember how summer used to be? A time of freedom, fun, and icy treats? We didn’t have an ice cream truck in our semi-rural neighborhood, so my mom would make juice pops and my dad would crank up the ice cream machine. My siblings and I, along with select friends, indulged in frozen fruit punch and vanilla sundaes all summer long.
Now that I’m grown up, why should I relegate all that deliciousness to childhood? Here are four fun frozen treats for the 21-and-up crowd; you can make them yourself using your favorite bottle of vino.
Let’s start with the easiest recipe of all: wine pops! Unlike my momma’s juice pops, there’s a bit more involved here than just pouring wine into a popsicle mold and popping into your freezer. Because alcohol freezes at a lower temperature than water (and usually not at all in a normal freezer — I’ve tried), you’ll need to add a few ingredients to help fuse all that sweet vino together. Fruit puree and milk are the perfect choices for this yummy task.
Feel free to experiment with your own wine and fruit combinations; I did a blueberry wine and cream pop that was just perfect. If you need a few ideas to get you started, Bon Appetit and Cooking Stoned have some delightful recipes that will make you very popular with friends.
If you prefer to eat your frozen treats with a spoon, granita is essentially water ice for foodies. The base of granita is the same as the popsicles, but it requires a little more tender loving care during the freezing process. The fantastic Laurie Lewis from HipChicksDoWine.com was kind enough to share her delicious and simple recipe with us. Use your favorite red or white wine and serve this one up at your next cocktail party.
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 4 Cups of fresh seasonal berries (or fruit)
- 2 cups wine
- Juice of 1 orange
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour this syrup in a bowl and refrigerate about 30 minutes until cold.
In a food processor, with knife blade attached, pulse fruit until almost smooth.
Combine fruit puree, wine, and orange juice with syrup, stirring to mix thoroughly. Pour into a nonreactive metal pan approximately 8×10 inches and 1 inch deep. Put the pan in the freezer for about 2 hours, then remove and stir with a fork to break up the crystals. Return the pan to the freezer. In 30 minutes, remove pan again and break up crystals with a fork. Repeat this process until the granita begins to form. Then remove the pan every 15 minutes and break up the crystals until all of the liquid has transformed into well-separated granules. The entire process should take 4-5 hours.
For a red wine granita, you can use strawberries, blackberries, marionberries — any berry that somewhat mimics the flavors in the wine. For a white wine granita, peaches or apricots are nice.
Sweet Red Wine Ice Cream
For the ultimate indulgence, break out the ice cream maker and a bottle of sweet red. Food & Wine has a fantastic base recipe, which you should feel free to experiment with. How about stirring in some fruit, like strawberries? Or maybe chunks of dark chocolate for that classic wine-and-chocolate pairing. Or save the add-ins for the end and set up a toppings bar for an adults-only ice cream social.
Red Raspberry Wine Sorbet
If you’re dairy free or vegan — or if you just want something lighter than ice cream but more substantial than granita — you’ll appreciate this cool, sweet sorbet from Joanne Levengood at one of my favorite local wineries. She makes this in the summer with her delectable Razz Bear Ease wine, but if you can’t get your hands on it, try your favorite fruity wine.
Red Raspberry Wine Sorbet
- 1 bottle raspberry wine
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 3/4 cup water
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. Chill well. Process in an ice cream maker and freeze for at least several hours.
Now, get out there and enjoy the rest of summer! And don’t forget to invite a few friends.
Photo credits: auntikhaki, Adriao, and MaxStraeten.