When it comes to gifts, I truly believe that, no matter what it is, it’s the thought that counts… even if you are gifted a double bottle of cheap moscato. I'm not a big fan of moscato in general, and usually I lean towards red wine, if I'm going to drink wine.. I know that the sweet wine is a favorite for some people (like Drake), but for me, moscato just means a sugar hangover almost immediately. But because I am both thrifty and unwilling to turn down the gift, I found myself with a bottle of moscato and a mission: to incorporate the sweet wine into some kind of delicious new formula, through a frozen moscato cocktail.
Moscato is a dessert wine made with Muscat grapes from the northern Italian region of Piedmont. Italians drink it as an aperitif because it’s sweet, light, and low in alcohol content. Moscato is supposed to be crisp and lightly fizzy with notes of peach and apricot—I can't taste it, particularly, but I'm sure that's true for some palates. But that gave me a solid basis to work with to make my own version of a Moscato smoothie of sorts. I turned to my freezer and pulled out some lime juice, raspberries that were a little past their peak, and frozen mangoes. Add Moscato, blend, and voila: a Moscato drink that was delicious even to me, a Moscato hater.
Since that first go-round, I have tweaked my recipe slightly—I did have a double bottle, after all. The second time I used Yellow Tail Moscato instead of the Barefoot Moscato that was gifted to me, and found that it was actually fizzier, less sweet, and more palatable. You can make it with whatever you have on hand, of course. But this is a good option if you have party leftovers, or are looking to make something for sitting outside on your porch to sip. A sugar rim and a lime wedge wouldn't go awry, either.
photo by gabrielle van tassel
2 cups frozen mangoes
1 3/4 cups moscato wine
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 lime)
15-20 leaves mint, to taste
2-3 ounces vodka (optional)
1/2 cup ice (optional)
How to Make It
Put the frozen mangoes, fresh raspberries, lime juice, and mint in the blender. Add moscato and blend. If you want a little extra kick, add a couple shots of vodka to the mix. The mangoes should be completely frozen for best results.
Blend until the consistency is smooth and looks more like a smoothie than a margarita. If it isn’t frozen enough for your liking you can add a little ice.
Pour sugar onto a small plate, wet the rim of your wine glass using a lime wedge, and then coat the rim of the glass in salt. Pour mixture, and garnish your drink with a mint sprig and raspberry or two if you feel like it.