Last week our general manager, Kate, tagged me in a Facebook post, challenging me to write a blog about red wine ice cream floats. In general, I don't advocate adulterating wine; a lot of work went into that bottle, and it just seems disrespectful to not appreciate it on its own merit. There are some well-known horror stories about this kind of thing, one of the most famous is from Suzanne Mustachich's book Thirsty Dragon, where she tells of a successful businessman cutting Chateau Lafite Rothschild, a very prestigious and expensive wine, with Coca-Cola. Using that as an example of what not to do, let's establish some ground rules.
If you're buying wine to make something else with it, go cheap. You're making Champagne cocktails? Don't use real Champagne. You need a cooking wine? Reach for the bottom shelf. You want to enjoy an ice cold Coke? Don't add $2,000 Bordeaux. Simple, right?
For this project, I didn't have to think long about what wine to use, Les Deux Moulins Pinot Noir. This bottle has never been on our wine shelf, but if you've taken classes with us you might have noticed it floating around the kitchen, as this is our cooking wine. This is a vin de pays, sometimes called a country wine, it's the classification for French wines that are above table wine, but below appellation wines. In other words, the perfect wine to use for ice cream floats.
The recipe here is simple:
1. Scoop ice cream into a wine glass. I used strawberry, but it's your dessert, so feel free to be creative and use whatever flavor you want.
2. Fill halfway with sparkling water.
3. Top off with red wine.
4. Cover exposed ice cream with chocolate syrup.
5. Take photos quickly, before it melts.
6. Post to Instagram with #thechoppingblock.
Challenge accepted and desired outcome achieved, but as I ate my frosty treat, I felt a little empty. Deep inside, I knew I could do better. So, I went in for a second round.
Mimosa Ice Cream Float with Orange Simple Syrup
Orange Simple Syrup
- Heat equal parts water and sugar in a sauce pan, stirring until it turns clear.
- Add orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice.
- Let simmer until the mixture reaches the desired consistency.
Mimosa Ice Cream Float
- Scoop ice cream into wine glass. For this recipe, I used vanilla.
- Fill glass with Prosecco.
- Apply orange syrup to exposed ice cream.
- Take photos before it melts.
- Post to Instagram with #thechoppingblock.
If you're a regular at the store, this Prosecco probably does look familiar as it's one of our top selling wines. In this case, I feel better about using it than any of our other sparkling wines, because the production time is much shorter.
At the end of the day, it's your treat and you can use whatever you want, but you have to know that if you're using something expensive to make something cheap, you're breaking the hearts of a lot of wine lovers out there.
If you want to learn more about wine or wine cocktails, check out The Chopping Block's Bellini Brunch coming up on Sunday, August 18 at the Mart or any of our upcoming wine classes. And to learn how to make homemade ice cream and sherbet (which would be an excellent choice for a wine float), don't miss Frozen Desserts on Saturday, August 24 at the Mart.