Gingered Grape Granitas (aka Transfusion Slushees)

grape-transfusion-granitas-17 The thought of playing golf has always bored me to tears.

While I enjoyed my fair share of miniature golf courses growing up, I’ve never had any real interest in the life-size version of the sport. This would be fine if my roommate wasn’t an avid golfer (and golf shirt hoarder), who has been trying to get me to play golf since we started dating. According to Logan, I’d be excellent at golf because I have “super long arms.” I don’t really know what that means, but I have chosen not to take advantage of my extra long limbs on the golf course for several reasons.

First of all, playing a round of golf is very time consuming. I don’t like doing anything sports-related for more than 45 minutes, and golf appears to last infinity hours. No, thank you. Second, there seems to be a lot of waiting involved. Waiting for other players, walking from one hole to the next, washing your balls, etc., etc. Patience is a virtue that I do not posses. Most importantly, women’s golf clothing deeply offends me. Knee-length shorts, skorts and sweat-wicking polo shirts make me want to die, and I have a weird shaped head for visors. Again, no, thank you.

However, despite all of the aforementioned drawbacks to the sport, I have been coming around to the idea of picking up golf lately. Several of my besties have randomly taken up the sport in the past few years, and they seem to be getting quite good at it. In fact, my friend Lara informed me that she couldn’t come over for dinner this past Monday because she had a golf lesson, which made me feel panicky. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but if this disturbing trend continues, when I get old, everyone will be hanging out and playing golf without me. FOMO.

grape-transfusion-granitas-11 In addition to the peer pressure to become a golfer, there are a few aspects of the game that have recently peaked my interest. First and foremost, I think I would like having a caddy, which is probably as close as I’m going to get to having an assistant in the near future. I’ve also noticed that people don’t seem to get nearly as sweaty playing golf as they do when playing other sports, which is great news for me because I’m not really into sweating. Oh, and I very much enjoy riding in golf carts. They are like convertibles but don’t mess up your hair.

Honestly, I’m probably most intrigued by the cocktail element of the sport. It may be a generational thing, but whenever friends/roommates of mine play golf, they tend to come back rocking mild farmer’s tans and a solid buzz. I have visited a few golf clubs with Logan (although I did not actually set foot on the courses), and I was a big fan of the cocktail menus. While I’ve always loved a good Southside, I have recently become enamored with a golf club staple known as the Transfusion, a refreshing vodka-based cocktail with grape juice and ginger ale.

Transfusions are delicious, and they are playing a large part in changing my attitude towards golf. I think I would even watch golf (which usually induces narcolepsy) after a few of these cocktails. At the very least, Transfusions make the prospect of learning to play the sport much less horrifying. Unfortunately, summer is over, so I’ll have to wait at least until spring to book my first golf lesson. Too bad…

Even though I won’t be on a golf course anytime soon, I fully intend to continue my Transfusion spree. I had been planning to experiment with simple dessert recipes this week, so I decided to whip up a granita based on the Transfusion cocktails that I’ve grown so fond of lately. The result? Incredibly epic Gingered Grape Granitas. (I gave them a fancy name for the purpose of this blog, since “Transfusion Slushee” sounded weird and intense.)

gingered-grape-granitas-3 I was pretty psyched to tell Logan about these granitas when he called to ask what I was making yesterday.  Unfortunately, he misheard me and excitedly screamed, “YOU MADE GORDITAS??!!!” When I pulled the phone away from my ringing ear and calmly explained that I was making transfusion gran-itas, he responded, “Oh. Transfusions are awesome. Gorditas are better, but you do what you want.”

All I have to say is, if you weren’t expecting a meat and cheese-filled Mexican feast, Gingered Grape Granitas will most likely make you very happy. The tart-sweet flavor of Concord grape juice (I use Welch’s because of this kid) combined with ginger ale and zingy lime juice is the perfect complement to the awesomeness that is vodka. Traditionally, Transfusions do not contain mint, but I threw some in for a refreshing kick and a little greenery. Their shaved ice consistency make these granitas a textural taste treat, which I like to think of as incredibly flavorful adult snow-cones. You’re welcome.

grape-transfusion-granitas-13  If you haven’t noticed, Gingered Grape Granitas are also very pretty to look at, and their bright purple hue is pretty much spot on trend for fall 2013. (You know I like to be trendy.) I threw a couple fresh grapes on top of these granitas for added sweetness and texture, but they would be pretty delicious with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re going for something a little more decadent. Based on their taste, attractiveness, and booziness factors, I fully endorse serving gingered grape granitas at all of your end of summer/early fall parties. You really can’t beat the efficiency of a cocktail and dessert rolled into one.

In case you don’t like booze or you happen to have kids (eek), these Gingered Grape Granitas can obviously be made sans vodka. A Transfusion without booze is known as a “Tin Hat,” which I was a big fan of during my formative years. (Consequently, I sported a very sexy grape moustache post-tennis clinic between the ages of 4 and 12.) Long story short: Virgin Gingered Grape Granitas are equally delicious, if not quite as much fun as the hard version. Cheers, friends!

Blogger’s Note: Sorry for posting two sports-themed posts in a row. That was poorly planned. Unless you love sports, in which case, you’re welcome.

Gingered Grape Granitas (aka Transfusion Slushees): (Serves 6)

grape-transfusion-granitas-15 Ingredients:
1 cup vodka (right now I’m all about Tito’s)
2 cups 100% Concord grape juice (I used Welch’s Light Concord Grape to cut the sugar/hangover factor)
2 cups ginger ale
Juice of 1 lime
4-6 sprigs fresh mint, chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
For garnish: (optional)
1 cup seedless grapes of your choice
Fresh mint sprigs

Preparing your Gingered Grape Granitas:

-In a 9” x 13” baking dish (or whatever baking dish you happen to own), combine vodka, grape juice, ginger ale, lime juice and chopped mint.

gingered-grape-granitas-step-1-2 -Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.

-Use a fork to stir the mixture ever 45 minutes, making sure to scrape the edges and break up the ice as the mixture freezes, until your granita is completely frozen and has the texture of a snow cone. (This should take 3-4 hours.)

Gingered-grape-granita-step-2 -Scoop the granita into small bowls or cocktail glasses and garnish each with a few grapes and sprig of mint (if using). Get weird.

gingered-grape-granitas-2

Gingered Grape Granitas (aka Transfusion Slushees)

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vodka (right now I’m all about Tito’s)
  • 2 cups 100% Concord grape juice (I used Welch’s light Concord grape juice to cut the sugar/hangover factor)
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint, chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
  • For garnish: (optional)
  • 1 cup seedless grapes of your choice
  • 4-6 Fresh mint sprigs

Instructions

  1. In a 9” x 13” baking dish (or whatever baking dish you happen to own), combine vodka, grape juice, ginger ale, lime juice and chopped mint. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.
  2. Use a fork to stir the mixture ever 45 minutes, making sure to scrape the edges and break up the ice as the mixture freezes, until your granita is completely frozen and has the texture of a snow cone, about 3-4 hours.
  3. Scoop the granita into small bowls or cocktail glasses and garnish each with a few grapes and sprig of mint (if using). Serve immediately.
http://www.domesticate-me.com/gingered-grape-cocktail-granitas/

I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Summer Fest this week. For more recipes featuring grapes, check out the awesome blogs below.

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Kale, Grape and Ginger Lemon Juice
The Heritage Cook: Chicken Breasts with Fresh Grape-Wine Reduction Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Grapes with Balsamic Drizzle
Red or Green: Grape and Tomato Salsa
Virtually Homemade: Grape Sorbet
Weelicious: Frozen Grapes
The Sensitive Epicure: Green grapes, Drunken Goat Cheese and Jalapenos on a Toothpick
Made by Michelle: Quinoa with Grapes, Figs and Caramelized Onions
Taste With The Eyes: Chevre Chaud with Grape Arugula Salad, Limoncello Dressing
Devour: Grape-Filled Desserts
FN Dish: 10 Grape-Forward Recipes