It’s Passover season which also means it’s Manischewitz season. The brand, which makes all kinds of Jewish food products from boxes of matzo to jars of gefilte fish, is probably best known for its wine. If you have never had the dis/pleasure of tasting Manischewitz wine, just picture yourself as a child, getting handed a cup of grape juice while the adults drank the real thing. According to the bottle, the beverage contains alcohol, and it’s sold at liquor stores, but it is definitely just grape juice.
On its own, Manischewitz wine is blindingly sweet, almost syrup-like in taste and consistency. There are a variety of flavors, like blackberry and elderberry, but Concord grape is traditional. All Manischewitz wine is kosher, but only some bottles are marked as kosher for Passover. Even if you’re not someone who cares about keeping kosher, the kosher for Passover wine is better because it uses cane sugar instead of corn syrup.
No one likes Manischewitz but it’s a fact of life, like cold medicine. If, after the seder, you’re looking to repurpose the leftover wine, or just want to mix it up, try making it into wine slushies, or as my friend called them, Manislushitz.
I based mine off a recipe from the blog What Jew Wanna Eat, which has the slogan “this ain’t yo Bubbe’s blog.” However, if I knew a Bubbe with a blog, I would read it every day.
The recipe is simple and flexible, requiring only wine, frozen fruit, and fresh herbs. I went with the aforementioned concord Passover wine, frozen raspberries and blackberries, and fresh mint. My biggest tip is to read cooking instructions all the way through first, so you don’t find out at 8 p.m. that the mixture is supposed to go in the freezer for at least an hour. Using a heavier portion of raspberries (or only raspberries) makes the drink tangy and cuts the sweetness. The mint adds a refreshing twist. The result is a sweet, tart, and refreshing drink much easier to drink than the main ingredient.
1 bottle of Manischewitz
2ish cups of frozen berries
1. Blend wine and berries in blender or food processor until smooth (unless you like seeds in your teeth). Add a few sprigs of mint and blend again.
2. Pour into freezable container (the shallower the better) and put in the freezer for at least an hour until it’s slushie-like. Serve in a glass with mint sprigs and fruit chunks, if you’d like.