Sophisticated Slushie (Sgroppino di Uva) | Wine Enthusiast
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Sophisticated Slushie (Sgroppino di Uva)

Courtesy Andrew Olsen, bar manager, Bluestem, Kansas City, Missouri

At Bluestem, a James Beard Award-winning restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, the cocktail program echoes the straightforward aesthetic of a kitchen that’s heralded for its New American fare.

“My goal is to not compromise the base flavor of the spirits we select,” says Bar Manager Andrew Olsen. “I want to showcase the flavors and make them really shine.”

Olsen built this cocktail around ­Tequila Ocho Plata, a producer that makes single-­estate, single-vintage Tequilas. (Although if you swap in your favorite blanco Tequila, we won’t tell.)

“Like coffee and wine, Tequila has a lot to do with terroir,” Olsen says.

The drink riffs on two classics, the Paloma, spiked with grapefruit and Tequila, and Italy’s refreshing, slushie-style Sgroppino. Sparkling wine helps aerate the drink, creating a light, almost fluffy texture. The end result: a frozen drink for grown-ups to savor.

*Bluestem makes its housemade grenadine from equal parts pomegranate juice and cane sugar, but you can substitute a quality commercial version like Small Hands Foods Grenadine Syrup—look for pomegranate in the list of ingredients.


1 ounce Tequila Ocho Plata
1 ounce Combier Pamplemousse Rose grapefruit liqueur
1 ounce sparkling wine
½ ounce grenadine
½ ounce lime juice
Orange zest, for garnish


In a blender, combine all ingredients except garnish with 1 cup of ice. Blend for 30 seconds, and pour into a wine glass or brandy snifter. Garnish with orange zest.

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