When the temperature soars above 95 like it has almost every day this summer in Atlanta, it’s nice to sit back with friends and have a frosty adult beverage now and then. Since I talk about spirits here on Savor the Salt, I want to share a cool product I found in Northern Michigan. It’s called Six Lugs Wine Sloshee, a liquid concoction made with lush Michigan cherries at their peak of flavor.
The process for creating the frozen drink is simple. Complete with its own freezer storage bag, the drink mix can be used in multiple ways. For the wine-based option, simply add one bottle of Six Lugs Wine Sloshee to the freezer bag, refill empty bottle with cold water and add to bag, then add one bottle of Merlot wine. Stir gently to mix. Seal bag tightly and freeze for several hours until slushy. Allow mixture to defrost slightly, then ladle into glasses for a perfectly refreshing drink. Pictures to come in a later post – the first batch disappeared!
For a non-alcoholic sloshee, a bottle of alcohol-removed Merlot wine (available in most grocery stores) and one can of lemon-lime soda can be used to create a delightfully refreshing drink.
After speaking with the product’s creator Daniel Umulis, I learned that Six Lugs Wine Sloshee took one year of development and countless bottles of test wine to develop this unique recipe. With consult from a Purdue University professor, the proprietary formula was perfected to ensure maximum flavor and longevity. Daniel told me, “We recommend consumption within two weeks, but our testing shows continued flavor and enjoyment as long as 100 days after mixing.” To that I say — two weeks? Seriously? The test batch I made for friends was nearly gone within two hours!
So what makes Six Lugs Wine Sloshee different from other wine mixes on the market? “It’s completely natural and it’s much lower in sugar than other mixes,” Daniel says. (Point of fact: other dry mixes can contain 95% sugar! Not for me!) “And because our sloshee comes in liquid form, the flavors blend perfectly every time.”
Now you might be wondering, what exactly is a lug? As company founder Sheryl Umulis explains about her cherry-picking childhood, “We worked because we needed the money to buy shoes and school clothes. The kindly farmers paid us $1.00 per lug (about 4 cents a pound) – and that was a lot of money for a young girl in the ‘60’s.
“We began our day bright and early by strapping on our buckets, walking into the lush orchards, and filling the buckets with sour cherries. Then we emptied each bucket into a “lug”, put our name on the lug, placed it in the shade, and went back for more. The farmers came by later to pick up the lugs and take them to the cherry plant.
Some days I picked three lugs; others, four; and on a really good day, I managed to harvest six lugs! Hence, our company’s name ‘Six Lugs.'”
Check out the store’s website to order their award-winning cherry vinaigrette and other salad dressings, barbecue sauces, sloshees and more – all made with authentic Michigan fruit. Available in stores throughout Michigan.