Flipping for Frosé?


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(photo credit: John Canelis)

The pink-hued wine gets a chilly makeover as a frozen cocktail.

True cocktail buffs snub their noses at anything frozen, right?

Not so fast. Though the extra syrupy sweet frozen daiquiri may have given blender drinks a bad name (and rightfully so!), frozen drinks have come back with a roar across some of the country’s best cocktail bars.

There’s the Brancolada, an amaro-soaked play on the Piña Colada, at Brooklyn’s esteemed Donna. Or the frozen Negroni found in hotspots around the nation, such as New York’s Highline Hotel or San Francisco’s Foreign Cinema. Brooklyn’s Extra Fancy even has a frozen Gin & Tonic.

And the frozen spree has even come for wine, in the Frosé—an iced-up, highly quaffable base blend of rosé and ice. The equation seems so simple—it’s hard to believe that this drink hadn’t caught on before. Credit for the recipe usually gets attributed to New York’s Bar Primi, whose recipe for rosé mixed with vermouth and strawberries inspired a host of copycats.

Part of the reason for frosé’s astonishing popularity is that the drink sits at the swirling center of a number of trends. First, rosé’s reputation has gone from the bottom of the wine barrel to wine menu staple in less than a decade. From the rousing success of the #roseallday campaign to celebrity labels such as Brad Pitt’s Chateau Miraval, the pink-hued wine is near inescapable on drink menus these days.

On the cocktail side, top bartenders are finally experimenting with ways to be a little less serious. Carefully made drinks have their place, of course, but lost in some of the recent fervor for high-quality drinks, was the idea that cocktails could be fun, too—and what could be more fun that frozen frosty drinks (made with good ingredients, of course)?

Add in the factor that the frosé is highly Instagrammable—that frosty pink color shows up nicely in pictures—and you have the recipe for a hit.

In Honolulu, you can try hunting for Frosés at your favorite cocktail establishments—BLT Steak had a version on the menu last summer.

The even better news: the frosé is an infinitely adaptable template and super-easy to make at home.

Try a lighter pale rosé for a more delicate drink or a deep pink-red bottle for something more robust.

For day-drinking and something less boozy, blend the rosé with ice, but for something more pure, freeze the rosé ahead of time and then blend with lemon juice and simple syrup.

Add a few handfuls of chopped strawberries or a hit of orange juice for a sunny midday brunch. For a smart day-to-night aperitif, try Aperol for a gentle appetite-whetting bitter note (or Campari for something even bolder). If you have an adventurous crowd, you might try adding a dash of a good-quality vermouth, such as Punt e Mes or one of the more fruity Uncouth Vermouth labels.

For a super smooth drink, investing in a high-quality blender, such as a Vitamix, would be a good idea. It will pay off—once you get your house formula down, you’ll be making pitchers of frosé … all day.

Serves 6

This version of Frosé gets doctored up with a splash of Aperol, a bittersweet (but mostly sweet) amaro from Italy. Th e added depth of flavor makes this an ideal pre-dinner, sunset-watching sort of drink—but it works equally as well at brunch. You don’t have to add the simple syrup (step 2) if you’re avoiding sugar, but the syrup adds a nice weight to the drink. Coupe glasses make for an elegant serving vessel, but rocks glasses will work in a pinch.

1 bottle of rosé
1 cup Aperol
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups ice

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Garnish: lemon wheel or sliced strawberries (optional)

1. Pour the rosé into a 13” by 9” baking pan and freeze until semi-solid, around 6 to 8 hours.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil, then reduce the heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take offthe heat and let cool.
3. Scrape the rose into a blender, add the Aperol, ice, cooled sugar syrup (from step 2), and lemon juice. Blend until fully mixed, then pour into glasses.

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