And just when I thought the rosé bubble was about to burst, along came...frosé.
The French upstart was showing many of the signs that it was about to jump the shark. Albertson’s and other garden-variety supermarkets were featuring huge rosé displays near checkout counters.
The price of Miraval, suavely marketed in happier times by its owners, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, was creeping ever skyward. Neighborhood restaurants were offering more than one rosé by the glass, often charging the same prices for this throwaway wine as they would for good-quality chardonnay.
But then some wiseguy/girl mixologist tried freezing it, mixing it with a tasty liqueur, and viola! A new summertime concoction was born. Frosé first appeared last summer. This summer, it’s everywhere.
At Daniel Boulud’s Bistro Moderne in Manhattan last month, we tried an elegant variation of the drink, and we noticed it at many Manhattan bars. Orange County, California mixologist Gabrielle Dion has come up with a version for the bar menu at Broadway, a popular Laguna restaurant that features the cuisine of Top Chef finalist Amar Santana. Dion combines two ounces of Blackbird Rosé with Cappelletti Aperitivo, strawberry-rhubarb jam, lemon and grapefruit oils. Many recipes I found online recommend puréed strawberries and a little sugar to sweeten everything.
Another frequent point of advice is to use a stronger, darker rosé. “This is NOT a moment for that nearly clear, Whispering Angel kind of rosé. Look for Pinot Noir or Merlot rosés,” Bon Appetit advises. A couple of recipes even call for a little vodka to strengthen the concoction.
We recently tried Bon Appetit’s frosé recipe and found it hassle-free and tasty:
- 1 750 ml bottle hearty, bold rosé (such as a Pinot Noir or Merlot rosé)
- ½ cup sugar
- 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered
- 2½ ounces fresh lemon juice
- Pour rosé into a 13" x 19" pan and freeze until almost solid (it won't completely solidify due to the alcohol), at least 6 hours
- Meanwhile, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add strawberries, remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes to infuse syrup with strawberry flavor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl (do not press on solids); cover and chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Scrape rosé into a blender. Add lemon juice, 3½ ounces strawberry syrup, and 1 cup crushed ice and purée until smooth. Transfer blender jar to freezer and freeze until frosé is thickened (aim for milkshake consistency), 25–35 minutes. Blend again until frosé is slushy. Divide among glasses.
Bon Appetit says that frosé can be kept fresh for a week. It would never last that long in my icebox...