Rosé wine has long been a staple of the “girlie night out”. But a new incarnation may be about to overtake it: frosé.
A sort of slushie for grown-ups, it involves blending a whole bottle of rosé with the juice of two lemons and two teaspoons of sugar and freezing for six hours. It won’t fully freeze – the alcohol prevents that – but will form an icy consistency that you can slop into a giant glass. Garnish it with mint, pomegranate or a slice of lemon to make yours fully Instagram- friendly. The #frosé hashtag has almost 2,000 posts on the social media site already.
So who’s responsible for the epidemic? New York’s Bar Primi claims it was the first to serve the drink, serving its frosé with vermouth and pureed strawberries to make it even sweeter. It’s now the bar’s top-selling drink.
And it’s taking off in the UK too. London’s trendy Beaufort House bar, on the King’s Road, put frosé on its menu three weeks ago. “We’ve been inundated,” says employee Hannah Cary. “We were the only place in London at that point selling it… We get so many people coming in asking for it every day.” It’s now one of Beaufort House’s biggest- selling cocktails, on the menu for £9. “Particularly because it’s the middle of summer, and because of the buzz about it on social media, it’s certainly the drink people are talking about,” says Ms Cary.
Rosé began with the ancient Greeks. According to mythology, the pink colour was a result of a king mixing red wine with water at meetings of his councillors to dilute its strength in order to minimise arguments. But the reason for rosé’s lighter colour is a bit more scientific than that: red grapes are left to macerate with their skins on for a shorter period than they are to make red wine.
Rosé has slowly become the summer drink for many. In France, where it was once sneered at by wine experts, sales have tripled in the past decade and it now makes up a third of the country’s wine production. In this country Sainsbury’s sold 15 million bottles of rosé last year alone, accounting for one in 10 of all wines sold at the supermarket.
It has become a celebrity venture too, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and Drew Barrymore producing their own brands. Instagram sensation The Fat Jewish, real name Josh Ostrovsky, began production of his White Girl Rosé last year after hearing about a shortage of the pink wine in the Hamptons, the upmarket getaway of rich New Yorkers. “People were running through the streets, screaming. There was not enough rosé,” he said, describing why he went into production. “Never again.”