How Frosé Became the Drink of the Summer—and How to Make It at Home
Everything you've ever wanted to know about the perfect adult slushie.
Though frozen blended cocktails have been a warm weather hit in the U.S. ever since the 1950s, when blenders became a household appliance, the once kitschy drink form has come a long way since super-sweet frozen daiquiris and blended margaritas first arrived on the scene.
Now, a new frozen beverage has become the top dog of summer, and chances are it’s been flooding your Instagram feed one icy pink, berry-topped glass at a time. Frosé —a.k.a. frozen rosé —is undoubtedly the current official drink of the summer, adding a sweet, chilly twist to the blush-toned wine. But where did this trendy and Pinterest-friendly blended cocktail come from, and how has it taken over bars and backyard BBQs everywhere?
The origin of frosé can be traced back to Bar Primi in New York, which developed its frosé recipe through some trial and error in the summer of 2016. Curious about what would happen if they poured rosé —their customers’ summer wine of choice—into a slushie machine they had purchased to prepare more traditional frozen cocktails, they began to play around with the pink drink, experimenting with the addition of different ingredients.
After tweaking the recipe here and there, the wine enthusiasts at Bar Primi landed on a combination that included Vermouth and strawberries, creating what would become the trendiest summer beverage since….well, rosé itself.
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Since that fateful summer, frosé has taken over bars and restaurants across America, one slushie machine at a time. Though many of these establishments prepare their frosé in a larger format machine, guaranteeing large quantities of the refreshing drink will be ready at a moment’s notice, it’s totally possible to make this viral—and delicious—beverage at home.
The key executing the perfect frosé with your countertop blender is freezing the rosé ahead of time, rather than just combining the chilled wine with ice. To freeze your wine properly, dump the contents of one bottle into a lidded plastic container and leave it in the freezer for at least a few hours, until it reaches the consistency of a slushie or granita.
By freezing the wine first, rather than adding excess ice the mix, you avoid the risk of watering down your frozen cocktail, making for maximum boozy fun and flavor. Though some added ice might be required for your final mixture, your pre-frozen rosé will be able to do most of the heavy lifting.
To replicate Bar Primi’s original recipe, once the wine is frozen, combine in a blender with some pureed strawberries and a few ounces of Vermouth. (If taking this route, you can simply combine the berries and Vermouth in the blender first and puree; and then, add the frozen wine and finish blending the cocktail.) Or, if you’d rather skip the Vermouth and make yours a rosé-only affair, check out this frosé recipe which incorporates a little bit of honey for a subtle sweetness.
If you’ve had your fix of the traditional frosé and want to try a unique twist on the original, give these Mango Frosé and Elderflower Strawberry Frosé recipes a shot. But be warned: Serve these to guests, and your place will be your friends’ new go-to summer hangout all season long.