Bottoms up: toasting to a new semester with frosé

September 14, 2016 by Evan Wahl, Executive Editor

Frosé is best enjoyed in the early evening of a beautiful summer day and in the presence of an enticing view, like that of Hoxsey Street. Photo courtesy of Evan Wahl.

Frosé is best enjoyed in the early evening of a beautiful summer day and in the presence of an enticing view, like that of Hoxsey Street. Photo courtesy of Evan Wahl.

Returning to campus after a long summer void of Keystone Light, I readied myself to resume consumption of the glorious beer we at the College hold near and dear. Yet, after a few nights consuming one or two cans of the light lager, I longed for an alternative. I wanted something that took me far away from late nights on Hoxsey Street and at the Red Herring. Per the suggestion of our features editors, I turned my attention to frosé.

The history of frosé – frozen rosé – is brief yet storied. In June, Bon Appétit published a recipe for a strawberry-infused version of the refreshing beverage and the internet exploded. The frosty libation swept the nation and captured the hearts and minds of many. Before long, watermelon, peach and mango versions popped up all over Instagram timelines and Buzzfeed articles. Somehow, I missed out on all of the hullaballoo, but, upon my return to the College, I was eager to jump on the frosé bandwagon before summer passed us by. Thus began my quest to put the summer’s trendiest drink to the test.

Now, frosé is not as simple to make as one might hope. There is a significant time commitment involved and materials and ingredients that go beyond a bottle of inexpensive rosé. But that didn’t deter me, and it certainly should not deter you, especially with scores of coveted Instagram likes on the line.

First, I picked a bottle of rosé that was full-bodied so it would retain the most flavor and color after freezing and blending (shout-out to Bon Appétit for the tip.) After uncorking the bottle (no boxed wine here, please), I poured it into a pot to freeze for six hours.

While you’re supposed to use a pan, I did not have one large enough at my disposal, so I used a pot instead. It worked. Nothing would stop me on my quest for frosé.

Six hours is a long time to wait, but if you wait, as I did, to obtain the remaining ingredients and materials until the last minute, then it provides a perfect opportunity to get ready to consume your masterpiece. While waiting for my rosé to freeze, I drove to Stop & Shop and picked up  strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. All of the ingredients, including the rosé, came in at just over $16, so this is not a drink that will break the bank. After making a few calls, I also found a blender to use, the key apparatus in the frosé-making process.

I continued with the recipe by putting equal parts sugar and water on the stove to make simple syrup. After all the sugar had dissolved, I added sliced strawberries to infuse and let that simmer. While I had all of my ingredients and materials, my rosé still had several hours to go in the freezer. The sun had begun to set, and I knew that this was definitely a beverage meant to be consumed in the summer sun. I couldn’t wait.

I removed my pot from the freezer and anxiously opened the lid to check its consistency. Half-frozen rosé would have to do. While the recipe calls for adding all ingredients – rosé, strawberry syrup, lemon juice and ice – to the blender, spatial limitation forced me to adjust. I left the rosé in the pot, blended the remaining components, combined them back in the pot and stirred. The soupy concoction had a lovely pink hue and a sweet smell.The recipe called for an additional 30 minutes in the freezer and another whirl in the blender, but I decided to omit those steps.

Ladled into a wine glass, the drink was more frothy that frosty. It smelled like overripe strawberries: saccharine, fruity and not overly appetizing. I brought it to my lips and was immediately hit with a loose piece of ice surrounded by a mostly liquid consistency. But the taste was everything I hoped it’d be. While enjoying my first glass, I put the mixture back in the freezer to try to achieve full slushy-like consistency.

My patience was rewarded and the resulting drink was even more refreshing and delicious than before. It tasted like a summer afternoon. Imagine Franzia Sunset Blush without the nauseating aftertaste of the cheap alcohol – or a strawberry lemonade Slurpee. While the flavor of the rosé definitely stood out against the other ingredients, the taste of alcohol was muted by the ice and syrup.

Immediately, I was struck by the fact that frosé is the ideal porch-drinking beverage. It’s a great conversation starter and several people walking by stopped to admire the beautiful drink in my hand and ask about my beverage. I found it best enjoyed in quantities of one to two glasses at a relaxed pace, with your feet elevated. Bottoms up.

For full frosé recipe, visit http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/frose-frozen-rose-wine

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