Rick Martinez is quick to admit he didn’t invent the frosé — frozen rosé wine, usually mixed with berries — but he certainly made it popular. The senior food editor at Bon Appétit magazine nearly broke the internet when he posted his at-home recipe for the refreshing drink in early June. “It exploded and it was at the top of our charts for several weeks,” Martinez says. Why the hysteria? “It’s refreshing. It is light. It screams summer and it’s not trying to be anything other than the rosé itself.” If you don’t have time to make the recipe yourself, we found three local bars that have jumped on the bandwagon since the article appeared.
3720 14th St. NW
Call it good timing: A few days after Lyman’s Tavern installed its frozen-margarita machine, the Bon Appétit recipe came out. A friend forwarded it to co-owner Kevin Perone, urging him to serve it. “I was like, ‘All right,’ and I stopped to grab strawberries and rosé,” Perone says. To make the drink, Lyman’s muddles raspberries and strawberries with sugar and adds simple syrup. The mixture goes into the machine along with 2½ bottles of rosé. Perone uses the machine to make other frozen concoctions, though the frosé is by far the most popular.
Macon Bistro & Larder
5520 Connecticut Ave. NW
Using a Vitamix blender, general manager and beverage director Andra Johnson makes a frozen slushy with fresh strawberries, raspberries, honey, lemon, mint, orange liqueur and rosé. “I use a 70 percent cabernet from Spain because it’s really intense,” Johnson says. “I didn’t want to use a Provence-style rosé because it would come out white or clear.” Though Johnson says many guests have heard of frosé, few have seen it served in a restaurant setting. “It appeals to people. We see groups of four to six people who can enjoy a pitcher of it together outside,” she says.
901 U St. NW
Frosé is a particularly appealing day drink because the alcohol content is lower than it is in most blended drinks. At Brixton, bartenders use a frozen-margarita machine to blend rosé, Aperol (a bitter Italian aperitif) and lemon. “It’s pretty easy drinking,” co-owner Ian Hilton says. “It’s a good drink to sip on when there’s warm weather and the sun is out.” It is indeed: When Brixton debuted its frosé a few weeks ago, it sold 130 servings in one afternoon. Hilton is considering getting more machines and serving the concoction at El Rey, his taco restaurant around the corner.