Two years ago, when chef Vincenzo Betulia was getting ready to open The French, his third restaurant on Fifth Avenue, he heard of a frozen rosé-based drink that was spreading in popularity like a slow-moving river through the trendiest bars of New York. But he shuddered at the thought. “It just sounded so hokey to me,” he says, with a deep belly laugh. But then, this spring, he got the idea to elevate the recipe and found that frosé’s inherent whimsy dovetailed with The French’s convivial brasserie atmosphere.
Now, his 5-gallon machine (tucked under the bar behind a stainless steel-fronted cooler) can barely keep up with demand. “We’re filling it three times a day. When a group comes in, there’s a domino effect,” Betulia says. “Just last week, a table had 32 frosés—one person orders it, then another, and then they have seconds and thirds.” His version’s flavor profile is slightly sweet with delicate floral notes from the Provence rosé and rose-tinged simple syrup—the perfect aperitif for your next fete.
Makes 8 to 10 glasses
The French’s Frosé:
2 bottles Notorious Pink Grenache Rosé
2 1/2 ounces Epic Vodka
12 ounces Rose Syrup (see below)
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
Rosé champagne or favorite cordial (optional)
Dried rosebuds, for garnish (optional)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 ounces rose water
6 to 8 dried rosebuds (rose water and rosebuds are available on Amazon. A little goes a long way with these two—don’t overuse)
1. In a shallow, plastic container, mix rosé and vodka. Place in freezer for 8 hours (or even better, overnight).
2. Meanwhile, make the Rose Syrup. Bring water and sugar to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add rose water and rosebuds. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Store in refrigerator.
3. Remove wine-vodka mixture from freezer (it won’t be completely frozen), and scrape to create ice chips. Place in a blender with 12 ounces of Rose Syrup and citrus juices and blend well. Pour frosé back into the shallow plastic container and refreeze for 2 to 3 hours.
4. Right before your guests arrive, remove from freezer and reblend (a regular blender will do just fine). Pour into coupe glasses and, for an extra kick, top each with a pour of rosé champagne or cordial (such as crème de cassis) and a single rosebud.