This summer, everyone is talking about frosé, the frozen wine concoction. Many a Seattle bar is serving it, and other slushy drinks.
Let’s just anoint frosé as the drink of the summer right here and now. I can pretty much guarantee it because bars across Seattle are spending $1,000 to buy a slushy machine or a couple of $300 industrial blenders to make frozen rosé. It’s not often a bar would invest that much money in one piece of equipment for one seasonal drink.
But that wine slushy is the hottest drink now. Bar hop around most neighborhoods and chances are good there will be at least one watering hole cranking out these pink drinks. Mixologists are also doing different riffs on frosés. Below are some of the best variations I’ve tasted — and suffered some brain freezes doing so. Also mentioned are a couple of alternatives if you’re already over it.
One of the better frosés in Seattle, it’s not too syrupy like many others. You can still taste the tart and dry notes of the wine, with a hint of strawberry. Even better, this Madrona wine bar comes with a patio under a canopy of bushes and flowers and is not too crowded, perfect for a lazy summer afternoon.
1416 34th Ave., Seattle; 206-708-7164, bottlehouseseattle.com
Dino’s Tomato Pie
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Frosé drinkers fall into two categories: wine people who like theirs dry, and bar hoppers who like theirs as sweet as a 7-Eleven Slurpee. Dino’s take is closer to the latter; it’s sweet, though not in a corn-syrupy or cloying way. It’s also juicy with some floral notes from elderflower liqueur.
1524 E. Olive Way, Seattle; 206-403-1742, dinostomatopie.com
To launch its patio opening, this Linda Derschang bar does a frosé hybrid, marrying it with the popular Mexican tequila cocktail Paloma. The grapefruit liqueur makes this slushy sing. Tart and floral, it’s one of the better takes on the frosé.
550 19th Ave. E., Seattle; 206-860-0077, aneighborhoodcafe.com
Strawberry is usually the secret ingredient in a frosé to give the drink some brightness and fruitiness, which may be why I always hearken back to this strawberry slushy when I drink a frosé. This Capitol Hill tequila bar gives the strawberry margarita a sophisticated tweak by adding some herbaceous notes with a float of Chartreuse and some basil to cut into the sweetness and give it a nice zing.
1420 12th Ave., Seattle; 206- 588-8105, barriorestaurant.com
Slushies are usually light, citrusy drinks. Leave it to Canon to take it in the opposite direction — the main ingredients (cognac, a five-year rum, sherry and coffee) have the making of a boozy, winter sipper by the fireplace. But freeze all that and what do you know? It works just as well as a summer libation on Canon’s newly refurbished patio. Stumptown coffee concentrate is blended with the boozy ingredients, and rounded out with some cacao and Ancho chile liqueur. The cocktail is called “f@%k you Frappaccino.” Frap was intentionally misspelled to avoid a copyright issue with a certain coffee company.
928 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-552-9755, canonseattle.com