Behind Bars

Cocktail in Profile: Rosé Slushy at Revolution Wine Bar

Rosé spikes a childhood favorite into a grownup refresher.

By Stefan Milne September 2, 2016

Rose slush cairb0

They had to buy a second freezer.

Revolution Wine wife-and-husband owners Carmen and Mark Brown have been running their rosé slushy since June, but by mid-August demand had escalated so much that one freezer, and its 150 or so orders of frozen rosé, couldn’t sustain the Browns through a Thursday rush.

“Now we have ten cases of frozen rosé in the back, ready to go. The slushy sells a lot. It’s maybe 40 to 50 percent of all sales,” Mark said.

But it's been a summer-long build to this frozen fever pitch, to a relaxed wine bar filled with a blender’s dislocating whir. In June the Browns started experimenting with the drink. First: frozen rosé wine. They tried $5 bottles and $50 bottles and found it all tasted the same once coolly cubed. “It’s terrible. Tart and watery, no matter what. Very different from what goes in,” Mark said.

Then came fruit experiments: lychee, pineapple, cantaloupe, strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, pomegranate, dragonfruit. “The idea that you could find fruits that are inherent in the rosé and just pump those flavors up a bit—that was great,” Mark said. 

“It was a rough weekend, playing around, but we got it right finally,” Carmen added.

The Browns landed on a basic recipe: rosé ice, simple syrup, rosé, and a “secret ingredient.”

When the drink debuted in June, response was positive but subdued. Then in July a few customers, like a theater company owner from across the street, snapped photos and Instagramed it out. Response snowballed, almost literally. Now shots of the slushy and its growing brood of siblings—a super rosé slushy with Lillet, a pinot grigo slushy, and a Carmen Colada with coconut and sauvignon blanc—dominate Revolution’s social media, where striped and rose-festooned straws jut from blushing slush.

They plan to add a wintry red wine cocktail once the weather cools, but the slushy will stay too. “It makes wine less stuffy, it’s just fun,” Carmen said. “I’ve had one every day. I’m surprised I’m not pink.”

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