In my younger and less formidable years, I thought Rosé was made by taking a bit of white wine, a bit of red wine together, and mixing them into one glass.
I might not have been the best student, but I knew my away around the color wheel. As my seasoned liver will tell you, I am definitely older and (slightly) wiser, and now know that that’s NOT how Rosé is made. Made from red grapes, Rosé can come from anywhere in the world, and can be various shades, flavors, and consistencies. Its salient pink hue comes from integrating a touch of the color from the grape skin with the juice of the grape. While Rosé became popular in modern times after World War II, it is suspected to be more similar to the ancient Mediterranean wines than our current red wine, due to the ancient winemaking methods and taste preferences.
Under the summer sun, the word Rosé brims on drinkers’ lips as much as the wine itself. It is a summer trend that never ceases, and is as anticipated as a seasonal delight as winter’s hot toddy. While excellent alone, it also makes for a great cocktail. In this lovely season, there are so many fruits and florals to mix into libations. Temperature is also key: Rosé is a drink best served cold. Guy Goldstein, owner of Bustan, shares his Rosé sangria recipe, as well as his thoughts on mixing Rosé in summer cocktails, “it’s the perfect blend of spice, wine and summer fruits — a luxury of aromatics.” In comparing red wine and Rosé wine, Jonah Dill D’Ascoli, beverage director of Casa Nonna imparts his knowledge,
“Rosé s are a great summer cocktail mixers because they have a light sangria feel without all the heavy fruits and tannins of red wine. It has great acidity with beautiful fruit notes which it can offer to the drink.”
Here are five ways to mix Rosé into your cocktails. (None of them include even a dash of white wine.)
1. Sparkling Rosé Brandied Sangria
The name “Bustan” means “garden” or “orchard” in Hebrew and Arabic, and it is only fitting that this restaurant has come up with a not only fruity but incredibly floral sangria. Coming from the Veneto region in Italy, Lamberti Rosé is a sparkling Rosé with a very strong rose aroma, which together with the rosewater makes for a very unique and refreshing sangria.
- 1 large bottle Sparkling Rosé, Very Very Cold
- 1 tray of Sparkling Rosé Ice Cubes (Prepared in Advance)
- 1/3 cup Brandy (Refrigerated)
- 1 Blood Orange, Cut into Wheels, then Frozen (Prepared in Advance)
- 1/2 cup Blood Orange Juice
- 1/2 each Lime and Lemon, Cut into Wheels, then Frozen (Prepared in Advance)
- 1/2 tsp. each Lime and Lemon Juice
- 1 each Large Apple and Large Firm Pear, Thinly Sliced
- 1/2 cup Apple Juice
- 1 cup Red or Green Seedless Grapes
- 2 tsp. Muddled Mint
- 3 drops Bitters
- Splash of Gin
- 1/2 tsp. Rosewater
Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a container, serve as a punch, in a pitcher or in individual glassware, depending on the occasion.
2. Rosé Mojito
Bedell Cellars, a Long Island vineyard, makes a delicious dry Rosé wine with a strong, dark flavor. The Rosé Mojito, created at the delicious farm-to-table NYC restaurant The Marshal, brings out the herbal qualities salient to Rosé in this mint flavored cocktail.
- 4 oz. Bedell Rosé
- 2 1/2 tsp. Turbinado Sugar
- 1/2 Lime, Cut into 1″ Pieces
- 6 Mint Leaves
- Sprig of Mint for Garnish (Optional)
Preparation: In the bottom of a tall glass muddle cut lime, sugar, and mint together. When thoroughly combined top glass off with ice and fill with Bedell Rosé. Cover glass with a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Garnish and serve.
3. The Boutineer
Beverage Director of Casa Nonna, Jonah Dill D’Ascoli perfectly mixes gin, Dubonnet, and Rosé to make this strong drink. Château d’Esclans Rock Angel Rosé originates from the region most known for Rosé, Provence, and is very popular among Rosé enthusiasts. Its spicy notes mixes well with the gin and mint of The Boutineer.
- 1 1/2 oz. Greenhook Dry Gin
- 1 oz. Dubonnet
- 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
- 1/2 oz. Orange Juice
- dash of Luxardo Maraschino
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- 10 Mint Leaves
- 4 Raspberries
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Top with 2 oz. Rosé. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a raspberry skewered with a mint sprig and an orange twist.
4. Summer Sweet and Savory
Courtesy of Chandon
Chandon Vineyards bring together the best of French and American winemaking. Founded in California by undeniably French Moët & Chandon in 1973, Domaine Chandon are experts in Rosé wine. Their Rosé wine has a vibrant pink color, with strong fragrances of strawberry, watermelon, and cherry. This delicious cocktail lends itself to Rosé dessert quality, mixing fruit flavors as well as Rhubarb.
- 3 oz. Strawberry Lemonade
- 3 dashes Strawberry Rhubarb Bitters
- 2-3 oz. Chandon Rosé
- Sprig of Fresh Summer Savory
- 2 large Strawberries, Quartered
Preparation: Pour the strawberry lemonade into shaker. Add the bitters and ice. Shake. Strain into a coupe or other decorative glass. Add the summer savory and strawberries. Top with Rosé and serve.
5. Rose Colored Glass
Courtesy of Mixologist Katie Stipe of Last Call Consulting
Katie Stipe of Last Call Consulting presents “a twist on the classic aperitif Champagne cocktail with added brightness of citrus; deep rose & spiced simplicity.” Using Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé from the Alsace region of France, this Rosé is made in the champagne method and has a light, subtle fruit taste.
- 1/4 oz. Angostura Bitters
- 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
- 1 oz. Simple Syrup
- Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
- Lemon Twist or Rose Petals for Garnish
Preparation: Shake bitters, lemon juice and simple syrup and strain over ice into a flute or coupe glass. Top off with 3 oz. Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé. Garnish with lemon twist or rose petal.
6. Beyond the Cloud
Amali Mediterranean restaurant in NYC’s Upper East Side is having an entire summer celebration of Rosé, featuring Rosé wine flights from around the world, Rosé happy hour, and Rosé cocktails. As mentioned earlier in this article, Rosé was most likely the drink of the ancient Greeks, so it’s only fitting that a Greek Rosé should make the list. Made with the Xinomavro grape in Northwestern Greece, Kir-Yianni Akakies Sparkling Rosé is a darker wine with hues of cherry and ripe strawberry.
- 1 oz. LIV Vodka
- 1/2 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
- 2 oz. Kir-Yianni Akakies Sparkling Rosé
Preparation: Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Top with a float of Kir-Yianni Akakies Sparkling Rosé. Serve with a lime twist.
7. The Ringwald
Recipe courtesy of Dane Tuzzio, BLT Steak New York. Made with Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé.
It’s double the bubbly, double the pink, and double the fruit with this Prosecco and Rosé treat, with a strawberry on top. The sweet tartiness of the Prosecco blends beautifully with Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé.
- 2 oz. Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé
- 3 oz. Prosecco
- 1 oz. Triple Sec
- 5 Strawberries
Preparation: Muddle strawberries and combine remaining ingredients. Strain into a champagne flute and garnish with one strawberry.