Food and Drink

Meet The New Frozen Wine Cocktails That Aren't Frosé

Try a friesling, froscato, freaujolais, and even a frozen French 75.

Design by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist
Design by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist
Design by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist

When frozen rosé, or frosé, hit the U.S. bar scene several years ago, it was like a pink tide that was seemingly never swept away. Ushered in by a collective love for the blush-tinted wine from which it’s made, frosé became the unofficial beverage of the summer, with bartenders across the country throwing fruit into the mix, adding more booze, serving them in adult Capri Sun packs, and blending them up with peach liqueur. 

For years, frosé has thrived in the frozen beverage scene without any apparent competition, but it may have finally met its match as bars and restaurants around the country step up their game-incorporating riesling, champagne, moscato, beaujolais, and more into a quickly forming new guard of refreshing, frozen wine beverages. 

Perhaps the most crushable of the new frozen wine cocktail iterations is Thief‘s friesling, which is served in a ridged highball-esque glass with a skewer of frozen grapes that effectively mimic the look of a classic martini. While still looking thoroughly refreshing, the presentation is arguably more refined than that of your standard frosé.

“I just felt like I was seeing [frosé] everywhere,” says John McNulty, who owns the Brooklyn, New York bar. “I’m not a frosé hater, but I just feel like it kind of got overdone and no one tried to do anything else. So, we had an idea-I thought riesling would be a really good kind of reprieve.”

McNulty of Thief says that he was drawn towards using riesling for his new signature cocktail thanks to its unique aromatics, fruit forwardness, and a crisp, refreshing balance that it brings to the mix. 

But there’s some pretty stiff competition for the frozen wine crown, like at the recently unveiled Soda Club natural wine bar in Manhattan’s East Village. There, two of the three frozen wine cocktails call upon alternative wines, like an orange creamsicle drink that utilizes orange wine syrup, peach, and coconut cream, or the sangria slushie with salted mango and banana.

Wet City
Wet City
Wet City

Another wine-based cocktail comes from beer and cocktail bar Wet City in Baltimore, where the slushie machine is so well-known, it has its own Instagram. When the team isn’t brewing its own beer or curating one of the best sour lists around, they are experimenting with frozen drinks, like the most recent Strawberry French 75 Slushie with Broker’s gin, sparkling wine, strawberry purée, fresh-squeezed lemon, simple syrup, and a strawberry garnish.

In Los Angeles, Pali Wine Company is combining their own wines with freshly squeezed juice for a slightly sweet and wholly refreshing summer beverage, and the good people at KC Vines in Kansas City are bringing nostalgia into the mix with what it’s calling Vine Coolers. The adult equivalent of classic ice pops, two of their flavors incorporate vino: a fruity Frozen Sangria and the citrusy Winearita. 

Speaking of childhood nostalgia-you can even wear your Mickey ears while enjoying a frozen wine cocktail now, thanks to Wine Bar George at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Try icy concoctions like the Freaujolais, made from French red wine, mixed with vodka and raspberries. Any real Disney aficionado will also freak at the chance to indulge in their signature Dole Whip in the form of frozcato and a Frozcato Mimosa, which is made with the utterly addicting pineapple whip and not one but two wines: moscato and prosecco. 

If you can’t get your hands on one of these refreshing slushies, try this at-home friesling recipe to blend up in your very own kitchen. 

Photo by Ashley Sears
Photo by Ashley Sears
Photo by Ashley Sears

Thief’s Friesling Cocktail Recipe

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of riesling
  • 6 ounces of Kelvin’s Frosé Blanc Base
  • 2.5 ounces of Rockey’s Botanicals 
  • 6 ounces of white grape juice
  • 4.5 ounces of vodka
  • 0.5 ounces lemon juice
  • 0.5 ounces lime juice
  • 0.5 ounces orange juice
  • 6 ounces water

Directions:
1. Freeze both water and grape juice into ice cubes.
2. Combine the ice cubes with all the rest of the ingredients in a blender until a slushy consistency occurs.
3. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with frozen green grapes on a skewer.

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Austa Somvichian-Clausen is a freelance food and travel writer, who lives in Brooklyn with her girlfriend and two fur babies. Follow her on Instagram.

Food and Drink

How Talking Terps Has Influenced Cannabis Hype Culture

The origins and optimism behind the cannabis brand that sells out drops within minutes. Canabis...

Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain

Many cannabis brands describe themselves as “lifestyle brands” and “cultural disruptors.” Few of them actually impact lifestyles or broader cultural trends. Only one of them has figurines up on Stock X right now.

“For OG Terp Crawford to be featured amongst Nike, Jordans, Supreme, BAPE, and PS5s is really sick,” says Hope Lord, co-founder of cannabis lifestyle brand Talking Terps. “Stock X is not taking everyone who makes a toy and putting it up there.”Between their psychedelic graphics, cannabis-adjacent accessories, and famous OG Terp Crawford figurine, Talking Terps has established a cult following amongst cannabis enthusiasts, hypebeasts, and beyond. On paper, it’s a lifestyle brand interested in both cannabis and psychedelics. In action, Talking Terps is an alternative universe that bridges the gaps between toy culture, cannabis culture, psychedelic culture, and American pop culture.

The brand was established as a concept in 2015 by Leor Feit aka Hope Lord, Flatbush Zombies member Antonio Lewis aka Zombie Juice, and Flatbush Zombies spiritual adviser Phil Annand aka PTA Haiti 3000. One year later, the phrase “talking terps” popped in a Flatbush Zombies song, referring to terpenes, a compound found in cannabis.

“We had a show at Red Rocks in Colorado,” Lord recalls. “I had a friend that was part of Blue River Terpenes who brought us the first sample of cannabis-derived terpenes. Then Juice and Erick made a song with it in the chorus.”

Talking Terps
Talking Terps
Talking Terps

Once Talking Terps emerged as a phrase, the graphics, accessories, apparel, events, and, of course, toys were soon to follow. By 2017, the phrase was spotted on one of Snoop Dogg’s t-shirts. In 2019, the concept of Terp Crawford was born, launching the brand towards the collectible toy game.

While the first Terp Crawford was technically a plush pillow, the first toy-named OG Terp Crawford-came in March 2020. The 6-inch tall vinyl sculpture of a humanized weed nug with a joint in his hand and a smile on his face is meant to embody everything Hope, Juice and PTA stand for.

“Our message is to love each other and be happy,” Lord says. “Tread lightly and disrupt nothing.”OG Terp Crawford drops sell out in actual seconds and resell on sites like Stock X for over double their retail price. More than a simple toy, he’s a figure that Talking Terps hopes will evolve into a full-on cartoon character.

“As time goes, the idea for Terp Crawford is for him to be a Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny type figure from our world that can cross over,” Lord says. “There should be no reason one day that Terp Crawford’s not throwing a football in some skit on Monday Night Football.”

That’s not just a high aspiration-the team is currently working with 3 Hearts Entertainment to develop a TV show around him. The goal is for Terp Crawford to go global and for Talking Terps to go meta. With their vast graphic library and club of TT enthusiasts, virtual collectibles like NFTs only make sense (though the team can’t let the terp out of the hat just yet).

“I can see Terp Crawford in Japan, speaking in Japanese on TV,” Lord muses. “Once we take him somewhere else, we could do big sculptures, like at KAWS level, maybe. I think we’ll get a TV show. I can’t speak too much on what we’re working on for the metaverse, but it’s got a lot of components. I can say that we’re building a whole new platform called the meta-forest.”

It’s safe to say there will be a sold-out waitlist to get into that forest.
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Danté Jordan is a freelance writer, video producer, and media consultant specializing in cannabis culture and education. Follow him on Instagram.

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