I’m not really one to be taken in by internet/social media food crazes. Unlike my kids – who seem to think giant super-waffles topped with fried wings and marshmallows (or whatever the latest thing is), is normal. God knows what they’ll eat when they eventually flee the nest. Well, they’ll certainly get a reality check when they realise, they can only afford beans, lentils and bacon scraps on their student coffers.
I did try last year’s Tiktok trend (egged on by the teens) of Dalgona coffee. This involved whisking an ungodly amount of instant coffee, sugar and a touch of water like a mad thing until it emulsified into a frothy caffeine cloud. The idea is to pour milk and ice into a glass, spooning aforementioned fluff on top.
Yuck. It was heinous. I mean, really bad. Unless you smoke 20 a day, have no tastebuds and fancy being up all night, it is not the drink for you. Whatever happened to ‘real’ food and drink? There’s nothing wrong with a good old shepherd’s pie or stew is there? Mind you, they’re notoriously hard to beautify in pictures. Definitely not Insta-friendly. And so, ‘proper’ food has been replaced online by anything kitsch and cute that wouldn’t look out of place in Tokyo’s Harajuku district. Hello unicorn hot chocolate, ube gelato, candyfloss towers.
It’s at this point that I do a complete 180 and confess I have been taken in by an internet-led trend this week. But one that’s a bit more genteel and sophisticated. Something you could easily whip up at home without a trillion pans, a fryer on the go, and an artist’s palette of food colouring.
Behold frose. Apparently it’s set to overtake Pimms (can it though?) and Aperol, even G&T as the drink du jour for 2021. A portmanteau of frozen and rose (stick with me here), think of frose as a grown-up slush puppy.
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It whizzes together rose wine, strawberries, ice, spirit, lemon and sugar, into a perfectly pink slush that, yes, looks gorgeous in pictures but, more importantly, tastes great. And so refreshing too. A friend and I took a flask of it to watch the cricket at our local playing field last weekend with a box of pizza from a new pop-up van. Sitting on the warm grass, the sun slipping behind the medieval houses beyond, the occasional thwack of a ball on willow, glass in hand – it felt pretty darn wonderful.
A note. Use a mid-range rose for this. Nothing too cheap, sharp and plonky (you won’t be able to taste all those ripe berry fruit nuances when the drink is frozen), but not the most expensive on the shelf either. Something around the £6 mark in Aldi should do the trick. Start making this the day before you want to drink it if you want it to be fully slushy. Or four to six hours ahead if, like me, you want a more liquid, pourable result for siphoning out of a bottle on a day out.
(Makes 6 glasses)
1 punnet strawberries, hulled, and quartered
1 bottle fruity rose wine
4 shots vodka, gin or white rum
Juice ½ lemon
3tbsps caster sugar (or elderflower cordial)
150g ice cubes
Open the wine and pour into a freezer bag or a couple of ice cube trays. Pop in the freezer. Place the strawberries in the freezer too.
Allow to set completely (overnight) for a full slush, or for four to six hours for a lightly slushy drink.
Pop the frozen berries, lemon juice and sugar in a blender and blitz. Now add the frozen wine and ice cubes, a few at a time, blitzing well with every addition.
Once it’s all blended add the spirit and give one final blitz. You can either serve straight away, pour into Thermos-style flasks to take on a trip, or put the whole mix in a tub in the freezer, ready to re-process for your next party.