At the Table

FROSÉ SECRETS

By: Local Palate Admin

The Frosé King wants you to know something—it’s that you’re making homemade frosé much harder than it needs to be. With three ingredients, Jess Patterson, who owns South Carolina’s frosé mainstay The Co-Op, says that the perfect frosé (frozen rosé for all you newbies) is just a freeze away. 

First things first, the rosé (obviously). Choose a dry wine (none of that spritzer stuff), but it shouldn’t be a top-shelf bottle. Freezing it breaks down flavor components within the wine. Plus, you’ll add sugar and lemon juice to it, which mask the flavor. Rest easy choosing a budget-friendly bottle. Patterson recommends Dark Horse brand—it’s what they used at The Co-Op when they started experimenting with the drink.

He recommends pouring the rosé-sugar-lemon mixture into an ice tray to freeze it, then use a blender to turn it into a slushy consistency. Alternatively, you could use an ice pick.

No need to add water or ice to the mixture, as it dilutes the flavor. Some restaurants mix chilled vodka into their frosé. You could do that, however, Patterson recommends simply prepping an extra ice tray, in case you want to give the drink an icier consistency.

Finally, make your own simple syrup. Patterson earned Frosé King status with his creative flavors, which range from aperol spritz to blackberry lavender, and vanilla cherry coke to cranberry rosemary. He shares how easy it is to make flavor combinations, saying, “You just need 1/3  fruit, 1/3 sugar, and 1/3 water!”

Who are we to dismiss expert advice? Over the course of developing the Co-Op’s soon-to-be nine locations, Patterson learned a lot about frosé. Up until 2016, he never thought much of the drink . . . until he saw his wife wait 45 minutes for a glass of the frosty, quartz-pink beverage in New York. When the bartender revealed how many frosés he sold each night, Patterson did some quick math and immediately saw untapped business potential within his Sullivan’s Island community. He got the bartender’s recipe, bought a slushy machine, and started selling strawberry frosé by individual servings or the whole bottle. 

What started as a small convenience store and sandwich counter on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, blossomed into a pink and playful bar-meets-sandwich shop during 2020, doubling its team and opening additional locations in South Carolina’s Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, and within Edmund’s Oast Brewery in Charleston. Locations in downtown Charleston, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Charlotte are in the works for mid-2022. 

While you wait for The Co-Op to open doors near you, keep cool with Patterson’s OG frosé recipe, a DIY beverage to elevate poolside hangs, beach trips, and boating all summer long. 

The Co-Op’s Strawberry Frosé

Photograph of the Charleston Co-Op's frosé recipe

Get the recipe

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