So, we’re sure you’ve heard of Frosé by now — credited to Bar Primi in New York, it has spread around the world, fuelled by social media, with celebrity chefs writing about it and the general populace “going slightly cray cray” for said beverage.
There are Frosé sceptics though, with one master of wine telling The Guardian: “Wine cocktails have a long and noble history. But if seen as another way to sell cheap rosé, I think [Frosé] lowers the image.”
Poor wine is not a problem you’ll find at Annata in the Sydney suburb of Crows Nest, however, and co-owner Christian Blair — the former Rockpool Bar & Grill and ex-Eau de Vie bartender — doesn’t know how to make bad drinks. So The Freezling Project, in which he takes delicious riesling and makes it freezing (the clue is in the name), is one you can approach without bringing along your sense of irony.
“Sydney, as most of Australia, is in the middle of a heatwave so I started blending everything in sight,” Blair says.
“I remembered a conversation I’d had a while ago with Jimmy Hopkins from The Fruitful Pursuit in Adelaide where we’d joked about Freezling after he’d left a bottle in the freezer too long and I started to think, with the versatility of flavour profiles and levels of sweetness [that] riesling in Australia expresses, why are we not using it more as an ingredient in drinks?”
The drinks hit the desire for lower-ABV, Spritz-style cocktails that are going around (and which This Must Be The Place has done much to popularise), and Blair is using fresh, local seasonal fruits to complement each style of riesling.
“Using riesling from different regions in Australia and produced in different ways (barrel aged, skin contact, kabinett-style), meant that, like making a cocktail, different rieslings lent themselves to different flavour profiles,” he says.
Take a look at the pairings on offer at Annata below.
#1: Clare Valley Riesling, Watermelon, Triple Sec
#2: Skin Contact Riesling, Nashi Pear, Ginger
#3: Kabinett-Style Riesling, Yellow Nectarine
#4: Western Australian Riesling, Cantaloupe, White Vermouth
#5: Canberra District Riesling, Dragonfruit, Elderflower