What is 'spicy rosé?' Learn why wine drinkers are proclaiming the jalapeño-packed drink to be the perfect summer sip.

·5 min read
Move over jalapeño margaritas, there's a spicy new drink in town and it's made with rosé. (Photo: Josie Maida)
Move over jalapeño margaritas, there's a spicy new drink in town and it's made with rosé. (Photo: Josie Maida)

The latest drink to trend on TikTok is the perfect beverage to sip and savor during the last few weeks of summer. The viral cocktail, known as "spicy rosé" on the social media platform, is simple to make and requires just two staple kitchen ingredients. With its notes of crisp cool wine and spicy pepper, those who enjoy a little bit of heat will appreciate this unique addition to their summer drink repertoire.

Spicy rosé is exactly as it sounds — a glass of refreshingly fruity rosé leveled up with a bit of spice. Creators on the popular video-sharing app have been grabbing their favorite bottles and tossing some sliced jalapeños in their wine glasses before letting the pink wine flow, and it's all thanks to a dare.

Allyssa Marshall, the Ocean City, N.J.-based content creator behind @allyssainthekitchen, was among the first to try spicy rosé and recalls that the idea came from a follower during a livestream on TikTok.

"I livestream often on TikTok for 'Happy Hour at Home' where I typically make spicy margaritas and am known for adding jalapeños to almost all of my cocktails," Marshall tells Yahoo Life. "During one of my [livestreams], I was sipping rosé and a follower commented, daring me to put a jalapeño in my rosé — the rest is history. I haven't had a glass of rosé without a jalapeño in it since."

Marshall says although the idea came from a fun challenge, the flavors fit together just right.

"It sounds like such a strange and random flavor combination, but it works so well," she says. "Jalapeños are relatively mild in heat, while rosé is light and fruity. Combining the two gives you a fresh crisp flavor profile with a subtle heat from the jalapeño, balancing out the fruitiness."

Even health food creators are getting in on the trend. Nicole Modic, the San Francisco, Calif.-based cookbook author and food blogger behind @kalejunkie says she couldn't resist trying the beverage after she saw it on her For You Page.

"I first saw this idea floating around TikTok, and as someone who loves wine and is always on the lookout for new food and beverage trends, I knew I had to try it," she shares.

Modic says when she first tried the drink, it didn't taste at all like what she'd expected.

"I was surprised that it's not spicy at all and the jalapeño does not overpower the taste of the wine," she shares. "It just adds a subtle jalapeño zing."

Loriza Ali, who lives in Las Vegas, Nev., is the content creator behind @sipwithlolo. Ali shared a video of herself trying the popular beverage, and was surprised to find that preparing the drink took less prep time than anticipated.

"You don't even have to wait for the jalapeño to sit in there for a while before you drink it," says Ali. "It's ready to sip right away."

"It's rosé with a hint of spice," she adds. "It's so refreshing and perfect for anyone that enjoys spicy drinks — if you like spicy margs, you have to give this a try."

Ali tells Yahoo Life the spiced up glass of wine is easy to share with friends and can be made within any price range. "I think jalapeño rosé is perfect for spring and summer," she says. "Sitting by the pool, laying out at the beach, hanging out with friends — it goes with any bottle of rosé too, whether it's five dollars or fifty dollars."

As a foodie myself and a lover of a sweet and spicy cocktail or mocktail, I decided to grab a few bottles of rosé and some bright green jalapeños to bring to a sunny afternoon on the lake. Based on suggestions from the experts, I thinly sliced the jalapeño, placed the rounds into a glass and topped it off with rosé. I didn't skip a beat before I picked up the glass for my first taste.

First, I noticed the smell of the jalapeños, which was strong against the crisp scent of the rosé. When drinking wine, it's well-known that the sense of smell is an important part of the experience. With spicy rosé, I'd say this step is even more important, as the spicy smell of the capsaicin is the first thing that hits your pallet.

As for the taste, it wasn't quite as bold. There was a kiss of spice from the pepper, but it complimented the fruity flavors of the wine well.

I served my spicy rosé chilled, which created an interesting, slightly-warm mouth feel from the peppers in contrast to the chill of the wine. The drink was easy to make, and even more fun to share, as everyone in the room wanted to try a glass after seeing what I had in mine.

TikToker Allyssa Marshall says she was pleasantly surprised by the way the addition of jalapeño peppers spiced up her rosé. (Photo: Allyssa Marshall)
TikToker Allyssa Marshall says she was pleasantly surprised by the way the addition of jalapeño peppers spiced up her rosé. (Photo: Allyssa Marshall)

According to Modic, in addition to being a great beverage to sip on, it's easy to pair with food for that last summer gathering. "Spicy rose is perfect for a hot summer day," she says. "I'd drink it alone or with a light charcuterie plate or just alongside a summer salad."

Marshall is convinced this accidental cocktail creation makes sense for the summertime. "Rosé is already the perfect wine for a hot summer beverage," she says, "adding the jalapeño adds a whole new depth of flavor while still [allowing you] to enjoy the refreshing taste people are looking for in a glass of rosé."

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