Let’s Be Scofflaws: It’s Phrostie Season Again


It’s a wonder anything gets done in Washington. Last summer, at the urging of New York State Senator Charles Schumer, the bootleg sale of alcoholic frozen sugar water (affectionately known as a Phrostie) was deemed illegal. Fortunately for some, it’s still okay to craft and enjoy these whimsical treats in the comfort of our own homes.

To be clear, it was not the drink itself that ruffled feathers. Phrosties were sold via an Instagram-based delivery service. The purchase process went like this: Follow the “official” Phrostie Instagram account, text one of the phone numbers contained therein, and wait for your delivery. Phrosties came in flavors such as Blue Hawaiian, Dragonberry Colada, La Phiesta, and Hero. They were ten dollars a pop.

Rumors about the ingredient list proliferated. Everclear, codeine, and cough syrup were prime suspects. Phrostie drinkers reported extreme reactions akin to psychedelic experiences. The truth was in the lab analysis: Kool-Aid, Bacardi, and ice were the actual culprits. Placebo, ahoy!

Placebo power is undeniable. The clandestine nature of Phrosties generated an exciting buzz that shifted from brain to body. Set, setting, and situation are critical to the drink experience. As wine lovers, we understand this beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Do you remember all of the wine and music-related hypotheses? A 1999 study at the University of Leicester demonstrated that tunes played in the supermarket could influence wine buying decisions; German music increased sales of Auslese, while French music resulted in more Bordeaux purchases. Music can make wine taste better, too. A 2011 study published in the British Journey of Psychology noted a proportional relationship between favorite tunes and preferred wines. If you like what you're hearing, you are more likely to enjoy the wine you are sipping.

All that said, we can (knowingly or unknowingly) imbue Phrosties (or wine) with a huge amount of power. And if Phrosties aren’t your thing, perhaps you’d prefer a Rosé Popsicle instead? Does the very notion of Tavel on a stick horrify you? Let me know in the comments.

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