“It’s mid-afternoon and the sun’s shining down on your face,” says World Class Australia Ambassador Chris Hysted, setting the scene. “This cocktail is the essence of summer you want to be sipping on.”

Hysted is referring to his latest cocktail creation, #Trending. As the name suggests, the pastel-pink-hued concoction is a mix of the current drink trends he sees from his position behind the bar at Melbourne’s Black Pearl. Opportunistic? Sure. Delicious? Absolutely.

Hysted says #Trending is a nod to the current Frosé (frozen rosé) sensation that has exploded on the local scene since blossoming in NYC. Needless to say, he’s added a few buzz ingredients.

“They look virtually identical, with that beautiful fairy-floss hue and a nice and stiff, slushy texture,” says Hysted. “But this one tastes so much better. Frosé is taking off big time and it’s great to see, but there was room here to add an extra juicy element. We’ve freshened it up and turned it into the real luscious, delicate deal.”

As with Frosé, rosé is a key element to Hysted’s cocktail. But for extra fruitiness he adds Tanqueray No. TEN.

“They use whole fruit when making this gin – whole grapefruits and oranges go in during production and produce a really sweet, fruity flavour,” says Hysted. “Gin is huge – we’re going through at least a case a week at Black Pearl – and there are so many ways to use it in a cocktail. You can go for a Martini or a Negroni as a pre-dinner drink, a Southside, which is essentially a gin Mojito in a martini glass, or a White Lady, effectively a gin Margarita.”

Hysted says there’s currently a big shift towards lighter, lower ABV (alcohol by volume) cocktails. To lengthen the #Trending – which is designed for two people to share – he turned to another buzzy beverage; coconut water.

“People want to have a few drinks over the length of the afternoon,” he says. “I like showing people those kinds of drinks can be cocktails. Just because you’re having a cocktail doesn’t mean it has to be an Old Fashioned or a Martini. You can halve a measure and get an equally delicious drink.”

Trending delivers on its promise right down to the sweetener, with agave nectar instead of sugar. But the nectar doesn’t just stay true to the gag. As well as being a sugar alternative, it also enhances the feel of the gin on the palate.

Hysted has noticed the popularity of the cocktail growing as the nights lengthen; more people are beginning to opt for cocktails over beer or wine.

“Cocktails are no longer reserved for milestones and celebrations – they’re becoming go-tos,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be night-time or a special occasion. Ultimately, the #Trending is better suited to a summer afternoon anyway – you still want a bit of daylight kicking around so you can admire the blended beauty in all its glory.”

Serves two. Approximately 1.09 standard drinks

30ml Tanqueray No. TEN
20ml agave nectar
90ml rosé
100ml good quality coconut water

Blend well with ice. Pour into a coupe or wine glass, and garnish with a strawberry.