Here comes the sun! With our parks, gardens and countryside settings looking glorious and picnic season in full swing, now’s the time to unfurl a blanket and mark the moment with a hamper full of delights.
We’ve been busy scouting for sundowners, spritzers and vino to sip in the sunshine and dial up your cooler bag.
8 perfect summer drinks
Whether it’s a backyard bar, patio picnic or day trip to the park, here’s eight picnic-perfect tipples to savour this summer…
1. The Uncommon Wine Range: Gerald Bubbly White Wine & Eleanor Bubbly Rose Wine 2019 – Mixed 8 Pack, £42; Alfie White Wine Spritzer & Peggy Rose Wine Spritzer – Mixed 8 Pack, £38, Wearetheuncommon
What’s a picnic without a little sparkle? These fab labels, featuring dapper, illustrated designs, are perfectly tailored for summer socials and vintage wicker hampers. English sparkling wine in a can, the pink bubbly hints at cherries and rose petals; the white bubbly, elderflower and freshly cut grass; and the lower abv spritzers (5.5% abv) are delightfully fragrant. An all-round pucker picnic pick me-up.
2. Smirnoff Seltzer Raspberry & Rhubarb and Smirnoff Orange & Grapefruit, £1.80 each, Tesco
Hard seltzer seems to be the buzz word this summer, with premixers clattering down the canning line at the rate of knots. We’ve plucked these two trendy tipples for our picnic and pizza spreads. Smirnoff have spiked their No 21 Red Label vodka with sparkling water and natural fruit flavours, creating a tangy twist with hints of citrusy fruits and berries.
3. Buck & Birch Thornstar Martini, £8, Aelderlixir
Cited as a celebration of nature, Buck & Birch’s Wild bottled cocktails are made with ingredients foraged from nearby land, and this latest edition offers a Scottish twist on the classic pornstar martini. The sweet, citrus punch of Amarosa rosehip rum liqueur is perfectly balanced with notes of vanilla and almond from the woodruff vodka and hawthorn blossom syrup. Sea buckthorn adds a delicious tartness to the finish for a refreshing cocktail inspired by sunnier climes. Simply fill a cocktail shaker with ice, shake hard and strain into a chilled martini glass.
4. Prophecy Rosé Wine 2019, South of France, £9.50, Tesco
Inspired by the Goddess of Fortune, the celestial beauty of this poster girl’s mood-boosting summer dress sparks thoughts of romantic holiday evenings – or a sunny corner to soak up the day in style. On the nose, delicate aromas of strawberry and raspberry, with notes of fresh red fruits, melon and merest hint of citrus, with a crisp, fresh finish.
5. McGuigan Single Batch Pinot Grigio 2019, New South Wales, Australia, £9, Co-op
A household name Down Under, McGuigan – IWC (International Wine Challenge) White Winemaker of the Year 2019 – have used their Australian know-how to propel this pinot grigio into a scintillating pale green white, with a wonderful purity and downright deliciousness that keeps you coming back for more. An aromatic, attractive nose leads to a flurry of apricots, pear and tropical fruits with an abundance of freshness.
6. Terre di Faiano Rosso IGP Puglia Organic, Italy, £25.99, Waitrose
Waitrose offer an excellent range of boxed wines, but they’ve really cornered the market with this classy carrier, which holds 2.25L. With it’s circular shape and marine-blue facade, this is a look-at-me box wine that’s just lovely. A blend of negroamaro, primitivo and cabernet sauvignon, it’s super drinkable and offers a fabulous fruit bomb of rich, dark fruits, sweet spices and lick of vanilla at the push of a nozzle.
7. Starlino Rosé Italian Aperitivo (75cl), £25.73, Amazon
If you’ve done your time with Italy’s other spritz, and fancy a light and refreshing cocktail with a wine based aperitif instead, think of Starlino as its sweet, younger sister. With enticing aromas of rose water, cherry flavours, a soft acidity and poised, refreshing palate, a Starlino Rosé Spritz tastes delightfully fresh. Mix equal parts Starlino, sparkling wine and soda water and serve over ice in a wine glass, garnished with a slice of grapefruit.
8. Graham’s Blend No 5 White Port (75cl), £21.25, The Whisky Exchange
Beloved by bartenders and rated as the new G&T, a P&T (port and tonic) is sophisticated and versatile enough to be sipped in show gardens, and a go-to sundowner when the temperatures soar.
Seriously refreshing, this dry, white port is made using two Portuguese grape varieties – malvasia fina and moscatel galego – and the result is a fresh, aromatic fortified which can be sipped neat over ice, or topped with tonic and garnished with that all important wedge of zesty lemon and sprig of mint.
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