7 picnic tipples to perk up your palate
One of the best summer days out is packing a picnic and heading to the seaside or a shady spot amongst some glorious greenery.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to sipping drinks in the open air but one thing’s for certain – a generously sized cooler bag with ice packs and as much ice as you can carry is crucial. Keeping everything chilled is paramount to your picnic prowess.
Then it’s time for some ring-pulling, screwcap twisting and popping the corks – but no-one wants the faff of a corkscrew when you’re unfurling a blanket, sorting the spread and quenching a big thirst.
Here’s what we’re cooling down with as summer heats up…
1. Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port & Tonic, £2.50, (25cl), Ocado
A refreshing P&T is the buzz word this summer. A similar sweetness to gin but lower alcohol alternative, this premix has a hint of lemon essence and mint for hot weather swilling. Pour over ice and serve with salted almonds, crisps and olives as an accompaniment.
2. Vin Du Can Sauvignon Blanc, 12 x 187ml, £28.50, Amazon
A French savvy blanc with a catchy name, this crisp sauvignon blanc with gentle grassy notes is a natural go-to for picturesque garden settings. With green apple flavours, a hint of lemon verbena and a bright finish, it’s delicious on its own and food-friendly. The canned wine movement is gaining momentum and dovetails perfectly with picnics.
3. Kiss of Wine: From left, Smooth Chardonnay, £4.75, Wild Dolcetto, £5.25, Crisp Sauvignon Blanc, £4.75, (25cl), Kiss of Wine
With the option of a cute carry pack for your choice of three or six cans, and 10 styles to choose from including still whites, reds and fizz – Kiss of Wine is perfectly suited to summer socials. Quick to chill, it’s no wonder that their artisan winemakers are embracing the canned wine scene when the variety and quality is this good.
4. Nice Pale Rosé Wine in a Box, South of France, £21.50 (2.25L), Nice
A brilliant box of tricks, this rosé is downright delicious with every sip. Easy to keep flowing for summer soirées and parties in the park, it offers aromas of soft berry fruits, ripe flavours of strawberry and raspberry fruit complemented by well-balanced acidity. One for a large salad niçoise under bright blue skies. Stays fresh for six weeks once opened – not that it’ll last that long.
5. Bramble Hill English Sparkling, £15, Marks & Spencer, in-store
English fizz is at the top of its game. Fast-track to the beautiful countryside with these bubbles that come with hints of hedgerow, wild flowers, flavours of gooseberry, a twist of lemon peel and plenty of acidity. Using the charmat (tank) method – the same as prosecco – the finish is refreshing, youthful and lots of fun.
6. Chandon Garden Spritz, Argentina, £20, Ocado
Argentina’s answer to the famous Italian spritz cocktail – this one’s ready when you are. Made from Chandon’s award-winning sparkling wine and blended with orange bitter liqueur (think fresh herbs, spices and orange peel). Simply pour into a large glass with three to four ice cubes and rosemary sprig for garnish (the recommended serve). Delightfully refreshing with no artificial flavours and tailor-made for picnics with panache.
7. Sipsmith Strawberry Smash Gin, 2022 Championships Edition, £28.50, (70cl), Tesco
A top-seeded tipple and freshest serve on the G&T circuit, this playful twist on a classic captures the flavours of summer beautifully. It’s distilled with seasonal English strawberries from Wimbledon’s official strawberry grower and is delicately fruity with merest hint of mint, citrus and juniper. Top with tonic and garnish with sliced strawberries. Destined to be a smash hit.
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