Here’s how to keep your cool when you’re serving and sipping in the sunshine, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
Hello summer! When the temperature heats up, so does our thirst and you need to be quick on the pour.
For even the best bubbles will taste blah if they’re not chilled properly and sipping outdoors can be stressful unless you have break-resistant glasses. Meanwhile, if you are wilting in the heat, chances are so are the garnishes for your drinks.
Here are our seven top tips for enjoying some stylish drinks in the sunshine…
1. Ice, ice and more ice
No matter how much ice you have, it’s never enough. Homemade ice balls are a good-looking addition to cocktails, especially if you want to serve drinks like a pro. Otherwise, grab bags and bags of ice to fill ice buckets, add to both short and tall drinks… and cool your hot brow.
2. Stock up on shatterproof stemware
Crystal-look plastic stemware is totally acceptable and if you really want to up your stemware prowess, Govino tumblers are designed to enhance the aroma and flavour of your wine (much like a high-end wine glass). They are also lightweight and 100% recyclable.
3. Chill red wine
Think about serving your red wine slightly chilled, and pop it in the fridge an hour before serving. A pinot noir, Beaujolais, Valpolicella and soft Spanish red (go to Spain and even a Rioja will come straight from the fridge) will all taste fresher and feel lighter.
4. Switch to a spritz
Even serious white wine lovers can find their go to sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio loses its vibrancy when it’s under the sun’s rays – and can make you feel a bit heady. Think three to one and top with soda, ice and a slice.
5. Get creative with your bubbles
Summer is the best time for being creative. We love this twist on a French 75 – with brandy replacing gin – but if you’re looking for another tasty number, David Gill, master of wine for Kingsland Drinks suggests combining fizz with a fragrant uplifter.
He says: “Take a large wine glass, add a couple of cubes of ice and generous splash of Muscat Beaumes de Venise Carte Or (£7.99, Waitrose).
“This is delicious on its own (the French drink it as an apéritif, either neat or with a splash of tonic) but to be hedonistic, add a standard 125cl measure of crémant.”
6. Tiki bar and a taste of the tropics
We may be staycationing, but there’s no reason you can’t at least pretend to feel some Hawaiian sand between your toes with a trendy tiki parasol. Unfurl a blanket, grab some scatter cushions, and build an irresistible rum cocktail. A Mai Tai or Piña Colada will make you feel like you’re made in the shade.
7. Cue the cocktail cans
The easiest and cleverest way to enjoy a concoction without having to mix up a masterpiece. And if you drop in some fresh garnish, ta-da! Keep mint and greenery in a glass of water, so they don’t wilt before crowning those cubes.