Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Perfect Picnic Tipples

Picnic season has most definitely arrived, and I'm sure we all hope it will stick around. I find that, like food, alcohol tastes much better outside than inside, but I refuse to be resigned to a plastic cup of cheap, warm wine, just because I'm in the great outdoors!

After spending my Sunday lazing by a river in the sun, with a bottle of fabulously cheap but refreshing and delicious Simply Pink Moscatel (£4.99, Tesco), I got thinking about what makes a perfect picnic tipple. At just 5.5% alcohol the Moscatel is perfect for responsible drinking in the sun, it's got bubbles and plenty of juicy summer fruit - I just might have found a winner.

There are of course, a number of picnic tipple options, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, but being the booze lover I am, it's likely my choice will be wine, cocktails or beer. As picnic foods can be anything from sandwiches and cold meats to salads and dips, accompanying tipples need to be versatile.

Wines need to be soft and approachable, light rather than heavy, and nothing too complex or challenging. Rosé covers all food matching bases but please, whatever you do, serve it chilled - nobody, I repeat nobody, likes warm rosé! If it gets too warm, throw it in the river or a rock pool for half an hour to cool down then crack open and enjoy with cold salmon, ham and salads.Try the Simply Garnacha Rosé from Tesco. At just £4.59 per bottle, it won't let you down.

Shake things up a little (literally) with jam jar cocktails. Simply add ingredients for your favourite cocktail in the jar, screw on the lid and shake to mix. Chill until it's time to leave, then, on location just drink from the jar (okay, with a straw if you must). There are no plastic cups in sight and you can use again next time, which means it's also environmentally friendly! For slushie cocktails, pop in the freezer before you go, throw in a cool bag, and on arrival - voila! - frozen margaritas or daquiris!

A bottle of fizz is a classic option - no corkscrew required, and it makes the simplest of occasions feel like a celebration. When the sun is out for an entire weekend in the UK it's definitely worth a party picnic and a glass of fizz! One of my absolute favourites is the Prosecco di Treviso, just £9.50 from The Wine Society which is a perfect partner for cheese straws (yes, seriously) and pâté.

If wine or cocktails aren't your thing, then stay classic with a chilled beer - cool box necessary, warm beer is not fun! Top of my beer list is the Cooper's Pale Ale from South Australia (biased, yes!) - an SA icon. The great news is, it's available at Majestic AND it's on sale for just £15.00 for 12 stubbies (Aussie slang for 375ml bottles). Sounds pricey, but I guarantee it's worth it. The classic Aussie 'twist top' also means no bottle opener required and no broken teeth getting the cap off! Great for pork pies, cheese and chutney.

So grab an esky (more Aussie slang - cool box), a few mates (or a hot date) and one of these perfect picnic tipples for an afternoon of lazing and grazing in the sun.

2 comments:

  1. Oh my, jam-jar cocktails are so pretty. I just need to find some pretty straws...

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