Judging by recent weather, it looks like we're set to have a sweet, sunshine-packed summer, so naturally I've been planning some serious summer drinking accessory shopping to keep my thirst quenched and my tan topped up in style.
The lovely guys at drinkstuff asked if the Vinspire team would like to give a few of their essential summer drinking gadgets a try, and we absolutely jumped at the chance. I mean, we'd already featured some of their seriously cool accessories in our al fresco drinking piece last summer (hello handy wine glass holder for picnics and PENGUIN ICE CUBES) and so we were excited to see what new delights they have in store.
|This is what the ice and fruit core looks like|
Ice Core Infuser Pitcher by bar@drinkstuff, £9.99 down from £19.99 (and we have one to give away - see the bottom of the post for more details!)
Laura: Pictured above, this item was my treat to try, and it really exceeded expectations. What you do is grab some juicy fruit, pop it in the globe at the bottom of the infuser tube, and then fill the tube itself with massive ice cubes. Then you fill the jug with water and it will slowly infuse with delicious fruity goodness for a healthy and refreshing drink to sip in the garden.
The flavours do start to infuse straight away, but if you really want a fruity kick then do what I did: leave the jug to infuse for an hour in the fridge, and then pop the ice cubes in the tube and you're ready to go! I was so impressed with the flavours and the ease of use - and it's big enough for a good four or five glasses of water before you need to fill it up again.
Keeping the ice in the tube stops the drink getting too diluted (and you can just replace the cubes once they melt), and the fruit keeps on infusing for jug after jug so you don't need to keep chopping up a fresh batch to
It was a delicious alternative to booze or sugary soft drinks, and the lack of calories made me feel pretty pleased with myself after my evening relaxing in the sun (and meant I could eat another ice cream instead...)
Of course, if you do want to booze it up, it's also pretty tasty to fill the jug with soda water and your spirit of choice (I went with Mount Gay rum, James Bond style, which is only £15 at Tesco!), and let the fruit turn it into a juicy light punch. And then there's iced tea. Think of the iced tea possibilities!
Aqua Glow Liquid Activated Flashing Champagne Flutes, £17.99 per pack of 4
Jo: Plastic? Check. Fun? Check. Ready for a party? Check. For best results, wait until the sun goes down before bringing out these glowing flutes. These funky plastic flutes are fitted with coloured LED lights (one each in blue, green, red and yellow) which are activated when the flute is filled with your tipple of choice. The effect is instantaneous - a sure fire party starter if you're guests aren't expecting it!
Bubbles are an obvious choice and really allow these flutes to shine in all their colourful glory. We popped a bottle of Cava, and though my first sip was with trepidation as the flashing green was incomparable to any glass of Cava I've experienced before, the fun element took over. For a low-light or outdoor party, these flutes are fun and sure to spark conversation amongst guests. What's more, they're plastic, so party-friendly and no breakages to worry about!
Hexagonal Glass Drinks Dispenser by bar@drinkstuff, £27.99 including a stand (and we have one to give away - see the bottom of the post for more details!)
Sam: I was sent this beautiful table top drinks dispenser. A nice vintagey looking hexagonal glass container complete with tap for easy pouring and it even has its own little wrought-iron looking stand to complete the look! It holds approximately 5 litres of whatever you desire, and you really can fill it with anything, so go nuts!
My only tiny criticism is that the tap is a little bit slower to pour than I expected, but my goodness, it more than makes up for it in style and convenience! Plus if the night takes an unexpected turn you can always just take the lid off and use it as a giant cup... Seriously, though, if you fill it with a nice fruit punch or a giant G&T it's the perfect addition for any summer garden party!
Intelligence Ice Chillrocks, set of 4 for £7.99
Hugo: A fantastic accompaniment to a responsibly boozy summers day are Chillrocks. These wonderful little fellas are plastic cube-esque psuedo cylinders that contain a magic freezable solution. Chill rocks are able to cool your drink without diluting its wonderful contents! This makes them perfect for using with whiskies if you like them with ice and avoids a personal hell of overly cold and watery whisky that has lost almost all remnants of flavour.
A wonderful little touch comes in the form of the stalks that attach to the rim of your glass to stop an unwanted assault on your face and any risk of choking or what have you. The stalks are in two sizes for longer and shorter glasses and this also enables you to stack the rocks... Double trouble! In a pack you get 4 rocks along with 8 stalks, the packaging is great with everything snugly held in a plastic carry case that let's you take your freshly cooled drinking on tour (do not drive whilst drinking or drunk children).
So there we have it - some perfect new additions to your summer drinking accessories - and the four of us feel pretty relaxed and happy after our fun in the sun. But before you grab some for yourselves and dash outside, the drinkstuff guys wanted to give you the chance to win some of their summer must-haves, so we're running a summer giveaway! We have one Ice Core Infuser Pitcher and one Hexagonal Glass Drinks Dispenser to give away - so there's two chances to win! To enter, just do any (or all!) of the following:
- Share this post on Twitter using the hashtag #drinkstuffVinspire or retweet our giveaway tweet
- Like the giveaway post on our Facebook page and comment underneath it telling us what you'll be drinking in the sunshine this summer
The competition is open until Monday 23rd June at 1pm - we'll pick the winners at random and announce who they are on Tuesday 24th June! Good luck!
- Just leave a comment under this blog post telling us what you'll be drinking in the sunshine this summer!
(Small print: This giveaway is only open to UK residents (sorry, overseas readers!) and entrants must be aged 18 or over. The giveaway closes at 1pm on Monday 23rd June and late entries will not be accepted under any circumstances. You may enter once each on Twitter and Facebook, but any further entries will be disqualified. The prizes were donated to Vinspire by the lovely guys at drinkstuff - unfortunately, none of the Vinspire team is eligible to win them (boo!) The winners have 24 hours to come forward, or we'll give the prize to someone else (sorry!) If you have any questions, feel free to email us.)