What to drink this summer – tips from sommeliers and bartenders

Summer is in full swing and we’re always on the hunt for refreshing beverages to cool us down on hot summer days.

But the same summer drinks can sometimes get a little repetitive (Aperol Spritz and G&T we’re looking at you).

As a result, we’ve asked sommeliers and bartenders to recommend some of their top summer serves – so you can impress at your BBQ and garden parties over the coming months.

These are the drinks they say to give a go this summer – as well as tips on what to pair them with and how to drink them.

Albariño

There’s nothing quite like a glass of chilled white wine in the garden (be it your own or a pub’s offering) on a summer’s day.

And Dmytro Goncharuk, head sommelier at Corrigan’s Mayfair, has a recommendation for one to try this year.

He says: ‘For me a fresh Albariño is the perfect tipple for the summer months. There are some fantastic ones out there but what is interesting me most this summer is the Albariño from the Beykush winery in Ukraine. 

‘The maritime climate of the winery’s location (on the coast of the Black Sea) is very similar to that of North West Spain which helps to maintain freshness and minerality. 

‘The delicate blend of white flowers with citrus notes and a balanced acidity makes for a refreshing pour in this hotter weather.’

Chilled reds  

When you think of red wine you might typically associate it with cosy, winter evenings by the fire – but Chanel Owen, the head sommelier at Pied à Terre, says it’s time to mix things up with chilled reds this summer.

She says: ‘One of my favourite summer thirst quenchers is a beautiful chilled red.

‘Inspired by holidays in the Mediterranean where the practice is rather wide spread, nothing works better at a BBQ or a quiet relaxing evening catching the last rays of the long summer days. 

‘Feeling dubious? We don’t need a wine slushy, 10-15 minutes in the fridge before serving will take the edge off of the ambient temperature and give us the refreshing zip needed to transform the wine.’

Chanel suggests avoiding wines overly tannic or too heavy in body.

Instead, wines from warmer climates with a little spice, youth and fresh fruit on the palate work best.

Rosé sangria

Taylor Coulson, the general manager at The Zebra Riding Club, says to mix up traditional sangria with a rosé alternative – great for sharing with friends. 

He says: ‘To get ahead of the game, chop up a collection of summer berries, oranges, and lemons, and mix in 1tbsp sugar and leave it to one side for about 20 minutes.

‘This “maceration” is a key phase in the process as it really elevates all the flavours in the fruit. Then add your fruit to a big jug and pour in a bottle of rosé (my favourite is Mirabeau) along with ⅓ of a cup of brandy or Grand Marnier. 

‘Leave this to chill in the fridge for around 4 hours to ensure a nice cold refreshing drink. You can drink it like this or add a splash of lemonade if you like it sweeter. Garnish with some mint and any leftover fruit.’

Grower Champagnes

For those not clued-up, ‘Grower Champagne’ describes Champagnes produced by the estate that owns the vineyards where the grapes grow.

Sandia Chang, founder of Bubbleshop, says these wines are great for enjoying in the sun, watching Wimbledon or at an al fresco gathering.

She says: ‘I’d pair them with a charcuterie board and some light cheese -especially brie and camembert – or, if you are feeling lazy and don’t want to cook, they are also perfect to pair with fish and chips.’

Grower Champagnes recommendations from Sandia:

  • ‘The Jean-Marc Sélèque, Solessence Extra Brut is a super quaffable wine with green fruits and white blossoms notes.
  • ‘The Dhondt – Grellet, Dans Un Premier Temps, Extra Brut is a special vintage blended with a solera reserve from 1986, extra fresh for those heatwave days.
  • ‘The R.Pouillon, Réserve Brut has some ripe orchard fruit notes, with a zesty lemony brightness perfect as a thirst quencher.’

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