With the sun still promised for September and food sizzling on the barbeque, all you need is a cool refreshing drink in hand. And while it’s easy to crack open a beer or pour yourself a chilled wine, we think it’s high time we scrutinize some of the other drinks out there.
From gins to vodka to alcohol-free beverages and iced tea, we’ve got you covered. Read our guide for top late summer drinking picks.
Kicking off with Schwen Schwen. This Sierra Leone inspired drink can be sipped as it is or used as a mixer with spirits like rum or gin. The natural, hand-crafted drinks have been launched by Kent-based Chef and recipe writer Maria Bradford who grew up in Sierra Leone. Really unusual, these new products are inspired by the flavours of the aforementioned country and combined with seasonal English produce.
Price: £3.50 per 250ml bottle
Buy: Shwen Shwen
If you like nutty flavours, you’ll love these drinks. A selection of roasted and Bianco amaretto, these drinks are made from hand-picked Italian almonds from Puglia; ADRIATICO is the only Vegan amaretto in the world. They are lactose-free and are made using 100% real almonds.
Price: £28.99 for 70 cl
Buy: Amazon, Harvey Nichols
We know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but this is one beautifully crafted bottle. But it’s more; it’s not just about the appearance. Mermaid Gin is hand-crafted on the Isle of Wight and uses ten locally foraged and sustainably sourced botanicals which are multi-distilled to deliver a smooth, clean and fresh delivery. It’s an award-winning number as a result.
Price: £38.00 for 70 cl
Buy: John Lewis, Tescos
One-Eyed Rebel Spiced Rum
Rum lovers may want to try this new botanical spiced rum which cuts deep with ginger, has sweeping undercurrents of vanilla and a flaming heart of rich cassia. It’s distilled at the award-winning Spirit of Manchester Distillery (they also make Manchester Gin) and is hand-crafted and produced in small batches. All you need to decide is whether you want it on the rocks, with coke or ginger beer.
Buy: Manchester Gin
Alcohol, as we know, is full of empty calories, and as summer is the season to look after our bodies, we need to keep an eye on how much we consume. With 30% fewer calories than Vodka, Axia is an extra-dry Mediterranean Spirit that can be enjoyed in many cocktails such as a margarita, negroni or plain and simple with a tonic. The unique mastiha aroma is blended with rose, cypress, citrus and bergamot notes.
Price: £31.95 for 70cl
Buy: Amazon, Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange
With BBQ season in full swing, a Shanky’s Whip may be just the ticket to keep friends and family happily topped up with a measure of it mixed with cola. This versatile, refreshing Irish serve is perfect for outdoor drinking and is made with black Irish Whiskey and Irish spirits and uses delicious natural flavours of cream and vanilla. Shanky’s Whip makes a great alternative to classic spirits.
Buy: Amazon and Master of Malt
Chandon Garden Spritz
Now here is one for those glorious sunset evenings. Chandon Garden Spritz is a brand-new sparkling wine-based addition to the traditional Venetian “Ombre” culture of drinking a spritz while watching the sunset, a trend that is set to grow and grow in the UK. Perfect with a slice of orange and rocks, it matches the sunset in perfect harmony.
With more than 450 years of history, Codorniu is Spain’s oldest wine and cava producer. The brand does a number of different Cavas, but the ones that scream summer have got to be Anna de Codorníu Rosada. This is a dry, pure, bright rosé fizz with aromas of raspberry and strawberry. It pairs perfectly with tapas and light salads and can also be sipped as an aperitif. This sparkling wine is made in the traditional method, like Champagne, with secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Price: Anna de Codorniu from £8.99 and Codorniu Rosado from £6.99
In July, Salcombe Brewery Co. launched Atlas, a new Session IPA, and it is a nod to the South West’s seafaring heritage. It’s available in pubs on tap and can be bought in a caseload from various retailers. The IPA is created from a winning combination of British, US and Australian hop varieties. The result is a fruity ale with peach, blueberry and papaya flavours. These tropical notes are complemented by a hoppy citrus finish and balanced bitterness.
Price £24 for 12 x330ml cans
Buy: Atlas – Salcombe Brewery
Biddenden Ice Cider
Good cider is worth its salt in any pub or home garden. And Biddenden Ice Cider 2021 is a real British treat made in the garden of England that is Kent. With an intense, sweet taste, Ice Cider is bursting with aromas and reflects the best characteristics of Kentish-grown apples. It’s undergone many winemaking techniques, so it is a great alternative to sweet wines. It can be chilled as an aperitif or served long in cocktails with soda water (and /or prosecco!) and finished with a slice of green apple.
Price: £12.90 for 50cl
Light, sophisticated and brimming with flavour, Cocchi Rosa is leading the way in the new style of aperitif drinks. Using Italian red wine as a base and a blend of herbs and botanicals, including gentian, dried rose petals, vanilla pods and ginger, Cocchi Rosa is an all-natural aperitif without any colours or artificial flavours. You can add tonic for a classic long cocktail to release bitter, sweet and fruity notes to your spritz or drink it as an aperitif over plenty of ice.
Vahdam Iced Teas
In our opinion, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a cuppa all year round. And right now, we’re enjoying the summer range of iced teas from Vahdam. The brand’s teas are sourced from over 150 renowned plantations and small individual farms in India, from regions like Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, Kangra, and Sikkim. Choose from Hibiscus apple, Turmeric orange and Lemon basil.
Château Minuty Rose 2021
And, of course, it is rosé season, and we couldn’t compile a gift guide without squeezing in this pink drink. The Château Minuty range hits the spot. It encapsulates the spirit of Saint-Tropez with just one sip. Choose from Château Minuty 281, Château Minuty Rose Et Or and Minuty Prestige. We believe this is the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful sunshine we enjoy. We are more than happy to sip on a chilled glass of Château Minuty Rose in the evening after a hard day’s work.
Buy: The Secret Bottle Shop
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