What Should You Be Drinking This Summer?
It’s hot. Well hot. It might even be too hot. And when the sun is going full-force like it is at the moment, there’s nothing more pleasurable than cracking open an ice-cold beverage – glistening with dewy condensation – to cool yourself down. Summer days working from home might be long and languid but having something to sip on your sofa when 5 pm rolls around, or having a go-to cocktail for your sweltering weekend garden parties and barbecues, can make the heat more bearable and the hours all the more enjoyable.
My favourite drink to knock back when I'm particularly sweaty is a sub-zero Asahi or a tall glass of Campari soda filled with a tray’s worth of ice cubes thrown in for good measure, but even I’ve begun to tire of drinking the same thing every day. Or if my GP is reading this: even I’ve begun to tire of drinking a moderate amount, and much less than 14 units, of alcohol every week.
In order to help break up my own routine, and receive some nuggets of divine drinks inspiration, I decided to ask all of the nation’s top drinks experts, bartenders, and winemakers what their go-to summer drink is. And I figured it would be nice to share their recommendations with you, the MOB. Because these people really know their stuff and if you’re looking for a trendy beverage that will make everyone drinking a lukewarm Peroni in the park look at you with envy, you’ve come to the right place.
If you weren’t already thirsty before reading this, you certainly will be when you’re through. These are the cocktails, wines, and beverages that you should be drinking this summer. Cheers.
Adrian Pike – Bicyclette
"A Bicyclette. It’s generally Campari and a white wine but I started making it with our Westwell Ortega some time ago and it’s a cracker!"
Adrian Pike is Managing Director and Winemaker at Westwell Wines.
Wilson Sa Lemos – Guava Rum Punch
"My go-to drink for this summer has to be guava rum punch. To make one serve, add 2tbsp fresh guava (or juice, if you can't get fresh) and 2 sage leaves to a shaker. Add 40ml white rum, 10ml agricole rum, 20ml lime juice and 20ml simple syrup and shake with ice. Strain and serve. You can increase the quantities accordingly and serve in a jug if you're hosting – it goes particularly well with barbecued food, but is great on its own, too."
Wilson Sa Lemos is the head bartender at Golden Gai.
Isabelle Lynch – È Rosso
"È Rosso is my go to summer drink. It comes in a litre-sized bottle which is the perfect amount. One bottle is never enough to share with friends while two bottles is often too much. Fausto, the winemaker, told me his grandfather used to take his litre bottle of water and refill it with wine and that's what he's done with this. It's unbelievably fresh.
The blend of dolcetto and barbera goes through carbonic maceration. Loads of wine in Beaujolais goes through this process and that's what this reminds me of. It's definitely Italy's gamay. It's pure fresh red fruits.”
Isabelle is the head of wine at Wine List. If you fancy being a sommelier for yourself, Wine List has just launched a nifty new By The Glass service.
Phoebe Wyburd – Rojo Vermouth
"Want to be sitting on a beach in Barcelona? El Bandarra vermouths transport you there no matter what the British weather, and global pandemic, is saying. Their Al Fresco is like a more fragrant Aperol Spritz (something that I find insanely overrated, no offence Aperol), but my drink of the summer is the Rojo vermouth, served over ice with as many Perelló Gordal Olives as possible and a slice of orange. It's refreshing and ridiculously sophisticated. It makes you feel like Don Draper when it's just a little bit too early in the day to be drinking an old fashioned."
Phoebe is the manager at hicce mkt.
Jess Bratton – Pandaiquiri
This one is a real summer crowd pleaser and a more grown-up take on the classic Piña Colada. We shake up coconut rum, white rum and freshly squeezed lime with a house-made pandan leaf syrup. It kicks you in the face with a delicious, boozy, zingy, coconut flavour and leaves you with an unusual biscuity finish that comes from the pandan leaf. It’s the perfect West End sundowner.
Jess is the bar manager at The Lucky Club.
Melanie Brown – Rosé Sangria
"This summer, Rosé Sangria and Cucumber Margarita are my go-to drinks. At The Laundry, we use New Press Pinot Rosé in our Sangria, which, when muddled with summer berries, sliced apple and fresh juice, and topped with Cognac, really brings this sexy and succulent drink to life. You can't go wrong with a jug of vibrant Rosé Sangria in the sunshine - it's lively and beautiful.
The Cucumber Margarita is one of our signature house cocktails. The infusion of cucumber adds an exceptionally fresh edge to this classic drink. It should be served on the rocks with a salted rim and sets a smashing tone for summer."
Melanie is the founder of The Laundry.
Pritesh Mody – Strawberry and Basil Mojito
"I love a bit of Rum in the sun and this drink takes everyone’s favourite summertime fruit, the luscious strawberry, to transform the humble mojito into the perfect British sunshine cocktail. I’m a huge fan of using quality jam in cocktails too, as they cover off both your fruit flavour and sweetness in the most natural way, as well as being a low waste product. The Strawberry & Basil Mojito is one of our best-selling bottled cocktails at World of Zing and here’s the recipe to a version that you can make yourself at home!
- 50ml White Rum (El Dorado 3 Year Old is one of my faves)
- 25ml Lime Juice
- Tablespoon of Strawberry Jam
- 10ml Sugar Syrup
- Basil to garnish
- Dash of Soda
- Shake up Rum, Lime juice, Jam and Sugar Syrup without ice.
- Pour into a fully ice-filled glass.
- Top with soda.
- Garnish with a smacked basil leaf (this releases the aroma)
Pritesh is the founder of World of Zing. Use promo code Mob20 for 20% off all cocktails.
Thea Cumming – Mezcal
"A hot summer is the perfect time to explore mezcal and, conveniently, we’ll be launching our new Dangerous Don destilado con mandarina mezcal around then. This particular pour is fresh and citrussy and is great either drunk straight and paired with a fresh fruit salad for dessert, or mixed with tonic. If pairing with fruits go for peaches, plums and greengages (it loves stone fruits) or if mixing with tonic: loads of ice and a slice of grapefruit or orange. I always feel like a longer drink during the summer; something long, refreshing and thirst-quenching, and this cocktail is a peachy, iced tea mezcal dream.”
Thea is the owner of Dangerous Don Mezcal.
Mr Lyan – Colombo Buck
"Everyone knows how great a G&T is in the sun – there’s a reason it’s the world’s most popular cocktail. But there’s other highballs that rightfully can act as a contender. The beauty of a highball is that they give you time; they are light and bright, but are complex enough to tease out flavours as they dilute and your palate gets used to the flavours. Ideal as your chatting in the sun! This twist on the classic ‘buck’ adds tropical notes and spice (both from the gin, and the bitters), but still retains that dry profile you need as summer kicks in!
- 35ml Colombo Gin
- 35ml coconut water
- 1 dash angostura bitters
- Half a lime
- Chilled Fever-Tree ginger ale
Fill a highball with large cubes of ice, add the gin, bitters and coconut water and stir. Add more ice, squeeze the lime over the top dropping the shell in, then top with ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of fresh ginger, and enjoy in the sun!"
Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) is an expert cocktail bartender and owner of multiple bars.
Chris Gibson – Joiseph Mischkultur 2019
"Whilst I know we’re all enjoying being back inside our favourite restaurants, this summer is all about drinking wine in our alfresco courtyard. One of my absolute favourite cuvées and my recommendation for Summer is Joiseph Mischkultur 2019, which features on our extensive list of natural wines from our floor to ceiling wine wall. Mischkultur is a ‘field blend’ made up of indigenous Austrian grapes all grown, picked and vinified together. Bags of pear on the palate with a welcome funk on the nose, elderflower and hay, it’s a wine that’s not been tampered with or stripped of its character through endless processing. It’s refreshing, complex and definitely one to try on a summer's day straight from the fridge."
Chris is the co-founder and head of F&B at The Farrier.