Wimbledon’s fast approaching, so make sure you serve an ace during the tournament with these top shots…
Ahead of the Wimbledon Championships (June 27 to July 10), spectators thirsty for some top-seeded tipples should try one of these tennis-inspired cocktails or speciality serves to toast some terrific grass court action…
:: WINNING DOUBLES TEAM
A pretty pink fizz, Perlezza Spumante Rose, Italy (£9, Spar) is delightfully fresh and crisp with red fruit aromas and notes of strawberry. Pleasantly quaffable with a clean finish, it’s a perfect match with strawberries and cream.
Bursting with blackcurrant flavour and a citrusy finish, Lejay Original Creme de Cassis (£12.99, 37.5cl, Oddbins) tastes utterly delicious in a Kir or a Kir Royale. A simple wine cocktail adored by the French, add a small measure to the bottom of the glass and top with a white Burgundy or champagne. The dark rose hue will also complement strawbs and cream.
:: UMPIRE’S CALL
A delicious aperitif that bridges the gap between a white wine spritzer and a vodka and tonic, a white port and tonic is this summer’s trendy tipple. So much so, sales of Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port, Portugal (£13.29, 75cl, Waitrose) at Waitrose have risen by 25% over the past 12 months. Dry and fresh with nutty aromas and a hint of oak, serve on the rocks topped up with tonic water and a sprig of mint.
:: DROP SHOT
A fruity aperitif that tastes “like a garden at dusk”, The Wingfield (£37, 70cl, www.harveynichols.com) takes it’s name from Major Walter Clopton Wingfield, who pioneered lawn tennis in the 1870s and changed the face of the British Summer. Made with London dry gin, cucumber, pink grapefruit, elderflower, fruits and spices, it’s fresh and beautifully balanced. Serve over ice in a large wine glass and top with soda. Garnish with an orange twist.
JUST THE TICKET
:: Another newcomer to the drinks circuit, Ciroc Pink Grapefruit Flavoured Vodka (£27.99, 70cl, www.drinksupermarket.com) has been gently infused with citrus extract from the peels and oils of pink grapefruit. With a faint note of orange blossom, it resembles pink grapefruit in luxe, liquid form. Serve in a highball glass with plenty of ice and add a splash of cranberry juice and squeeze of fresh lime for a modern twist on a sea breeze cocktail.
:: TOP SEED
A multi-award-winning gin, Martin Miller’s (£26, 70cl, Sainsbury’s) was one of the pioneers of the gin renaissance when it was created more than 15 years ago. Made with Icelandic spring water, it balances juniper with bright, refreshing notes of citrus and a clean, soft finish. Here’s a recipe to champion the tournament…
50ml Martin Miller’s Gin, 150ml elderflower tonic water (for a sweeter taste), a couple of quartered strawberries, black pepper
Fill a highball or large goblet with ice. Pour in the gin, add the strawberries, top up with tonic and season with a twist of black pepper.
:: WINNING SERVE
A stroke of genius, Sipsmith London Cup (£18.95, 70cl, www.31dover.com) is the cup of choice for summer soirees. Crafted from their award-winning gin, it’s infused and blended with Earl Grey tea, borage, lemon verbena and other botanicals to create its zesty, slightly bitter sweet taste. For the quintessentially English tipple, pour a generous amount into a large wine glass, top with lemonade and garnish with a wheel of lemon.
Cornwall-based brewery Skinner’s has collaborated with illustrators from the world of music and fashion to create a fresh, modern look for their award-winning range of beers. Each new look label reflects the personality of their ales and favourites such as Hops n Honey Buzzin Honeyed Ale (£21.85, 12 x 50cl, 4% abv, www.skinnersbrewery.com) and Lushingtons Sunshine Pale Ale (£21.85, 12 x 50cl, 4.2% abv, www.skinnersbrewery.com) taste remarkably refreshing in the great outdoors.
:: BEST BUY
Is it good to drink?… If you’re not sure, have more questions to ask and want to learn more, Berry’s Bros & Rudd Wine School, Exploring & Tasting Wine, A Wine Course With Digressions, £20, published by Pavilion, available from all good book shops, has the answers. Berry’s Wine School brings the company’s famous Introduction to Wine course to wine-lovers everywhere with this hands-on course-book.
:: LIQUID NEWS
Space oddity… To celebrate the return to Earth of British astronaut Tim Peake, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is launching a special bottling, ‘A toast to Tim Peake’s return’.
The 29-year-old single cask single malt whisky is described as “the most alluring thing this side of the stratosphere,” by the Society’s Tasting Panel, who select all the international whisky club’s bottlings.
Like all Society bottlings, the distillery name is kept secret to focus attention on its flavour. A limited edition of 96 bottles, the whisky is from the Society’s Old & Dignified flavour profile and described by the Panel as “elegant and sophisticated” on the nose, with a “silky mango mouthfeel” on the palate.
“As the first British European Space Agency astronaut, we wanted to commemorate the return of Tim Peake by bottling a very special whisky. This is the whisky that we think would make the perfect ‘Welcome Home’ dram,” says Helen Stewart, senior brand manager for the Society.
SMWS members, £176.70 (70cl), non members £353.40, available from June 18, visit www.smws.com