Is there a more simple, unequivocal pleasure than dining in the sun? For foodies, the arrival of summer marks lazy al fresco lunches, barbecues with friends, and garden parties that sprawl out into the long evening feasts.
From the perfect picnic nibbles, to summer-ready cocktails, and low-alcohol aperitifs, and the DIY kits that will take your garden get together to the next level, here’s what we’ll be eating and drinking this month…
Champagne + Fromage: The perfect pairing launches luxury fondue night kit
Is there a pairing as perfect as cheese and champagne? Covent Garden bistro, Champagne + Fromage, specialises in French artisanal produce – and now they’ve turned their attention to perfecting the fondue night. The Fondue Night kit, full of delectable cheeses and accompaniments, including a Mont D’or, a Cancoillotte, three saucissons, basil cornichons, crackers, and a bottle of Furdyna Reserve Champagne . We recommended enjoying warm fondue al fresco over a long summer evening, with a chilled glass of the bubbly stuff – the perfect way to toast summer.
£89, Champagne + Fromage
That Boutique-y Gin Company: Rickey Gin
Hailing from the New Columbia Distillers in Washington D.C., Rickey Gin is a refreshing twist on the district’s classic Gin Rickey cocktail. Lime peel and lime leaves, plus some other cheeky citrus, are distilled with the in-house spirits made from soft winter wheat, to produce a distinctive, zesty gin with a creamy aroma. For a classic Gin Rickey, use a sour glass, squeeze the juice of one lime into it, mix with Club Soda and ice, add a little sugar syrup to then garnish with lemon or lime.
£33.95, Master of Malt
Popcorn Shed: Delightful new flavours, and party-ready selections
When it comes to flavoured popcorn, nobody does it better than Popcorn Shed. If you’re planning a birthday get together we can heartily recommend the Birthday Cake flavour, which makes a gorgeous – and curiously accurate vanilla flavoured – addition to your snack table, while the brand has also recently launched a vanilla-caramel Rainbow flavour in time for Pride month, and a sweet and savoury Maple Bacon flavour. We can’t get enough – which is just as well, as the brand has unveiled a new range of mega bulk bags for ten of their most popular flavours – for an epic summer snack spread.
Mega bags £20, popcornshed.com
Wilfred’s: The non-alcoholic aperitif which reinvents the spritz
Whether you want to sip a delicious aperitif in the sun all afternoon long without the hangover, are the designated driver, or simply want to be more healthy in your cocktail choices, there are some excellent non-alcoholic cocktail options out there. One particularly deserving of your attention this summer is Wilfred’s, which is out to reinvent the classic spritz. The new non-alcoholic British aperitif has a grown-up flavour of naturally bittersweet ingredients, with herbal notes of bitter orange, rosemary and rhubarb – giving a crisp, refreshing flavour that only needs to be served with simple tonic water to bring the flavours to life. Now that’s a taste of summer.
£18, available to purchase here.
Hello Oriental: The Asian food hub that will spice up your snack game
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut eating and drinking the same things night after night after a year at home – but we’ve found the perfect way to spice up your nights in or summer picnic selections, in the veritable feast of high-quality treats on offer at Hello Oriental. The exciting food and drink options are near endless – but some of our favourites are the Tom Yum gourmet mix, Oishi Crablets crab-flavoured puff crisps, and TAO KAE NOI crispy sriracha seaweed snacks. And you absolutely can’t place an order without including this Lychee-flavoured sake, if we do say so ourselves.
Find your new favourite snacks at hello-oriental.co.uk
The Garden: North London’s biggest new open-air beer garden
Is there a better way to enjoy summer drinks with pals than in a sun-soaked beer garden? Turns out that yes, there is, and that’s enjoying summer drinks with pals in North London’s largest open-air beer garden, because this month sees the opening of exactly that, by way of The Garden, at Kentish Town. The new urban oasis is set to be your new go-to day-to-night destination for sports and comedy lovers and foodies alike. International street food and a varied menu of drinks and cocktails will be ordered through dedicated app and brought directly to your table. Meanwhile, the must-see entertainment on offer makes this an all-in-one destination think gigantic sports screens, funfair gaming, live entertainment, bottomless brunches and more. The Garden opens on 24th June. We’ll be there for the summer… and beyond.
The Garden opens on 24th June. More details at cometothegarden.co.uk
Ballin premium rum: The ultimate way to cool down as the weather heats up
Hot new UK spirits brand, Ballin tastes as good as it looks. Each of their Insta-worthy, neon, frosted spirits are bottled in Cognac using the same glass producer as Dom Perignon, and are guaranteed to add the party vibes to any summer get together. Thankfully, they also taste as good as they look. Ballin’s smooth premium white rum is triple filtered and distilled in the Caribbean, delivering an unmistakably tropical kick and making it perfect for summer cocktails.
The new range also includes a high-end vodka distilled from British Winter Wheat and gin produced exclusively at the UK-based G&J distillery, and has been developed to drink straight from the freezer, on the rocks or enjoyed with your favourite mixer. Hot design and icy cool drinks? We’ll cheers to that!
£33.50 for a 70cl bottle of Ballin rum, available at ballin.london
Jollibee: The fried chicken that has UK foodies queuing around the block
If you’ve been wondering what the queues of salivating people and fragrant smells wafting around London have been about lately, the answer is Jollibee. The much-loved chain from the Phillipines has finally brought its signature fried chicken with a tropical twist to the capital, having just opened its European flagship branch in Leicester Square. Order the Chickenjoy, the restaurant’s famous crispy fried chicken made with a family-secret marinade or the Jollibee Chicken Burger, which is prepared with hand-breaded juicy fried chicken for extra crunch, while the Jolly Spaghetti is a unique dish made with a Filipino inspired sweet-style sauce, loaded with layers of cheese and hot dog slices, which has to be tried to have its greatness truly appreciated.
Jollibee’s flagship store now open at 22 Leicester Square, London. Check out the full menu at jollibee.uk
Shoryu: Mouth-watering DIY ramen kits
One of the most exciting innovations in home cooking of late has been the rise of the restaurant meal kit – and one of the best of those comes from Shoryu. Their DIY ramen and cocktail kits come straight from their kitchen, complete with everything you need to become a ramen master yourself. The menu on offer includes their signature firm-favourite Ganso ramen with 12-hour pork broth, while the vegan option is also available with their White Natural ramen kit with their special tonyu vegan broth made with soy milk, miso, konbu & shiitake mushrooms – we’ve tried it and can attest that it’s every bit as downright delicious as in the restaurant.
To really wine and dine at home, Shoyru has recently added freshly prepared cocktails to its DIY offerings – these come in pouches ready to swiftly serve over ice in your favourite cocktail glass. The Dirty Lychee is a must-try delicious concoction of Bacardi gold rum, nigori sake, lychee and agave; while the Tiki Passion is a summer-ready tropical cocktail with a Japanese kick.
Starts at £20 for two servings, with additional prices for cocktails, available to order at Japancentre.com
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