While cocktails haven't always been seen as the most traditional picnic accoutrement, we feel this is a little unfair. They're delightfully tasty and in many cases, more easily paired with picnic foods than many beers or wines. As such, we've put together a rundown on some classic cocktails to batch make (or simply buy bottled—it's much easier) and pair with a picnic this summer.
Ah the margarita, the lockdown cocktail of choice. Its popularity in part comes from its versatility. Even subtle flavour inclusions can greatly change the flavour profile of the cocktail itself and popular bars have taken to this, crafting new and exciting variations on the classic and stirring up the resurgence of the cocktail over the past years (not to say there’s anything wrong with the classic, they are damn refreshing and delicious, especially on a hot sunny day). Our personal favourite is the spicy marg. All you need to do is add a few slices of jalapeno to your margarita ingredients in the shaker and voila. Note, the more slices you add the spicier it will be, so add accordingly to your appetite for spice!
You don’t want to be taking up precious space in the picnic basket with cocktail gear and multiple ingredients (after all, more room for cheese = better picnic) so we’d suggest pre-making your cocktails before going. An easy way to bottle your cocktail up is by re-using the spirits bottle.
For food matching, you are going to want a snack that complements the lime flavours of the margarita. Pico de gallo, guac and chips are a quick and easy match.
Classic Margarita Recipe
What you’ll need (make sure to multiply these if batch-making for a picnic of multiple people)
- 45mL Tequila
- 30mL of lime juice
- 15mL of Cointreau
- 5-10mL of sugar syrup
- Lime wheel for garnish
How to make it:
- Add all ingredients to a Boston cocktail shaker with ice and give it a good shake.
- Strain into glass or vessel of choice for transportation
- Salt the rim of the glass or cup and pour.
- Add a lime wheel for garnish when serving
Of course, if you want bar-quality Margarita’s without the headache of making them, Twisted Shaker has a range of award-winning pre-batched cocktails including Margarita in 700ml and 200ml bottles. All you need to do is put them in ice, chill them down, give them a good shake and pour. It’s that easy.
The Cosmo lends itself well to a good old cheeseboard. Go for a bit of flavour in your cheese but nothing too overpowering (stray away from blue). Hard cheeses like aged cheddar and pecorino of softer cheeses like brie will go great with the fruity flavours of the cocktail. If you want to add a bit of freshness to your cheeseboard, try adding a slice of continental cucumber with your cheese.
Likewise with cheeseboards, cosmos - with their fruit-forward flavour - are also great companions to fruit platters. Be sure to add fruits that complement the type of Cosmo you are serving e.g. raspberries will enhance the raspberry flavour of something like a Raspberry Hibiscus Cosmo.
If you are stepping up your picnic game a notch, you can match a cucumber gimlet with Sushi. Sushi with cucumber will enhance the flavours already present in the cucumber gimlet, but seafood-based sushi pairs nicely with gin-based cocktails. As an extension of this, if you're a fan of oysters or big shellfish platters, try the gimlet as a refreshing pairing.
This is a dessert matching cocktail for sure, mainly one that is going to complement the richness of the cold-brew coffee. If you are keen on scoring those brownie points, literal brownies will do the job. Pair chocolate brownies, or any other baked goods like cakes, biscuits or cookies, with an espresso martini. Just ensure your espresso martini is cold and you give it a good shake before serving to get that nice crema in the glass or cup.