Our June ‘19 Gin of the Month box was themed around the Great British summertime, and was a fabulous ginny celebration of garden parties, local fetes and all things al fresco. Of course, nothing says British summer quite like a posh picnic! We teamed up with Cawston Press - the folks behind the delicious rhubarb drink in our June ‘19 Gin of the Month box to put together our four essential steps for holding the perfect gin picnic.
HOW TO HOLD THE PERFECT GIN PICNIC
Pick the ideal location
Whether you prefer the rugged magnificence of the Yorkshire Dales, the soft sandy dunes of the Norfolk coastline, or a hilltop meadow offering glorious views across the South Downs, the UK has an abundance of prime picnic spots that are easy to reach by car on on public transport.
One of the best websites to help you find your perfect picnic site is the National Trust, which lets you filter by region and county to find a great picnic location near you. Given the unreliability of the UK weather, you might want to pick a spot within running distance of a pub or car park in which to shelter!
2. Pack the right food
This fantastic Summer Picnic Tart recipe was provided especially for Craft Gin Clubbers to pair with our June ‘19 Gin of the Month box. This low-fuss, easy-to-make combines rich goats cheese, sweet caramelised onions and earthy beetroot for a delicious, vegetarian tart that’s perfect for packing up ready to tuck into along with your portable picnic G&T.
Looking for something else to go along with your picnic tart? Cured salmon marries beautifully with gin and is an easy, portable option for picnics. The usual packet salmon is fine, but to really up your picnic game, why not try curing your salmon at home… in gin?!
This recipe looks absolutely delicious and would be beautiful served in sandwiches with a little cucumber, on rye bread or blinis with sour cream, or mixed into a little pot of lightly dressed potato salad (we recommend using yoghurt, sour cream or dill-infused mayonnaise).
A salad is the final pairing to go with your gin feast; why not complement your tart with a beetroot and goats cheese combo? We love the addition of pomegranate seeds and chilli flakes to liven up the flavours in this yummy recipe. Alternatively, a simple salad of courgette ribbons with a lemon dressing will also go well with your ginny picnic feast.
3. Take the right kit with you
First off, make sure your picnic blanket is waterproof so you don’t all get a soggy bottom! You can get them online for less than £10, but we love this pretty and practical version from John Lewis.
Next up: get a cooler bag that’s effective at keeping your food and drinks cold - sounds obvious, but some brands are definitely better than others! This cooler bag, which apparently carries enough food and drink for four people and will keep your gin cold overnight without an ice pack, was recently rated as the best on the market by The Independent.
Steer clear of disposable plastic cups and sip your drink from a reusable stainless steel tumbler with straw, which will keep your gin and tonic perfectly cold for hours, even without an ice pack. We love the gorgeous designs and eco-friendly ethos of Chilly’s Bottles.
Alternatively, if you’re packing your own glasses, these stainless steel glass and bottle holders, which stick into the ground, will prevent anyone knocking over the drinks and spilling their G&T everywhere - handy!
4. Plan your tipples
To the important part! A gin and tonic is the easiest ginny drink to take on your picnic and can be made fresh with the help of some portable ice cubes.
If you’re clever about it, your garnish can double up as a picnic snack: think cucumber, strawberries, oranges, or peaches! You could even freeze some fruit slices or flowers into your ice cubes and bring them along in a thermos flask to pop into your drink for added wow factor! Try one of these lovely - and simple - combinations for a summery twist on your standard G&T.
Alternatively, try one of these other mixers in place of tonic to provide a variety of easy-to-make, easy-to-transport tipples on your picnic. Sparkling drinks always get people in the party spirit, and two of our favourites are Cawston Press Rhubarb and elderflower lemonade.
And if you’re feeling more ambitious (and don’t have far to walk with your picnic bags!), you could try mixing up these 3-ingredient gin cocktails at your picnic.