Your Sunshine Sip List

Fruity fizz, nonalcoholic cocktails, light beer… Olly picks his perfect thirst quenchers.

Summer is the time for cold rosé, pristine whites and drinks to make you feel you’re on a yacht in the Med. The trick is to buy smart rather than splurge.

It’s fab to have something for all tastes and ages to enjoy, too – you can customise these with a shot of something high octane if you fancy a jolt. If you choose to blend Karma Cola with Doorly’s Rum along with a slice of lime, dash of bitters and a heap of icy splendour, I’m right with you.

Cider is having a burst of quality. Sxollie is producing fresh, pure flavour with no additives. And for a fabulous French fizz bargain, the Loire is producing pristine bottles for under ten pounds – made using the same method as fancy Champagne. Thanks to the Chenin Blanc grape’s fruity zing and the shorter ageing time, bottles like my brilliant Bouvet slip down joyfully.

Don’t be afraid to personalise your good-value vino. It could be a spritzer – or, while the Aldi rosé I’m recommending is outstanding served just as it is, if you want to toss it in a jug with ice, chopped strawberries, fresh mint and top it up with lemonade, Sprite or 7Up, then go for it!

This article was originally published in YOU Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 4th July 2021 – Prices, stockists and vintages correct at time of publication.

Mocktails Sevilla Red Sansgria (0%), £9.99 for 4 x 200ml, Selfridges
Made from grapes sourced in Italy’s Chianti region, serve this brilliant alcohol-free bottle over ice and you’ll barely miss the booze. Simple and splendidly tasty.

Pierre Jaurant Sud de France Rosé 2020 (12.5%), £6.49, Aldi
At last! A great-value southern French rosé that tastes as good as the splash-out fancy bottles. Fruity and sleek, this is no-brainer pink to pour all summer long.

A A Badenhorst The Curator White Blend 2020 (13%), £8.99, Waitrose
Blended by one of South Africa’s best winegrowers, this is the ultimate all-rounder for warm days. With nibbles, a picnic or a full-blown barbecue, it’s utterly scrumptious.

Finest Valle del Limarí Shiraz 2019 (14%), £8, Tesco
How is this under a tenner? Fulsome, plush, silky and fruity, it’s a dark Chilean delight of a wine to please a crowd or sip with a feast.

Tio Pepe Fino ‘En Rama’ 2019 (2021 bottling, 15%), £8.95 half bottle, The Wine Society
There’s Fino and then there’s En Rama by Tio Pepe, which feels like a green olive has been turbocharged with a zillion volts. No finer chilled drink to pour with tapas.

Bouvet-Ladubay Brut Saumur (12.5%), £11.99 as part of mixed six, Majestic
Currently my favourite fizz – so fruity you barely notice it slip down. A hidden gem from the Loire that makes every moment feel more fun. I adore it – and it’s a steal.

Beak Brewery Lulla Table Pale (3.5%), £3.99,
Craft beer’s next level. Order a case of this fresh, light, exotic beer – or better yet, head to the brewery outside Lewes and sip it cool and direct from the source.

M&S Classics No 3 Gavi 2020 (12.5%), £8, Marks & Spencer
Looking for a light bright Italian white to keep on standby in the fridge? This has got all your bases covered and it’s racier than a supersonic nectarine.

Fairtrade Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 (13%), £6.50, Co-Op
Sleek as a blackcurrant on a waterslide, this feelgood red is terrific value as well as supporting great causes in Argentina. Barbecue days are sorted.

Doorly’s 5-Year-Old Rum (40%), £27.75,
You need good rum this summer – this is a golden blend that’s hard to beat for an ace all-rounder. Sip over ice or serve in cocktails. Gorgeous.

Pewsey Vale Riesling 2020 (12.5%), £13.99,
If you want a real slice of luxury, this South Australian Riesling is as springy as a lime on a pogo stick. Simply stunning served with shellfish.

Sxollie Golden Delicious Cider (4.5%), £2.20 for 500ml, Sainsbury’s
Fruity, sparkling and sumptuous, this is a treat for a picnic and pairs splendidly with hot spicy dishes. Beautifully made – contains no additives.

Nikka Days Whisky (40%), £32, Waitrose
Think again on whisky – this Japanese blend of grain and single malt will redefine it for you – so refreshing. Try it in a highball with sparkling water, ice and a slice of lemon, it’s liquid leisure.

Karma Drinks Karma Cola, £1.75 for 300ml, Ocado
Organic and Fairtrade, part of the proceeds go to the cola nut growers in Sierra Leone. This tastes like real-deal cola to me – fabulous for all the family.

Achroous Gin (41%), £34.99,
A multiple award-winner with a striking orange bottle, this is juniper in laser-beam form. Serve it with top tonic and a slice of lemon for the G&T of your life.

This article was originally published in YOU Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 4th July 2021

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