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The Sipsmith Blog

Summer Aperitifs: Planning the Perfect London Cup Picnic

in Articles May 28, 2014

London in the summer is just about perfect. . .when it isn’t raining, that is.

We’re still optimistic about a warm and lovely summer, and to prepare, we’re planning the perfect Summer Cup-inspired picnic.

Whether you’re heading to the nearest park with friends or have an upcoming garden party planned, these five recipes will see you through any spot of sunshine. Just cross your fingers and hope it doesn’t turn into sun showers.

First, let’s begin with the drinks: if you ask us, no good picnic is complete without summer aperitifs. Good doesn’t have to mean complicated, though – save yourself the stress of hand-mixing each cocktail and opt for a London Cup Spritz:

50 ml London Cup

Prosecco

Lemon slice to garnish

Simply add 50 ml of London Cup to each glass before topping with a good glug of Prosecco. All that’s needed to garnish is a simple lemon wheel.

Another perfectly seasonal and also perfectly quick cocktail for days spent outdoors is a Summer Gin Collins. Given that this is a long drink – mixed with sparkling water and served over ice – it’s refreshing enough to be easy drinking, but won’t leave you feeling light-headed in the sun:

35-40 ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin

25 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

25 ml simple syrup

Sparkling water

Lemon slice to garnish

Combine the first three ingredients in a highball glass filled with ice. Stir to blend, top with sparkling water, and stir again lightly. Garnish with a lemon slice.

Of course, a picnic can’t be all summer aperitifs (though some of us may think differently). Make sure your hamper is stocked with plenty of light snacks to round out the offerings.

Cucumber sandwiches are a picnic classic for a reason: they’re light, easy to make, and perfectly portable. We love this classic recipe, courtesy of Guardian food writer Felicity Cloake:

½ a peeled cucumber

Salt

6 thin slices of white bread

Unsalted butter

White pepper

Cut the cucumber into thin slices and place in a colander; sprinkle lightly with salt and leave for 20 minutes. Pat dry with kitchen paper.

Lay out the bread and butter each slice; arrange the cucumber on half of the slices and sprinkle with ground white pepper. Top with the remaining slices and cut the crusts off; cut into whatever shape you fancy.

You’ve now got a savoury option, but you’ll also want something sweet. We love this recipe for Earl Grey Cupcakes with Lemon Icing, which perfectly complement the flavours we use in our Summer Cup. Click through for the recipe in its entirety.

Lastly, for a recipe that perfectly combines dessert with a cocktail, round off your picnic offerings with homemade London Cup Jelly:

8 fl oz London Cup

Cut fruit (strawberries, raspberries, or fruit of your choosing)

6 fl oz cold water

4 fl oz lemon simple syrup

2 envelopes of powdered gelatine

Whisk together the water and lemon simple syrup in a small saucepan. Add the gelatine and let sit for five minutes. Turn hob to medium-low heat and stir until gelatine is completely dissolved; turn off heat before mix boils.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the London Cup and pieces of freshly cut fruit. Pour into a baking sheet, a jelly mould, or individual shot cups (whatever you choose, make sure it’s been treated lightly with baking spray). Chill for minimum four hours, or until the jelly has completely set. If using a tray, cut into individual squares and serve on orange, lemon, or cucumber wheels; garnish each serve with a mint leaf.

Feature images © Pirata501/iStock/Thinkstock,

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