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Campari Soda Aperitif, Italy (from £2.45, 9.8cl, drinkmonger.com; thedrinkshop.com; delicatezza.co.uk) Do some drinks work better alfresco than others? Obviously, that rather depends on where your fresco is going to be. First there is the portability question to consider: not an issue if you’re straying no further than your own garden or balcony; rather more important if you’re heading off to the place that has become the nation’s de facto pub, gym and living room for much of the past year: the humble local park. There is, at least, a whole lot more to choose from in the backpack or handbag cocktail genre than there was even a couple of years ago, a profusion of pre-mixed cocktails and hard seltzers that now ranges from novel creations such as the zesty, spicy “hard punch” of Punchy Whisky, Blood Orange, Bitters & Cardamom (4% abv, 25cl, £2.50, ocado.com) to established classics such as the exemplary Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic (6.5% abv, 20cl, £2.50, Tesco) or the stylishly dinky retro bottles of just-the-right-strength Campari Soda.
Ökonomeierat Rebholz Riesling Vom Rotliegenden, Pfalz, Germany 2017 (£18.33, justerinis.com) After years of snootily looking down on any other form of packaging than the standard 75cl glass bottle, winemakers have finally conceded there may be occasions when a can better suits the needs of some of their customers, some of the time. The range available is still infinitesimal when set against the vast array of traditionally presented bottles, but wines such as The Uncommon pair of English sparkling wines (a white and a rosé, which both come in at £18.99 for 4 x 25cl cans at Waitrose), show that it is possible to have decent wines in this format. If portability isn’t really an issue, however, I’d much rather be free to choose from the full, glass-bottle menu and just pick the sort of wine that goes so well with the sort of weather that makes you want – rather than have – to socialise in the open air: a spring-sunshine-ready, floral, graceful, racy dry German riesling such as Ökonomeierat Rebholz Riesling Vom Rotliegenden.
Marks & Spencer Low Alcohol Rhubarb & Ginger Cider (£1.50, 50cl, 0.5% abv, Marks & Spencer) No snootiness about cans in the world of beer, of course, although the craft revolution has brought something of a revolution to the presentation as well as the quality inside. Unthinkable, when I were a lad (and quite possibly drinking in the park) to find brews as stylishly presented not to say delicious as And Union Friday India Pale Ale (£2.20, 33cl, Waitrose) which has a wonderfully full but refreshing citrus-nudging-into-tropical fruit flavour and which comes out of a can that’s somehow reminiscent of the décor of a Berlin techno club. Not in a can, but in a perfectly portable 33cl glass bottle, the slightly pyschedelic packaging of Crafty Nectar No. 8 Rhubarb Cider (£19.95, 6x33cl, craftynectar.com), which blends in rhubarb juice from the “Yorkshire triangle” with pressed cider, seems to me to hit just the right warming-zingy note for those not-so-warm evenings outside, while M&S’s ginger-rhubarb combo, is a happy 0.5% abv alternative.
Follow David Williams on Twitter @Daveydaibach