It’s no secret as soon as the sun is out, Londoners run to the local park for a picnic and catch up with friends. Once armed with M&S snacks or a pre-made picnic hamper from Fortnum’s, all that’s left on the agenda is adding a few cold drinks into the mix. 

Luckily for you, we’ve searched, tried and tested the top drinks to pack for your next summer picnic. From canned cocktails to alcohol-free alternatives, these are the picnic drink essentials we’re loving this summer. 

Pre-Made Cocktails 

The Drinks Bureau

If you’re looking for cocktails in a can, The Drinks Bureau has a great assortment, ranging from a tropical passionfruit martini to a refreshing Dirty Shirley. Available in party boxes, these are seriously tasty and make for great picnic drinks. PS: If you love your spicy margs, this one’s for you!

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Betty Booze

Founded by Blake Lively, Betty Booze was started with the idea of creating drinks that are held to the same standard as the food we eat. Made using fresh fruit and herbs with real spirits and just the right amount of bubbles, these are delicious summer drinks to add to your picnic basket with flavours like sparkling tequila with lime shiso and bourbon paired with the crisp flavours of apple, ginger and a dash of sour cherry.

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Whitebox

Bringing you cocktail bar-quality tipples (in canned form) is Whitebox. Renowned for their pocket-sized Negroni cans, the brand has since launched a series of classic serves, from Tiny Tee’s dirty martini to classic cosmopolitans, Chipper’s old-fashioned cocktail to Squeezy’s margarita.  The perfect addition to any picnic set up, order in one of their selection boxes to bring out at your next get-together.

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MOTH Drinks

Committed to bringing you planet-friendly, bar-strength, ready-to-go cocktails, MOTH takes the humble canned cocktail up a notch. Just when we thought their range couldn’t get any better, they launch the ultimate canned aperitivo spritz. Summer in a can, this tin is filled with bitter orange, gin, fizz and soda. Take your picnic up a notch and bring along an orange wedge and a glass.

Summer in a can, this tin is filled with bitter orange, gin, fizz and soda.

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NIO Cocktails

Having gained popularity during lockdown, letterbox cocktails are still thriving. At the top of our list is NIO Cocktails, the brand from founder Luca Quagliano, Alessandro Palmarin and master mixologist Patrick Pistolesi. Switch your cocktail shaker and snatch up a box of your favourite classic cocktails from their ever-expanding list.  Our favourites include the strawberry margarita, garden of Russia and the Cuban negroni.

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Summer Spirits 

Rozél

The spirit of the summer, Rozél is a new vodka inspired by the flavours of a Provence rosé wine. This spirit is blush pink in colour and takes all of the fruity flavours from rosé and adds vodka into the mix. Expect notes of raspberry, white peach and pink grapefruit to greet you with every sip.

Expect notes of raspberry, white peach and pink grapefruit to greet you with every sip.

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Edinburgh Gin Watermelon & Lime

Heading back into canned territory, Edinburgh Gin has launched a new fruity number for summer. This ready-to-drink single serve is light and refreshing, delicately blending the fruitiness of watermelon with the tartness of the lime. More into your berries? Opt for their equally delicious strawberry and pink peppercorn gin topped with blush-pink lemonade.

This ready-to-drink single serve is light and refreshing.

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El Rayo

Designed to be paired with tonic, El Rayo is an all-natural spirit focusing on using just water and the best quality blue agave.  Opt for their T&T Gift Box, complete with miniature bottles of both their Plata and Reposado tequilas and four cans of tonic water, or invest in a picnic-friendly bottle holder and their take on a spicy hibiscus picante.

El Rayo is an all-natural spirit focusing on using just water and the best quality blue agave.

Order yours here

Wines

Brown Brothers Orange Muscat & Flora

Pack your wine cooler and opt for a fruity bottle of Brown Brothers’ Orange Muscat & Flora. This Australian wine uses two lesser-known grape varieties and combines them to create a sweet and rich, yet refreshing dessert wine. If some of your group aren’t into wine, you can mix this blend into so many different cocktail combinations too, whether they prefer a spritz or a fruity number. We love to incorporate it into a summer equinox on the rocks, using a mix of 75ml Orange Muscat & Flora, 25-35ml fresh lemon, cubed ice and your choice of preferred liqueur.

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NICE

Paving the way for picnic drinks and canned wines is NICE, the London-based startup that’s on a mission is to become ‘the nicest wine company in the world’.  They have three canned options available to suit whatever wine you’re into. Our favourite is the French pale rosé.

Our favourite is the French pale rosé.

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Laylo

Forget what you think you know about boxed wine and let us introduce you to Laylo, the small business that works with independent producers to create the best possible wine.  They have a wine for every occasion, from the perfect light Lourmarin rosé to their best-selling sauvignon blanc. Every box is uniquely designed and looks pretty perched on top of a kitchen island or on your picnic table. 

They have a wine for every occasion.

Order yours here

Canned Hard Seltzers

Two Brooks

Independent drinks brand Two Brooks has been making waves in the hard seltzer world for the past few years, and their flavour combinations are some of the best out there.  Go fruity and opt for the Mango Hi-Ball, filled with the subtle sweetness of mangoes with a smooth finish, or try the Lime Cooler for a refreshing chilled drink in the heat.

Their flavour combinations are some of the best out there.  

Order yours here

High Water

Cool off from the heat with a chilled can of High Water. Made in the UK, the brand brings together natural flavours, British tripled distilled vodka, Cotswold spring water and a pinch of fruit juice to create a refreshing alcoholic option. Choose from the likes of Cucumber & Mint, Lemon & Elderflower and Mango & Peach. 

Made in the UK, the brand brings together natural flavours.

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Berczy

Thinking of both the planet and customers in mind, Berczy is a 100% carbon-neutral company that offers a refreshing take on alcoholic beverages. Set up by three friends following an afternoon in the park, these cans are made with picnic drinks in mind.  Make the whole crowd happy and order in their mixed pack featuring flavours like lemon & lime, peach & raspberry and passionfruit & turmeric.

Berczy is a 100% carbon-neutral company that offers a refreshing take on alcoholic beverages.

Order yours here

Alcohol-Free Drinks 

Pentire Drinks

For a non-alcoholic spirits swap, try Pentire’s ready-to-drink canned options. There’s the Seaward & Tonic that’s bursting with zesty grapefruit notes and blended with natural tones from the Pentire Plant Blend. While the Adrift & Tonic boasts notes of lemon citrus and is a healthy swap to any fizzy alternatives.

For a non-alcoholic spirits swap, try Pentire’s ready-to-drink canned options.

Order yours here

Sprigster

While Sprigster isn’t exclusively an alcohol-free brand, its sparkling botanical infusion definitely deserves a mention. This 100% natural non-alcoholic sparkler brings those flowery flavours of the English country garden to life, combining a slow-cooked grain vinegar mash of hops, rhubarb, ginger and fennel seeds. Pop the cork and everyone will want a glass of this fruity number.

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Feel Good Drinks

Looking for an alternative to your usual lime and soda combo? Look to Feel Good Drinks for refreshing fruity sparkling water with a difference. Made with 100% natural ingredients, there are three flavours to choose from, including peach and passion fruit, rhubarb & apple and raspberry and hibiscus.

Look to Feel Good Drinks for refreshing fruity sparkling water with a difference.

Order yours here

Mocktails

From grapes sourced from the slopes of Central Italy’s Chianti region to Quassia shrubs from the Andean rainforests, Mocktails mixologists have spent years to arrive at the exact balance of flavours in every drink. Flavours include the Mockscow Mule, Sevilla Red Sansgria, Espress0% Martini and the Mockapolitan – all non-alcoholic of course.

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The REAL Drinks Co

 A great non-alcoholic alternative to champagne and sparkling wine, The REAL Drinks Co. offers flavours that work beautifully whether you’re planning a summer barbeque, an alfresco lunch or a picnic in the garden. Flavours perfect for a sunny day, include the Peony Blush, Royal Flush and Dry Dragon. 

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Carouse

A non-alcoholic spirit founded by innovative wellness entrepreneur Steph Elswood, Carouse has two offerings, Uplift and Drift. Uplift is a combination of citrus fruits and warming ginger with extracts of guarana, maca, gingko biloba, peppercorn and a subtle hint of chilli, while Drift is a fusion of summer fruits and mixed berries with extracts of cooling cucumber, echinacea, ashwagandha and basil.

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