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Now that the sun is (almost) shining, it's time to add some sparkle to your summer menu with a few delightful tipples that are perfect for sipping in the sunshine.

From craft beer to seasonal cocktails, read on for summer drinks menu inspiration and serve up your customers some sunshine in a glass…

Traditional tipples

Much like the nation's beloved afternoon tea traditional drinks are making a comeback. Nostalgia for days gone by can be channelled through good old fashioned homemade lemonade or a fiery ginger beer.

Wine spritzers are back in vogue too, so add a little soda water into the mix for a sparkling summer refreshment.

Incandescent cocktails

Taking inspiration from the 'What's Hot in 2013 Alcohol' survey by the National Restaurant Association which asked 200 bartenders their tips for top drinks this year, think about adding a tasty syrup to your summer concoctions. Fruity berry syrups add the taste of long summer days. Or if you're feeling adventurous you could try an infused cardamom syrup or a gentle lavender.

Herb cocktails are all the rage, and culinary or savoury cocktails are sure to keep your customers intrigued. Try this delicious Blackberry Herb Cocktail from Epicurious or chill out with a Coconut, Ginger and Coriander Cocktail recipe courtesy of the Kitchn.

Don't forget the teetotallers. Mocktails offer the sophistication of a cocktail, minus the alcohol content. Serve up Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade in a classy martini glass, or combine sparkling spring water with elderflower syrup for a grown-up soft drink.

Pictures of a Coconut, Ginger and Coriander cocktail plus Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Local wine and well-crafted beer

In case you hadn't noticed, craft beer is big news. Even the average beer drinker is starting to shy away from mass produced lagers in favour of more wholesomely made and flavoursome locally brewed ale.

Nothing complements a lovely sunny day more than a refreshing beer, or two. Summer sunshine brings with it light, golden brews - try Fyne Ales' Avalanche, a blonde ale that's hoppy and zesty, or a deliciously thirst-quenching Jaipur from the Thornbridge Brewery.

Don't forget the coolest way to drink beer nowadays is to do as they do in continental Europe, and drink it from a schooner - that's a stemmed beer glass to you and me.

Remember, offering local produce is a big must for summer 2013, so add some locally produced wine to your wine list. Sales of Sparkling English Wine are booming, so isn't it time you treated your customers to something home-grown?

What's on your summer drinks menu?


Comments

Lockhart Catering on 9 May 2013 10:13 AM

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