In spite of what the recent downpours may have you believe, the Great British summer has well and truly begun. Luckily, it takes more than a bit of rain to dampen our spirits, and as our diary pages fill with hosting picnics, brunches, and sizzling barbecues (either in the garden or hastily moved indoors) our minds turn, inevitably, to delicious food and drink. While we may not be of much help in the kitchen, NIO Cocktails is here to ensure your bar is stocked with mouth-watering cocktails for any occasion. Here’s five of our summer cocktail staples to keep our guests happy all summer long - with or without the raincheck!
1. Tea Sour
Fresh zesty lemons and malty black tea leaves are a match made in heaven, and our brand-new Tea Sour certainly tastes like a slice of paradise. Exclusive to the NIO Cocktails bar for a limited time only, our Master Mixologist Patrick likens this crisp, refreshing summer drink to an old school lemon iced tea, or “blue skies and sunshine in a glass”. Best enjoyed alongside a fresh scone piled high with dollops of clotted cream and tart raspberry jam, the Tea Sour is perfect for adding an luxurious twist to a special afternoon tea or a lavish picnic.
2. Mai Tai
To be crowned the King of Tiki cocktails is quite the accomplishment, but the Mai Tai deserves every inch of the spotlight. Bright juicy tropical fruit is balanced by molasses and a rich base note of coffee in this quintessential holiday cocktail, and finishes with a hint of candied spiced ginger. Tender pulled pork - or jackfruit, if you’d prefer a meat-free choice - slathered in sweet and spicy sauce is a fantastic match with the fruity Mai Tai, and makes a perfect pairing for the upcoming barbecue season.
Is there any other cocktail that can swiftly summon the feeling of lounging by a pool like a Margarita? This classic version is slightly richer than our beloved Tommy’s Margarita, with more of a caramelised, sticky marmalade flavour from the Cointreau. Balanced expertly by a subtle pinch of salt, this is a nod to the classic Margarita you’d find at your favourite bar. We can’t think of a better way to upgrade our staycations this summer than with a Margarita in hand. For a light snack, enjoy with garlic and chilli prawns charred lightly on the grill, and slide into a po’boy with lashings of chipotle hot sauce if you’re feeling particularly indulgent.
We couldn’t possibly make a list of summer cocktails and omit our Daiquiri. Starting with a creamy yet fruity white rum like Pampero brings a great depth of flavour and complex sweetness to the Daiquiri, which is a perfect match for crisp fresh lime juice for this simple yet stunning home bar staple. This Daiquiri doesn’t require much else to shine, but to complement a blissful Saturday afternoon at a garden party we might recommend kalamata olives stuffed with red peppers and fresh chilis, to give a hit of sweetness and spice to your cocktail golden hour.
5. Lemongrass Citrus
Fragrant, aromatic and fruity, our alcohol-free Lemongrass Citrus cocktail is the perfect refreshing antidote to a day spent in the sun. Juicy black cherries, pomegranate and lemongrass create a mouth-watering balance of citrus and sweetness - ideal for any summer party in your diary. However, the luscious tropical fruit flavours found in the Lemongrass Citrus would made it an excellent addition to a healthy brunch in place of a classic mimosa, as well as a great alcohol-free choice at a barbecue.