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Top drinks to serve at your summer event

11 Jul 16 By: Lene McGuinness

For some, summer can evoke images of sitting in a sun-drenched garden or terrace with a glass of something cold in your hand. Drinks are an important feature of a summer event. Just serving wine, beer and soft drinks are not going to cut it. You need to be more creative, as drinks become the centre of the event, pushing food out of the limelight. To help you choose what you should serve at your next summer event, we have compiled a list of top summer drinks.


A classic and one that cannot be missed out, Pimms is the drink of the great British summer. A proper Pimms should be served in a highball glass and comprise of the following ingredients:

  • 50ml PIMM’S No.1
  • 150ml of Lemonade
  • Mint, orange, strawberries
  • Cucumber to garnish and ice

Of course, there are now numerous cocktails that can be made with Pimms such as the Pimmslet, Pimm-ski and if you really want to push the boat out, the Pimms Royal.

Non-alcoholic Drinks

According to the Office of National Statistics, 21% of the adult population in the UK do not drink alcohol. Non-alcoholic drinks are often overlooked and the choice offered at events can be dull. Here are some ideas for non-alcoholic drinks that will delight adults and children alike.

Elderflower cordial: you can buy this or make it yourself if you have access to elderflower. All you need is:

 2 ½kg of white sugar

20 fresh and cleaned elderflower heads (stalks trimmed)

 2 unwaxed lemons

85g citric acid (from Chemists)

Real Pink Lemonade: this fun drink can be made with:

1 ½ lemons, sliced

300g caster sugar

3 x 170g raspberries

1 Orange, sliced

Blackberry mint spritzer: perfect for a late summer event. All you need is:

1 litre of soda water chilled

118ml elderberry flower syrup,

1 lime, juiced

113g blackberries

85g mint leaves, bruised

With non-alcoholic drinks, there are no rules on how they should be served so you can be creative. Why not serve pink lemonade in jam jars or frosted glasses?

Summer Wine

Wine can take a bit of a back seat in summer, especially if you are holding a barbeque. However, wine, even red wine, can be a refreshing drink no matter how hot it gets. Taking a lead from the Spanish, light chilled red wines such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Bardolino are ideal for a hot day and will stand up to most food offered at a barbeque.

Rosé comes into its own in summer. The ideal Rosé is crisp, dry and should go well with light summer foods such as salads, fish and white meat. You can never go wrong with a Provence Rosé. You can also find excellent Rosé from the States (California and Oregon), however they do come at a price.

To get the best out of each wine you need to serve it in the right glass. Give an elegant touch to your event with Nachtmann glasses from Riedel. Made of cut glass, these glasses bring the best out of both white and red wine.

Imperial Iced Beverage (Red Wine) Glass

Champagne Cocktails

Sparkling wine or champagne cocktails look and taste great. Refreshing and simple to make, they add a touch of glamour to your event. Why not try:

Aperol spritz: a traditional Italian aperitif. This drink is made of:

3 parts Prosecco

2 parts Aperol

1 splash of soda

Ice and a slice of orange

The Twinkle: light and refreshing but it also packs a punch. To create your own all you need is:

25ml vodka

15ml elderflower cordial

Topped with Champagne

Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Elegant drinks need elegant glasses, so why not serve your champagne cocktails in a Nachtmann cut glass flute? 

Imperial Sparkling Wine (Champagne) Glass


Currently experiencing a revival, the humble Gin and Tonic is an ideal summer drink. This old fashioned pairing has been taking London by storm in the last few years and craft gin companies (gin made by small distillers) have been experimenting with an array of botanicals to create new flavours. Also, gin is a versatile base ingredient in cocktails and can be used to make a number of different drinks. To keep the vintage feel, why not serve your gin creations in a Spiegelau by Reidel cutglass tumbler?

Perfect Serve Double Old Fashioned Glass

If you are hosting a summer event and need to hire glasses, bar equipment, tables and more, then Allens Hire can help. Based in London and the South coast we are a leading catering equipment and furniture hire company that has supplied some of London’s top events. Call now on 0208 574 9600 or chat with us online.