Cheers to summer

By Liam Nash

Thirst quenchers are essential for keeping guests content.

Nothing pairs better with great food and lots of laughter than a refreshing brew to sip on among good company.

Ingrid Thomas from The Food Store in Shepparton gave her thoughts on what constitutes a perfect pour to combat summer’s warmth.

“In terms of summer drinks, it is important to be responsible,” Ingrid said.

“You can still enjoy yourself with a lower alcohol content, and it is just as easy to mix great drinks using non-alcohol substitutes.

“Screw-tops are perfect for summer, because you aren’t pressured into finishing an entire bottle.

“You can pop in fruits, flowers and herbs straight from the back garden for a refreshing twist on any drink.”

Cheeky Grog Co. Cheeky Pair Apple Pear Spritz

This local take on an aperol spritz is lighter in flavour and alcohol content than its bitter-infused sibling.

Ingrid suggests throwing in a slice of lime and a half shot of Frangelico to add a fresh, summery twist to this time-honoured classic.

2019 Preece Nagambie Grenache Rose Sangria

Much like prosecco, sangria has fast become the new ‘it’ drink.

Packed with fleshy, fruity notes, the rose delivers a punch when fused with a splash of cuatro and can be enhanced further by adding sliced strawberries and oranges to the jug.

Guests can help themselves to a glass, meaning no frills for the hosts.

Tobacco Road Prosecco

Using grapes from the King Valley, the prosecco’s vibrant aromas and light finish makes for easy consumption under the summer sun.

Available in piccolo size, the 200 ml Tobacco Road can be packed into an esky, offering convenience and encouraging responsible drinking.

2016 Zingari Garganega

Made by Murchison Wines, this dry white lies somewhere between a sauvignon blanc and a riesling, possessing hints of ripe tree fruits.

Made to complement any sort of food, it captures the essence of summer drinking and is ideal for sharing with friends.

Bridge Road Brewers Beechworth Pale Ale

The most sought-after beer on The Food Store’s shelves. Floral, fruity and full of flavour, it sets the benchmark for what a standard summer drink should live up to.

Its aromatic hop arrangement makes this an approachable option to sit next to the grill.