Summer is upon us and so we enter the fleeting season of no-shame, all-day drinking. From weddings and barbecues to picnics and boozey, outdoor brunches that quickly descend turn into day-long parties, there's something about a glimmer of sunshine that makes on-the-hour alcohol consumption totally acceptable.
But, as enjoyable as it is to crack a beer when you would usually be eating Rice Krispies, it is important to remain chill. Don't be that person who goes heavy on the mimosas at brunch, moves on to tequila before midday, and vomits in the kiddie pool before crawling into bed at 4 PM.
To learn how to day drink in style, we enlisted an expert alcohol panel to share their round-the-clock beverage recommendations.
You can thank us later, when you're rubbing aloe vera onto those peeling shoulders.
Our expert panel: Ryan Chetiyawardana, bartender and owner of London bars White Lyan and Dandelyan. Brett Redman, chef and co-owner of Japanese barbecue joint Jidori , seasonal-centric Elliot's, and seafood restaurant The Richmond, also both in London. Deliciously Stella a.k.a. Bella Younger, the comedian behind the clean eating parody Instagram account and Edinburgh Fringe Festival show of the same name.
What to drink at breakfast:
Ryan Chetiyawardana: "With brunch, I like a reworking of a Buck's Fizz. Morning food rituals tend to be a bit fattier, so whether it's a fry up or even a slightly healthier avocado on toast, you want something refreshing—and bubbles are always fun as a celebration.
It's not just about cheap orange juice and Prosecco. Have something more elevated with fruitiness from fresh oranges, the fragrance of some tangerines or mandarin, a little splash of lemon, and topped up with Champagne. Super easy. At that time of the day, you don't want to be faffing around with something too complicated either."
Brett Redman: "If I was to stick to the traditional option of a Bloody Mary, I would angle towards a Bloody Maria. I much prefer the combination of tequila, lime juice, and Mexican hot sauce. We also do an enlivening alcoholic green juice called the Kale Mary with fresh kale, cucumber, spinach, jalapenos, lime, and vodka.
But my personal favourite is a small glass of breakfast wine by Patrick Sullivan. It's a skin contact and whole bunch-fermented Sauvignon Blanc made in the Yarra Valley. This one in particular has bags of pineapple and tropical fruit flavours and combined with its low ABV content, it makes a cracking start to a day of drinking."
Deliciously Stella: "Without fail, I always start my day with a nourishing green juice, so I like to reach straight for the hard stuff with a delicious, vitamin-infused absinthe. I love any excuse to use my Nutribullet, so I never use less than three ingredients in a juice. It's really important to supplement your diet with anything your body might need, so I add silver balls, hundreds and thousands, and popping candy to keep me energised all day long and to ward off disease."
A lunchtime tipple:
Ryan Chetiyawardana: "With lunch, it depends on the food that you're having but wine bases are great for that time of the day. Spritzers are classically around at that time. If you're having things alongside food, a touch of fruitiness and zestiness with a white or sparkling wine base, or even vermouth, is perfect."
Brett Redman: "I always try to stick with a nice cold beer. Currently, I can't go past the Chorlton Brewery sour beers. They take a style of beer that normally takes a long time for maturation, is expensive, and packs a punch on the alcohol side, but make it easy drinking. The Citra Pale is brewed without added yeast and has an ABV of 4.5 percent. No annoying mid-afternoon hangover going on over here."
Deliciously Stella: "For lunch, I'll have a fresh fruit salad. Well, really a grape salad. OK, just grapes. Fermented grapes. I will have wine for lunch."
During the afternoon:
Ryan Chetiyawardana: "If you're having a barbecue, go for something with a herbal or fruity note. You don't want anything too boozey because it'll just knock you out and it won't work well alongside food and the sunshine. Give peaches or rosemary a slight char on the barbecue, and work it out into a highball."
Brett Redman: "As with a lot of people, I'm a sucker for a Negroni, but they do have a tendency to wipe me out for the night. My tip for longevity is to replace the gin with Prosecco for a Negroni Sbagliato instead. A fresher and more civilised way to while away the afternoon I cannot imagine."
Deliciously Stella: "In the afternoon, I hit the rehydration station and top up my electrolytes with some nourishing coconut water. (Although I am not sure how, I am pretty sure that coconuts will someday be found to cure cancer.)
My favourite brand of coconut water is Malibu. I always have a bottle on me when I'm out and about. It's so delicious and it tastes like a tropical beach. I love the beach. Beach yoga is great for reminding people that your life is better than theirs."
That perfect 6 PM pick-me-up:
Ryan Chetiyawardana: "One of life's perfect moments is when you can go out with somebody and have a martini before dinner. It provides a little pause in life and it's so ideal for setting up the palate and belly for a really nice meal. There's something restorative about it.
I'm open to gin or vodka—it depends on the mood. Vodka to me is all about wanting something clean that washes over your palate, but I also like gin's aromatic flavours. The other one is a daiquiri—that's a pick-me-up to me. It's should be blisteringly cold, short, snappy, and just lift me up."
Brett Redman: "This one's easy: Corpse Reviver #2. An absinthe-based cocktail with a name like that, need I say more?"
Deliciously Stella: "After a hard day of yoga practice and recipe testing, I tend to hit a mid-afternoon slump. I find that paid work gets in the way of my lifestyle, so I've never worked at a desk but I can imagine it's awful and very, very tiring. That's why I would suggest a delicious espresso martini. Coffee is natural and plant-based so it's such a great healthy option."
And on into the night:
Ryan Chetiyawardana: "Something bitter. I know a Negroni can be quite a good aperitif but done in the right way, with the right combination and some of those richer flavours coming in, it can be a good settler. I'm a big whisky fan, so something broody and dark also goes down well. Manhattans are my go-to at that point. It provides another crystalline moment, but it's more of a sedative than a martini."
Brett Redman: "I could happily mainline Mezcal margaritas until sunrise. If I could install a Mezcal margarita tap at home, I wouldn't need any of the preceding drink options. This covers all the bases. Served Tommy's-style with just lime and agave, it's all the power I need to get me through the night. These will be with me all the way through to the day that I'm retired and living in Mexico."
Deliciously Stella: "My all-time favourite juice will always be WKD. A nourishing blue Champagne is the perfect addition to any night out because it's full of energy-boosting properties with the added health benefits of raspberries. Although I have never seen a blue raspberry, I know that they are full of vitamins, one of your five-a-day, and most importantly, delicious, clean, and lean."