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Hoping for an Indian Summer

Get off the sun lounger, put away the BBQ and stop reading holiday romance, September is here

Mary Lewis Lewis Moberly

Unless we get lucky with an Indian summer, sadly this also means stop gorging on all those frozen offerings of alcohol which now add more fun to summer. 

Alcoholic popsicles are a great concept but, thanks to ethanol’s low freezing point, it’s not as simple as throwing some booze into an ice pop mould and tossing it in the freezer. So this is where the professionals come in. POPS have added a Pimm’s flavour to their roster to sit alongside Classic Champagne and Bellini Prosecco & Peach. They’ve also been busy creating bespoke popsicles on behalf of The Ivy Chelsea, Fortnum & Mason and Bunga Bunga (named after Silivio Berlusconi’s infamous parties obvs but created for a quirky pizzeria in Battersea). A section entitled 'Poparazzi’ on their website leaves one in no doubt of their popularity.

And you know it’s getting big when Aldi create an own brand alcoholic popsicle Gianni’s and offer a Gin & Tonic flavour. One can only hope it is made with their Oliver Cromwell gin which, despite its modest price tag of £9.97, won Gold at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge this year.

This has also been the summer of Frose, made by blending a cold bottle of rosé with a handful of frozen strawberries, ice and sugar to taste. This pretty-in-pink concoction has been the perfect way to toast the summer of 2017.

Brain freeze is also the result of the growing British love affair with frozen cocktails. These have travelled across the Atlantic from America where they are part of the regular offer in bars and restaurants. Diageo’s ‘freeze & squeeze’ Parrot Bay means we can all have something fun to share with friends without the hassle of preparation. 

Perhaps it is the apparent innocence of these frozen alcoholic offerings that has made them so appealing. Like chocolate Easter eggs they offer a chance to regress. To suck not sip. To experience alcohol in a solid or semi solid form before it melts to a liquid one. New occasions (popsicles are so portable and no dangerous glasses get left behind) and new rituals are being born simply through changing the state of the product.

At a more sophisticated level, Champagne on ice is also having a summer moment. Benoit Gouez, Chef de Cave at Moet & Chandon, says, "Moët Ice has proven so popular because it answers a genuine consumer need. During the summer months, people in hot spots such as St Tropez were drinking champagne on ice - also known as a “piscine”. While a chic way to refresh yourselfin the summer, drinking brut champagne over ice dilutes the wine and breaks its balance. Moët Ice Imperial Blanc is made from a higher percentage of red grapes than brut, and with a much higher dosage of sugar which works perfectly when served on ice."

Also from LMVH, Veuve Clicquot’s Veuve Rich is a champagne with a higher percentage of Pinot Noir and Meunier grapes, making for a creamer, fruitier and ice-suitable fizz. It can even be served with crudites popped in; slices of red pepper, for instance, bring out a truly delicious, peppery sweetness in Rich.

All part of bartenders’ and consumers’ search for unique summer experiences that really work.

1 September 2017