The between seasons of Spring and Autumn have to be my favourite when it comes to getting outdoors. I’m all about that moderate weather – warm days that become cool evenings are the ideal setting for stuffing myself silly in the park somewhere. But with the opportunity to get outdoors (and indulge in 2+ kgs of cheese), there also comes a few risks. Not life threatening risks I’ll admit, but picnic ruining ones. Which, if you’re into a cold beverage on the grass as much as I am, can often feel like the same thing. Said risks include: things forgotten, soggy sandwiches, warm drinks and chewed on by a cloud of sandflies. I admit, getting outdoors for a picnic is a little more tricky than say, going to your favourite coffee shop, but it’s also way better. And worth the investment!
To celebrate the change in seasons (I’m hoping it’s something akin to picnic weather where you are), I recently got together with Cointreau and friends for a picnic and a few Cointreau Fizz. With a little pre-planning it was (pretty much) perfect. I thought I would share with you a few rules for picnic perfection.
Five rules for hosting the Perfect Picnic
Choose (and test) your spot
When it comes to picnics, preparation is key, most importantly where you’ll have your little shindig. Because unlike your living room, your perfect picnic spot is in a constant state of flux – where the sun is at, where those angry geese from the pond are, and whether there’s someone else with their eye on your spot. While it’s the serendipitous nature of a picnic I love so much, it doesn’t hurt to do a little research in advance to make sure you’re spot is top notch. Particularly if this is one of those romantic-first-date picnics where being chased by geese isn’t necessarily a positive. One more thing, if you can, choose a spot where you can see some water, by the beach, a lake or a pond. What can I say? It feels a little more fancy.
Recreate your living room
The more comfortable the better. You pretty much want to feel comfortable enough to binge watch a whole season on Netflix. As such, there’s no such thing as too many cushions (until you have to lug them back to the car). A few crates or boxes are also the perfect picnic accessory – fill them full of stuff and then use them as a little table. e grabbed a whole heap of rugs, cushions, throws and blankets from West Elm and set about making the space as comfortable as possible. In fact it was so comfy that my friend Annie fell asleep (clearly my chat is amazing).
‘Pic’ the perfect drinks
The best picnic drinks are easy to make, a little bit special and not too hard to carry. A Cointreau Fizz fulfilled all those requirements for us – made with a measure of Cointreau, Soda, some ice and a squeeze of lime. We added a dash of homemade rustic berry cordial (scroll down for the recipe) to give it that extra little something.
Be mindful of food
All that fresh air is no doubt going to make you hungry, so you better make sure you have boatloads of delicious eats to get you through the afternoon. I’m all about more is more when it comes to filling your picnic basket, but you have to be mindful of the type of food you take – avoid anything that’s going to get soggy or go off if left out for too long. For this picnic we kept it simple with lots of lovely cheeses, dips and fruit for after.
Don’t forget the essentials
A knife, bottle opener, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, serviettes and a good spotify playlist are absolutely key. Oh and amazing friends to come along. The rest you can live without.
And finally, don’t worry. Be happy. Unexpected events like rain or a bird carrying off your meal are nothing to get upset about. That’s part of the fun of a picnic!
We added a few generous measures of this berry cordial to our Cointreau Fizz drinks. To make your own Cointreau Fizz, simply add 30 ml of Cointreau, Soda water and Lime Juice to a glass of ice. Stir and enjoy.
Rustic Berry Cordial Recipe
- 500g raspberries
- 500g caster sugar (we used less so it wasn’t so sweet.
- 3tbsp red wine vinegar
You can use stevia or coconut palm sugar if you don’t want to use refined sugar.
- Put the raspberries in a pan with the sugar and vinegar.
- Mash over a low heat for 5 – 10 mins. If you’re after a smoother consistency, you can rub through a sieve into a clean pan (we liked ours rustic.
- Pour into small sterilised bottles and seal. The cordial will keep unopened for a few months. Once opened, store in the fridge.
This post is in collaboration with Cointreau.