It’s officially picnic season! With weather like this, it feels a little criminal to spend our time eating inside. Picnics are a wonderful way to gather loved ones, enjoy a delicious meal and reconnect with the outdoors! With that being said, we have gathered a few recipe ideas to help you plan a beautiful day. So grab your favourite blanket, and read our tips for packing the perfect summer picnic!
When it comes time to choose a summer cocktail, crisp and bright flavours are usually best. While every basket should have a bottle of flat or sparkling water, these options are a little more exciting while still keeping everyone cool on a sunny day:
Aperol Spritz: For this cocktail, add 3 oz of Aperol, 3 oz of Prosecco, 1 oz of soda water, an orange slice and a few ice cubes to a large wine glass. Serve and enjoy!
Tequila Sunrise: This slice of paradise calls for 11/2 oz of tequila, 3⁄4 cup of orange juice, 3⁄4 oz of grenadine syrup, orange slice, and maraschino cherry. For this recipe, fill your glass with ice and add the tequila and orange juice. Next, slowly pour the grenadine into the glass over the back of a spoon, this will allow it to settle at the bottom. Next, garnish with your orange slice and maraschino cherry.
Gin and Basil Smash: Muddle 10 leaves of fresh basil at the bottom of your shaker. Add 2 oz of gin, 3⁄4 oz of fresh lemon juice, 3⁄4 oz of simple syrup, ice and shake until thoroughly mixed. Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice and double strain the gin basil smash over the ice.
Watermelon Mojito: Muddle 2 chunks of watermelon at the bottom of your shaker. Add 2 oz of white rum, the juice from 1 lime, 3 teaspoons of simple syrup, and a few sprigs of mint and ice to the shaker. Mix well. Fill your cup with ice, pour the combined mixture into the glass and top the drink with ginger ale. Garnish with mint.
While barbecues are the perfect time to whip up rich and decadent sliders, picnic cuisine tends to work best when the recipes are light and fresh. With that being said, an assortment of salads, fruits, veggies and cheeses always hits the spot.
The Basics: Tomato, basil and bocconcini skewers; hummus and baba ganoush with baked pita chips; a cheese board.
Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad: For this recipe, cube a whole watermelon and remove the seeds. Add the watermelon to a large serving bowl. Crumble 1 1/2 cups of feta cheese over the watermelon. In a separate bowl, combine 1⁄4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, the juice from 3 limes, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 3⁄4 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix the dressing and toss it into the salad. Top the dish off with a cup of chopped fresh mint leaves and mix one more time.
Peach & Plum Caprese Salad: Arrange sliced ripe peaches and plums on a platter, layering fresh mozzarella slices in between the fruit. Drizzle olive oil over the platter and add a few pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper on top. Scatter a handful of basil leaves across the platter and serve.
Grilled Pineapple Salsa: Cut a fresh pineapple into small cubes, brush them with extra virgin olive oil and grill both sides until lightly charred. Add the pineapple to a bowl. Chop 2 ripe peaches and 1⁄2 a red onion. Mince 1 jalapeño and fresh cilantro. Add all of this to a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the dish and add a few pinches of sea salt. Toss the salsa and serve with tortilla chips.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Prosecco Grapes: Wash a 2 lb. bag of green grapes and put them in a large bowl. Pour 750 ml of prosecco and 4 oz of vodka over the grapes. Place the bowl in the fridge and let it soak for at least an hour. Drain and pat them dry. Pour sugar into the bowl and mix until the grapes are fully coated. Transfer the grapes into a clean bowl and serve. For those looking for an alcohol-free option, bringing frozen or candy-coated grapes are also delicious options!
Chocolate Covered Fruit and Nuts: You can pick these tasty snacks up from any grocery store or you can go for a do-it-yourself. They pack easily and make a perfect not-too-sweet end to a meal.
Lastly, please don’t feed any animals your picnic scraps, no matter how cute they may be! And remember to always leave the site better than you found it.
By: Briahna McTigue