As part of our Euro-themed issue it would be tempting to bring you a list of Europe's most innovative and craziest drinks. In the end, however, we thought it would be much more useful if we instead came up with suggestions of European drinks you can make and serve from brands you probably already stock. Never let it be said we haven't got your back.
1. Orangina & beer
The classic French soft drink of your childhood finally came to the UK on-trade in its trademark "bulby" bottle last year. The brand celebrates its 80th birthday this year as well, so alongside the original "shake it to wake it" serve (over ice, with a slice of orange to garnish), the company has designed a range of alternative suggestions. These include: Orangina, elderflower cordial, lime juice & sugar; Orangina, Angostura Bitters & lime; or for a Gallic twist on a shandy — or its modern incarnation the radler — mix half-a-pint of beer with Orangina and serve with a squeeze of lime.
2. Anglo-Italian Spritz
This recipe comes from drinks company Diageo and is a mix of the very British (gin) and the typically Italian (limoncello and Prosecco). Simply fill a large wine glass with ice, add 25ml of Gordon's Gin, 25ml limoncello, 75ml cloudy lemonade, 75ml Prosecco and stir to mix. Garnish with wheels of lemon and a fast car.
3. Magners Irish cider
The Irish brand that sparked the cider revolution is undergoing a period of evolution this summer, with new-look
bottles set to roll out this month, alongside a multi-million-pound advertising campaign. In pubs and bars Magners Golden Draught, the specially blended version of the cider for draught sales, will be replaced with Magners Original, meaning the cider will taste the same from a bottle and a tap for the first time.
4. Kopparberg Mixed Fruit
Every drop of Kopparberg is imported from Sweden and it is all still made in the "Bryggeri" in the town of Kopparberg by brewmaster Wolfgang and his two sons Rayhardt and Rickhard. In the UK the mixed fruit flavour is the bestselling variant in the range, so why not raise a glass to our Scandi friends? Skål!
5. Purdey's Edge
Not just an excuse for your drinks editor to shoe-horn in another pic of Idris Elba to these pages, oh no. This new variant from Purdey's is our suggestion for a quintessentially British drink — albeit with a twist. Made with wormwood, snakeroot, hawthorn and blackthorn, the concoction is an energy drink for grown-ups and is so good for you it comprises one of your five-a-day. It's just pure luck that Idris is the face of the brand...
6. Campo Viejo Blanco
This is one of the best-known wine brands from the Spanish Rioja region and brand owner Pernod Ricard has just added this, the first white wine, to the range. Made from the indigenous Spanish grapes Tempranillo and Viura, it is described as "fresh and pleasant" and a great match with chicken, fish and salad dishes.
7. The Irish River
Drinks supplier Halewood
International is urging licensees to create a cocktail menu of themed drinks to make the most of this summer's events. For the Euro opportunity it is suggesting this cocktail made with 40ml of its Pogues Irish whiskey, one teaspoon caster sugar, 15ml cognac, 15ml Benedictine, two dashes of orange bitters and four mint leaves. Just stir the ingredients together and strain into an Old Fashioned glass.
8. Customised Coca-Cola
Mocktails are becoming more and more popular in pubs and bars but, as European drinkers demonstrate, they need not be complicated. In several
countries across the Continent it has become popular for drinkers to make a simple glass of Coke their own by adding (for example) fresh mint leaves, slices of ginger or some elderflower. "This is a great way to add some theatre to your soft drink offering," says trade communications manager Donna Pisani.
9. Fizz over ice
New to the Matthew Clark range this summer is a new version of Moët et
Chandon Champagne, which is designed to be served over ice — Moët Ice Imperial NV. It's not quite as mad as it sounds to British ears. The French have been putting champers over ice for decades in a cocktail called La Piscine (the swimming pool), and the Spanish are also rumoured to be getting in on the act this year, with cava brand Freixenet launching a product designed to be served over ice. Watch this space...
10. A pint of Carlsberg
Of course there are myriad big-brand European beers we could list here but, as the official beer of Uefa Euro 2016, we could hardly finish this list without giving Carlsberg a mention. With the brand having recently celebrated Easter with a pop-up beer bar made entirely of chocolate (#ifCarlsbergDid...), everyone's looking forward to seeing what's in store for the Euros.