Looking for a crisp white wine to roll out at a summer party, or a non-alcoholic beer to offer to an abstaining guest at a barbecue? Then look no further.
From lip-smackingly fresh whites and easy-to-drink, fruity reds to cool beers (both craft-style and traditional), good-value bubbles and summery softies, we bring you 25 unmissable drinks to enjoy this summer.
1) Côtes de Thau Vue Sur Mer 2018
France (12%, £5.99, Aldi)
Crisp, easy-drinking refreshment with notes of grapefruit pith and soft green herbs – an ideal party white for the summer months.
2) Reserve du Boulas, Laudun, Côtes du Rhône Villages 2018
France (14%, £10, Marks & Spencer)
A reliably brilliant stalwart in the M&S range, delivering exuberant fruit (apricot and citrus) tempered by a savoury streak.
3) Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Riesling 2018
South Australia (12.5%, £11, Co-op)
Feather-light yet amazingly persistent, with lime flowers and ginger. Supreme summer drinking that, if you’re inclined to keep it, will age for a decade.
4) Ara Select Blocks Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2018
New Zealand (13.5%, £12, down to £10 until 2 July, Sainsbury’s)
Marlborough sauvignon with more to it than its rivals. Upfront fruit is countered by lemon zest and textural complexity.
5) Aristea Chardonnay 2017
Stellenbosch, South Africa (13%, £27.04, privatecellar.co.uk)
This is grand cru chablis in disguise, with wildflower honey, greengage and a fresh, saline acidity. Only two vintages in and it is already one of my favourite South African chardonnays.
Selected by Hamish Anderson
6) The Interlude Pinot Noir 2018
South Eastern Australia (13%, £7, Co-op)
A rare budget pinot that delivers. Chill this down for warm days and revel in its flavour of crushed strawberries and earthy depth.
7) Reyneke Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2017
Western Cape, South Africa (13%, £10.99, Waitrose & Partners)
Great value at full price and a real bargain with a discount, from a producer that is never less than brilliant. Expect fresh blueberry, tobacco leaf, and a ripe but pleasant grip of tannin.
8) Stéphane Aviron Chénas 2017
Beaujolais, France (13%, £10.95, The Wine Society)
Beaujolais is always a sound red choice for hot weather. This has fresh spice and red fruit for instant appeal, along with density and a bite of tannin to add gravitas.
9) Cosme Palacio Rioja Vendimia Seleccionada 2016
Spain (13.5% £12, Sainsbury’s)
Lovely rioja that treads a line between old-school oak and modern fruit, with plum, blackberry, warm earth and vanilla.
10) Bernabeleva Camino de Navaherreros 2017
Madrid, Spain ( 13.5%, £13.95, grandcruco.com)
Garnacha (grenache) of dangerous drinkability. Serve cool and enjoy its raspberries, wild herbs, flowers and smoke.
Selected by Hamish Anderson
Rosé and fizz
11. Atelier Mirabeau Prêt-à-Porter 2018
France (13%, £3.49 for a 25cl can, Waitrose & Partners)
One third of a regular bottle in a can, this is ideal to deploy at picnics. It is a classical, delicate southern French rosé full of subtle red fruit and fresh herbs.
12. Graham Beck The Rhona Brut Rosé NV
Robertson, South Africa (12%, £10, Marks & Spencer)
A steal at a tenner, this is a serious glass of fizz with bright fruit in the form of redcurrant and strawberry, supported by a creamy weight.
13. Philizot & Fils Organic Brut NV, Champagne
France ( 12%, £26.99, Aldi, available in store)
Aldi’s sparkling range always impresses, and this elegant addition is another bargain. It’s all pears, citrus and cream, with a toasty depth.
14. Mezquiriz Garnacha Rosado 2018
Navarra, Spain ( 12%, £5.49, Lidl)
A full-flavoured, intense rosé whose extra weight makes it a great all-rounder with food. Enjoy notes of red cherry, plum and a peppery spice.
15. Clos Venturi On the QT Bin 17 Amphora Rosé 2018
Corsica, France (12%, £19.99, waitrosecellar.com)
From Waitrose’s exceptional On the QT range, a rosé full of interest and complexity – cranberry, lemon juice, dried rosemary and a blast of salinity.
Selected by Hamish Anderson
Beers and cider
16. Wild Card Brewery DDH IPA
(7.5%, £3 for a 440ml can, Tesco)
Something with a little more punch, hazy and redolent of pine, grapefruit and mango. It’s the perfect summer weeknight sundowner.
17. Fuller’s London Pride Unfiltered
(4.1%, £1.99 for a 330ml can, Waitrose & Partners)
One for more traditional beer drinkers, but as it has greater flavour and body than the original, you can drink it a little cooler during hot weather.
18. Marble Brewery and Magic Rock Peach Iced Tea Radler
(2.6%, £2.75 for a 500ml can, marblebeers.com)
Peach, coconut water, iced tea and a low-alcohol wheat-beer base – if this doesn’t scream easy summer enjoyment then I don’t know what does.
19. Small Beer The Original Lager
(2.1%, £12.96 for six 330ml bottles, Majestic)
An unfiltered, unpasteurised, full-flavoured lager with great eco credentials that just happens to be low ABV, making it an ideal barbecuing buddy.
20. Hogan’s Killer Sharp Cider
(5.8%, £2.50 for a 500ml bottle, eebria.com)
An aroma of honeyed dried apple, tinkles of passion fruit mid-palate, and a bone-dry finish – not as sharp as the name suggests, but a criminally drinkable cider nonetheless.
Selected by Melissa Cole
Softs and a spirit
21. Mermaid Gin
(42 per cent, £35.95 for 70cl, 31dover.com)
Smooth with subtle spice and salinity, this is produced by the Isle of Wight’s first and only distillery, using botanicals including samphire and island-grown hops. A G&T essential; beautiful bottle, too.
22. Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic Water
(£1.70 for 500ml, Sainsbury’s)
A crisp mixer that’s lower in calories than the brand’s Indian tonic (thanks to the small amount of fruit sugar it’s made with). Instantly cooling and versatile, it comes in can form too.
23. Martin Frobisher’s Sloe & Raspberry A Curious Cordial
(£3.25 for 365ml, Waitrose & Partners)
Subtly tangy and ideal for making up a batch of non-alcoholic punch, diluted with sparkling water. Not too sweet, and rather nice with a garnish of crushed raspberries.
24. Lucky Saint
(0.5 per cent, £1.99 for a 330ml bottle, lightdrinks.co.uk)
An unfiltered, low- (practically no-) alcohol lager that is wheaty, refreshing and very drinkable – ideal for hot-weather sipping, for abstainers and alcohol lovers alike (who may even be fooled).
25. Remedy Kombucha Raspberry Lemonade
A delicious canned version of the fermented black tea, this is made with raspberry extract and is sugar-free. Seriously spritzy, and great for taking to picnics or festivals.
Selected by Amy Bryant