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Try these easy refreshments for the perfect picnic!

23 Apr 2021 |

No picnic is complete without some delicious refreshments. Try these easy recipes from Max’s Picnic Book and quench your thirst at your next picnic!


Breakfast Martini


Do yourself a favour and buy the best you can. Get that good, good marmalade and a decent gin. Also, keep your gin and triple sec in the freezer, and freeze a couple of martini glasses too. That frosted glass is a rare treat, and essential for a perfect martini – at breakfast, or any other time.

Makes 2 martinis


2 tablespoons fine-cut marmalade

100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) gin

2 tablespoons triple sec or Cointreau

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 slice of bread, toasted


Put a few lumps of ice in a martini glass and fill it with water to chill.


Put the marmalade in a cocktail shaker with the gin and triple sec and stir and stir until the marmalade has dissolved.


Fill the shaker with ice, add the lemon juice and stir and stir and stir making sure the spoon goes right to the bottom of the shaker. Don’t shake it like that philistine Bond, it will only water it down.


Stir 50 times - count them. The shaker will have become so frosty and cold you will hardly be able to touch it.


Sling the iced water from the glass and pour the sparkly liquid through a sieve into it.


On the side of your martini, have a slither of cold, heavily buttered toast with marmalade on it. Why should the toast be cold? Because as my mum says, ‘Butter should be ON toast, not IN toast’.



Perfect ‘Arnold Palmer’ Iced Tea


Arnold Palmer was a golfer with a languid swing and a diamond-cut palate for iced tea. As such, he gave his name to this, the most refreshing of all non-alcoholic drinks – and we include water and Mountain Dew in that list.


Makes enough for 4 large glasses


20 g (¾ oz) loose-leaf black tea or 3 tea bags

100 g (3 ½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

Juice of 2 lemons, plus slices to serve

Angostura Bitters (optional)


Put the tea or tea bags into a jug or spouted receptacle with 600 ml (21 fl oz/ 2 ½ cups) of cold water. Cold water, and a long brew (3–4 hours before straining) makes the tea less tannic and bitter.


If you are in a rush, brew the tea in 600ml (21 fl oz/2 1/2 cups) of freshly boiled water for 3 minutes if using loose-leaf tea, or 1 minute if using tea bags, then sieve it and decant it into an old mineral water bottle or something – the cold method is much better.


For the lemonade, put 75 ml (3 fl oz/ 1/3 cup) of tap water into a pan and bring it to the boil and take off the heat. Add the sugar and stir slowly and carefully until completely dissolved.


Allow to cool, stir in the lemon juice and add 600 ml (21 fl oz / 2 1/2 cups) of tap water. I do this in a spouted bowl, then funnel it into an old water bottle that the tea will fit in too.


You can keep the tea and the lemonade separate in case your chosen ratio of lemonade to tea changes. Iced tea and homemade lemonade are very personal things. You might prefer the tea much stronger or the lemonade much sweeter, so experiment with how you like it and remember to write your recipe down.


Arnold Palmer is at its best served in a huge glass, full of ice, with a slice of lemon. and possibly a couple of drops of some Angostura Bitters.


Campari, Crème de Menthe and Orange Ice Lollies

 Campari lollies

The absolute truth is that I might prefer these lollies without the creme de menthe. I can’t decide. Please let me know what you think! You’ll need lolly moulds for this. If you haven’t got any sack this off completely, get yourself a fruit ice lolly and mix a glass of Campari and Orange to go on the side.


Makes 6 lollies


600 ml (20 fl oz/2 ½ cups) freshly squeezed orange juice

Zest of 1 orange

100 g (3 ½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

3 tablespoons Campari

3 tablespoons creme de menthe


Heat the orange juice, zest and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat.


Stir to help dissolve the sugar, but do not let it boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Divide the orange juice into three equal parts. Add the Campari to one part and the creme de menthe to another, leaving the final part as it is.


Now distribute the plain orange juice evenly between six lolly moulds and place in the freezer. Give

it an hour or two to freeze solid, then add the Campari mix and freeze for another hour or two.


Finally, add the creme de menthe layer and return to the freezer for several hours until completely frozen.


To release the lollies from their moulds, very briefly hold the base of the moulds under warm running water.

Max's Picnic Book is available to buy now at your local bookshop, or online at Amazon and Waterstones.