Perfectly Paired Snacks and Spritzes for All the Picnics You've Got Planned This Spring
From decadent lobster rolls and rosé spritzes to fruit-laden cakes and fizzy elderflower sips, here's what to pack for your next park hang.
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Whether you've spent many afternoons lazing in the sun at your local park or you're just getting into picnics thanks to the NSW Government's recent outdoor recreation rules, no doubt you've got a swag of picnics planned this spring. And, as any seasoned picnicker knows, what you pack in your basket can make or break your al fresco afternoon. It's a fine balance between savoury snacks and sweet treats, and you want to be able to graze for hours — so bringing the right amount is crucial. Plus, if you're planning to bring booze, then you have even more decisions on your proverbial plate.
We've teamed up with Rosie Spritz to bring you some perfect snack and spritz pairings for all your upcoming park hangs with mates. Why a spritz? Well, the fizzy Italo-style wine-based aperitivo has become synonymous with sunny days and laidback catch-ups, making it the ideal springtime picnic tipple. And because we take our picnic game seriously, we've divvied up our dreamy picnic feast into antipasto platters, more substantial snacks like sangas and salads, and delightful desserts — all matched with Rosie sips, of course. Whip up — or pick up — some of these tasty treats, grab a four-pack of Rosies and head to a park or beach within your LGA or five-kilometre bubble, pals, because picnic season is upon us.
THE STARTER-PACK SPREAD WITH BUBBLY PROSECCO ROSÉ
Any picnic worth going to will have a cheese platter. And, after so many months at home, you're going to want to do better than slices of Bega. You'll want a hard, a soft and a stinky — think smoked and aged cheddars, gooey camemberts and a fragrant roquefort. Luckily, Sydney has a heap of top-notch cheese shops where you can grab your stash, including Penny's Cheese Shop, The Stinking Bishops, Paesenella Food Emporium, Fourth Village Providore and Galluzzo's Fruiterers.
Of course, you'll want to add some cured meats to that cheese board, for which we recommend LP Quality Meats' saucisson sec or a mixed charcuterie plate from Continental Deli's Newtown or CBD locations. If you want to emulate chic Italian vibes, then add some prosciutto-wrapped rockmelon to your basket. The creaminess of the cheese and salty hit from the charcuterie will complement the vibrant and crisp Rosie Prosecco Rosé you'll be sipping, too. Not only is it classy to kick things off with bubbles, but the tipple's notes of fresh pear, melon and wild strawberry are the perfect match for these rich snacks.
If you're someone who goes all out on antipasto, then you'll also want to throw in some dips like taramasalata, baba ganoush, hummus...you get the idea. Of course, carbs are a must — even if just as a vessel for you cheese and array of dips — so be sure to throw in some crackers and bread. To get in your quota of veg, add some olives, marinated artichokes and stuffed baby peppers and you, my friend, have one helluva spread. And this is just the first course of your food- and bev-matched en plain air feast.
SANDWICHES AND SALADS FOR WHEN IT'S ROSÉ SPRITZ HOUR
Picture this: you're an hour or so into your picnic and you've grazed on all the Mediterranean snacks and dairy delights you can handle, plus had a spritz or two. Maybe you've even played a spot of Finska. Whatever the scenario is, you'll want to up the ante with some heftier eats if you plan on kicking it for a few more hours. The humble sandwich is a tried-and-tested winner at a picnic. Finger sambos are a go-to, particularly if you keep things old-school with fillings such as chicken, curried egg and cucumber — you know, the ones your nan would approve.
Another nostalgic sanga — and one that will pair perfectly with a Rosie Rosé Spritz — is the lavish lobster roll. After all, rosé and seafood is a heavenly combo — and nothing screams 'occasion' more than lobster. Although you could pick up a crustacean from a local fishmonger and make your own, save yourself the hassle and pre-order one from Bart Jr instead. Due to Sydney's current health orders, the Redfern bar is currently offering a bunch of picnic-appropriate bites, including these WA Rock Lobster- and NSW Clarence River king prawn-stuffed rolls, from its takeaway spin-off Bart Mart.
If you're interested in keeping things light, salads are a good shout. You will have to remember to pack bowls and cutlery, but, if you're willing, a Sicilian-style fennel and blood orange salad is a vibrant change from your standard iceberg lettuce chucked in a bowl. Or, you could make a bean-filled salad, like this zingy number made with cannellini beans, green beans and a hit of lemon and parsley. And, If you're seeking more carbs, a good ol' fashioned pasta salad never goes astray.
NO PICNIC IS COMPLETE WITHOUT CAKE (AND AN ELDERFLOWER SPRITZ)
It's spring, so a floral spritz is in order. Rosie's brand-new elderflower-flavoured spritz is the ideal drink to round out your extravagant picnic. The Rosie Elderflower Spritz is fragrant and has aromas of elderflower, vanilla, passionfruit and blackcurrant, so it's the perfect sidekick to a decadent cake. Citrus cakes are practically made for picnics — they're not too rich for a hot day, but they still satisfy those cake cravings. Flour and Stone's lemon drizzle cake is famous for a reason, so if you're willing to drop $75-plus on dessert, order one stat. Otherwise, Bourke St Bakery does a tasty flourless lemon number (from $25), topped with edible flowers. Or, you can bake one from scratch.
Sticking with the spring theme, frangipane tarts also make for a delicious daytime dessert, and Baked By Keiran makes some great riffs on the French classic that you can pick up daily from its Dulwich Hill, Bondi, Peakhurst and Elizabeth Bay stores. Not a cake or tart fan? Perhaps more niche and nostalgic treats are more your vibe and you should pick up a few of Sydney's best finger buns.
Naturally, you'll want a palate cleanser before you pack up your rug and head home, so it's time to tuck into the fruit platter. Complementing the elderflower spritz, fruits like watermelon, passionfruit and mangoes are crowd pleasers — and they're all in season.
Rosie Spritz is an ideal springtime sip and is available at BWS, Dan Murphy's and First Choice Liquor stores across Sydney. For more picnic inspiration, check out our guides to idyllic picnic spots where you can BYO booze in Sydney's inner west, inner city, lower north shore, eastern suburbs and northern beaches.
Top image: Brooke Zotti
Remember to Drinkwise.
Published on September 24, 2021 by Cordelia Williamson