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Summer Sports Ideas

Treating sports-fans to something a little special as they watch Wimbledon, the Olympics or Euro 2012 is a simple way to reward prized regulars and also attract new custom in the coming weeks.

Football is first on the sporting calendar with UEFA ’s Euro 2012 Championships kicking off on June 8 and rolling on for a month.

England are up against 15 friendly foes whose nations all provide opportunities for drink’s promotions with national bevies ranging from German Becks through Spanish San Miguel to Russian vodkas for the more hardcore.

But to score past your local rivals, why not focus on the food and bar snacks of the two host countries – Poland and Ukraine? ‘Creating History Together’ is the slogan for Euro 2012, based on the neighbouring countries uniting to provide a tremendous festival of football.

Poland and Ukraine have similar food histories and share many of the same tastes. And one easy way to pass on the flavours loved by the hosts – and turn screened matches into memorable events – is to produce half-time bowls of sliced gherkins and beetroot teamed up with sour cream dips.

This upfront pairing is only improved by adding a selection of roughly sliced cured Polish sausage such as kabanos together with coarse brown mustard.

Ukraine has long been known as ‘the breadbasket of Europe’ due to its grain production, so thin sliced slabs of rye bread would team up perfectly.

For a hot alternative, hearty bowls of Bigos – Poland’s national dish – are an ideal way of using yesterday’s roast pork and can stand proudly on any menu.

To give the true taste of Ukraine it has to be Borscht which is the national dish of Europe’s second largest country.

Amongst the football frenzy sits the world’s most famous tennis tournament which embodies all things Old English – summed up by the simple perfection of strawberries and cream.

From June 25 to July 8 the country suddenly becomes obsessed with the whack of racquets and the grunts and groans of visiting tennis stars.

And importantly this is one sporting event that grips female imaginations like no other.

So why not tap into that passion with a strawberry-themed promotion to accompany the singles’ finals?

Growers are producing a bumper crop of fruit to cope with an expected 10% leap in demand – which means market prices should remain stable and bring you good profit margins.

The anticipated yield is an amazing 55,000 tonnes in preparation for the summer’s expected tourism boom.

But as well as the traditional Wimbledon fare – why not tempt customers with dazzling strawberry Daiquiris on your drinks menu as Andy Murray battles to victory?

This classic crowd-pleaser created from a fistful of strawberries, white rum, sugar, strawberry liqueur and lime juice in a smart martini glass should be a straight-sets winner!

Or for a longer, sparkling drink try this variation on a classic strawberry punch which would look spectacular in a bowl on the bar.

  • 1 kilo of halved strawberries sprinkled with 100g of icing sugar and six long strips of lemon rind then covered with four bottles of medium white wine and a bottle of Cava.
  • Mix and leave for two hours before serving, complete with cocktail sticks to enjoy the soaked strawberries – game, set and match.
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