The UK has already seen one heatwave this year with Europe recording its second warmest June on record, and with another one expected for the end of this month it is safe to say summer is officially here.
Now that the lifting of Covid restrictions is also finally within reach, it is the perfect time to get your friends and family together for a barbecue.
Original Jerk barbecues
For the perfect gathering with family or friends, you need to start with the perfect barbecue.
Streatham-based brand Original Jerk creates bespoke barbecues that are as dazzling to look at as they are functional.
Conan Sturdy (pictured) started making oil drum barbecues in the late 1990s when his workshop was in Ladbroke Grove, west London before moving the workshop to Rowan Road, Streatham Vale 12 years ago.
When his brother Will passed away, Conan poured all his energy into Original Jerk barbecues as a way of focusing his mind. A small workshop sideline soon developed and he was selling 40 barbecues a month all over the UK.
The grills on all the barbecues are inspired by beaches, the sea, sunsets and nature. Having artwork laser cut out of thick slabs of steel sheet is unique to Original Jerk barbecues.
The brand stands tall on its design, with all machines handmade and powered on 100 per cent green energy for the last eight years.
More information, go to at www.originaljerk.co.uk
T BONE dual smoker and BBQ – £1,500
The J cut is a multi-purpose barbecue that uses adjustable air vents and a chimney baffle coupled with another drum as a base.
The fire basket in the lower section can be used to create smoke for slower, smokier, indirect cooking with the smoke flowing unhindered into the top drum which also be used as a barbecue, making this model the perfect grill for feeding big groups.
VERT BBQ – £300
High-quality and handmade, this barbecue is built to last. The classic design is 90cm tall by 60cm diameter with a laser cut silicon steel grill. Special features include a 2mm thick fire basket that hangs from the lip of the drum and is easy to lift out to empty ash by tipping the drum. The fire basket also hangs lower to allow for cooking with the lid on for added control by unscrewing the cap.
No barbecue would be complete without plenty of meat but it is important to prioritise quality when choosing what’s on the menu.
The Proud Sow butchers boasts high quality, traceable English meat coupled with great service.
The Crofton Park shop, originally established as a butchers in 1908, one of South London’s oldest, was taken over by Oli Khaldi in 2014.
Oli and his team ensure a high standard of butchery by using only traditional methods and techniques.
The original shop, close to Crofton Park railway station, quickly became a community staple, allowing The Proud Sow to open another site in Dulwich Village in 2018.
Both shops provide a full range of grass-fed organic meat and poultry together with handmade sausages and a contemporary range of artisan produce.
You will find lots of extras including a range of fine cheeses, as well as freshly baked bread and other larder staples.
For more information visit www.proudsow.co.uk
If there’s one thing that South London does well it’s beer, and everyone knows that beer and barbecues go hand in hand.
Making the most of the abundance of local breweries South of the river is a perfect way to level-up a summer night.
Top local breweries to check include:
Brew By Numbers, based in Bermondsey
Brick Brewery, based in Peckham
Gipsy Hill Brewing Company, based in Gipsy Hill
Canopy Beer Co, based in Herne Hill
Kernel, based in Bermondsey
Ink Spot, based in Crystal Palace
Brixton Brewery, based in Brixton Villages, based in Deptford
Market Row Botanical Rum
For those who are a fan of spirits over beer, cocktails are a perfect addition to any barbecue.
Still keeping it South London, why not choose a rum crafted by The Brixton Distillery Company in the heart of Brixton.
Market Row Botanical Rum has a blend of pot still rums from five historic and award-winning distilleries in their own right across Jamaica, The Dominican Republic and Barbados.
It is then infused with Kenyan black tea, Nigerian hibiscus and Asian red rose petals – vibrant, interesting and unique botanicals inspired by Brixton Market.
Aged in ex-bourbon barrels, it has a naturally dry and light taste, with less sugar than most rums – making it particularly great for mixed drinks and cocktails.
Market Row Botanical Rum was awarded a silver medal in the International Spirits Challenge 2021 (Rum & Cane Spirits) only seven months after launching.
This competition is recognised as one the world’s leading, underpinned by a rigorous judging process, with more than 2,000 entries received from 70 different countries.
For more information contact www.brixtondistillery.com
SPOTLIGHT ON DRINKS
How to make an Hibiscus Daiquiri
50ml Market Row Rum
25ml Lime Juice
20ml Hibiscus Syrup
Method: Shake all ingredients together hard with ice Serve in a coupette glass with no ice Garnish with hibiscus flowers
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