Each year, the former bartender in me gets a sudden jolt of sunshine, and I transition to cocktails, some new, and some familiar. A classic summer cocktail can take on a whole new form, and with restaurants getting in on the bar game, it’s a fun way to explore bar favourites in your own home.
Here’s my round up of easy drinkers for summer.
Taking it in the can has such negative connotations! We’re no wine snobs, and the portability and freshness factor makes these wines winners. How can a California Chardonnay or juicy red taste good out of a can? They can’t be spoiled by cork or skunked by too much light. And we love the portion control, how many times have you intended on having a glass and then whoops! we drank the whole bottle. Relatable. From $4.95 at the LCBO.
Predictable, sure. But certainly mandatory! A spicy Caesar is the cure for what ails ya, and upping the ante with Walter means you’re getting the right tasty mix, minus all the junky preservatives and phony colouring. We prefer ours with a local premium vodka, like Spirit of York. Walter’s Caesar Mix, from $7.99 at your fave grocery store.
Not too sweet, this tall boy brings a hint of honey. And made with real brewed green tea it almost feels like self-care! Coming in at 5%, this drink is nice over ice, and the vodka base makes it an easy drinker for everyone. $3 at the LCBO.
A lovely consideration for all those cancelled bridal parties, birthdays or just a good reminder that it’s a weekend, impress friends (on Instagram of course) with Cactus Club Cafe’s just-bring-the-blender beverages. The kits come equipped with Frosé mix, two mini vodka bottles and a tetra pack of Rosé wine. Bellinis are also on board ($27.50). Frosé and Sangrias kits ring in at $29.50 (add a little extra for a big bag of ice), plus delivery fees. Don’t forget the truffle fries, we’d say you’ve earned them! Order for pick up here. Lead photo of Frosé.
Amaretto can be a tad sweet for some, but by throwing it on ice, adding a fresh squeeze of lemon and bubbly soda water, you got yourself a nifty balanced concoction that closely resembles an Italian-style lemonade. Garnish with fresh mint for an uplifting and herbaceous bevvie! Disaronno Amaretto, from $30.95 per 750ml at the LCBO.
There’s a case to be made for not drinking, or so we’ve been told. When you’re going extra innings on a hot day, or running from Costco lineup to well, home again, you can keep your cool (and inner Karen in check) with a flavour shot of fun. The just-add-water format Of Tetley Cold Infusions also works for drink pitchers, not that you have anyone to share with. From $4.49 for a box of 12.
Is there anything quite as Canadian as maple? While we’ve long been stealing swigs out of the bottle when no one is looking, a better format, certainly is here, by way of SAPSUCKER. Three flavours offer a variety of bubbly fun, lemon, lime and original are all on deck. The natural flavours and unique sappiness are also super hydrating and full of antioxidants and minerals. Sweet! From $55 for a case of 24.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the other flavours (mango and lime) are very decent, but the not too sweet, just right tartness of Black Cherry White Claw offers a perfect balance of bubbles and fruitiness. Coming in at a slender 140 cals per tall boy can, with 1 gram of carbs, and totally gluten-free, you can indulge in a few and not feel bloated and gross. It’s a svelte spritzer perfect for the patio, picnic or cottage cooler. From $2.95 at the LCBO.
What are you sipping this summer? Tell us in the comments below!
All photos by Libby Roach.