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5 simple must-try summer cocktails

Nothing beats a cool drink on a patio during a hot summer day in August. Whether you are hanging out at a restaurant with friends or inviting family to show off your beautiful backyard, having a refreshing drink on hand is critical!

Wine, beer, and even sangria are staples — but what if you want to try something a bit different that won’t hurt the bank? These five cocktails are simple and easy to make at home. They don’t require too many fancy ingredients and they are sure to impress your guests on a muggy summer afternoon. Enjoy!

Gin and tonic

Gin and Tonic: This drink is great for those who may not be particularly fond of sweet mixes. It’s also really easy to make. Simply mix one to two ounces of gin (depending on preference) with a tall glass of tonic water on ice. Slice a lime and squeeze out some of the juice into the glass and mix. Add in a slice of lime and a sprig of mint or rosemary for added class. This classic drink is especially refreshing, but doesn’t have the sweetness of a juice-based cocktail.

Mai Tai: Imagine you are on a beach, watching the sun set over a calm ocean. You may not have the beach, or the ocean, but what can have is a drink that reminds you of the tropics. Shake one and a half ounces of white rum, half an ounce of lime juice, orange Curacao, and orgeat syrup (or simple syrup with orange zest). Put in a glass with some ice and then pour three quarters of an ounce of dark rum on top to create a layered look. Top with a slice of pineapple or candied cherries.

Margarita: No need for a fancy Mexican restaurant — you can make this tasty drink yourself! Simply shake two ounces of tequila, one ounce of lime juice, and one ounce of triple sec. Pour over ice if you prefer the beverage on the rocks or blend with ice for a frozen affect. Don’t forget to rim your glass with salt!

margarita

The Parrot’s Grog: This is not as well-known as a Gin and Tonic or a Margarita, but it is equally as thirst-quenching. Combine one ounce of whisky, half an ounce of rum, one ounce of fresh grapefruit juice, half an ounce of lime juice, and half an ounce of honey. Shake all these ingredients together and put it in a glass with ice. Top with some soda water and a fancy umbrella!

Long Island Iced Tea: This is another addictive classic, but be warned — drinking too much can lead to table-top dancing! This cocktail has lots of alcohol hidden behind a little sugar. Mix half an ounce of vodka, white rum, gin, triple sec, and tequila (all the good stuff). Put one ounce of lemon juice, simple syrup, and a bit of coke. Pour it in a tall glass with lots of ice and a fancy straw.

What are your favourite summer cocktails? Let us know in the comments below!

5 delicious summer patio drinks

It’s finally patio season! To the disbelief of most Canadians, the sun actually peeked out from behind the clouds this long weekend— the same clouds that gave us rain and hail the weekend before. Personally, I took advantage of this beautiful summer weather and spent most of it outside.

While some of these outdoor activities included cycling, hiking, and gardening, it also involved a number of cold frothy beverages. Let’s face it — there is nothing more appealing than a cold beer on a patio on a hot summer day.

Sadly, inhaling beer on a regular basis can be a bit harsh on the digestive system. If you, like me, are getting tired of ordering whatever is on tap this summer, take a look at some of these delicious and light summer patio options:

 

white wine

White wine spritzers: This is one of my favourite things to order on a hot summer day. I’m a big fan of wine, but I find it a bit heavy with a light meal. A spritzer is a combination of white wine and carbonated tonic water. This gives the beverage a slightly sweeter taste and adds some bubbly texture. It’s very light and is half the calories of a regular glass of wine!

Ciders: If you aren’t a big beer person, a cider may be the perfect option. They are typically sweeter than the typical hoppy beer and contain hints of fruit (apple or grapefruit is my favourite). There are a number of local breweries across Canada that specializes in these beverages and each one offers their own twist. They range from being lightly sweetened to tasting a bit like juice.

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Photo by Personal Creations.

Mojito: Made of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint, mojitos are dangerous drinks. The lime cuts through the sweetness and it may seem like you are just drinking a refreshing minty lemonade. Be warned: consuming too many mojitos may impair your thinking.

Ceasar: This drink is not as light as the others, but it is refreshing on a hot day. Make it with tomato juice, vodka, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to taste. I’m partial to making it with gin instead of vodka. Serve with celery — does anyone know why we serve it with celery? Either way, it’s a great drink to have with appetizers like chicken wings. You can also count it as a serving of vegetables, which is a plus!

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Margarita/daiquiri: I love blended drinks! There is absolutely nothing more relaxing than a cold, frosty, iced beverage. The delicious blend of tequila and lime, or mango and rum is life-changing. The unfortunate part is that it is jam-packed with sugars. If you choose to go this route, make sure you are at a restaurant or bar that makes them well. This is not a drink you want to order from a pub with cheap alcohol.

Bonus drink!

H20: Don’t forget to hydrate!!! It’s easy to get carried away with all of these delicious alcoholic options. If the weather is particularly hot, make sure to alternate between water and alcoholic beverages to ensure you don’t become dehydrated.

What’s your favourite patio beverage? Let us know in the comments below!