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.

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!


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! 

Patio etiquette 101

Despite winter’s desperation to survive, it finally happened: spring has broken through. In celebration of this glorious event and me being a living stereotype (actor/waiter), please let me remind the general populace about a simple forgotten code: patio etiquette.

When dining upon a patio, please do your best to encourage the following:

1) Please do not sit until at least three-quarters of your party has arrived.
Toronto is a crammed city; green space and patio space are among the first to be consumed when nicer weather is upon us. I’m serious, try setting a blanket down at Trinity Bellwoods in June. It is a cruel joke when someone sits at the last patio table, occupying it for hours, as other poor souls develop shin splints standing in line with their full parties present.

2) It is illegal to smoke while sitting on an enclosed or partially enclosed patio.
Don’t get me wrong, I too love a drag when I’ve had a few G & Ts, but the law says no.

3) For the greater good and all that is holy, if you have a fungal infection or mangled hobbit feet, please wear closed-toe shoes.
They are sensible, stylish and inoffensive. On this note, I must confess, I wrap my hairy French feet up for the summer. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s appetite.

4) If it begins to rain, please remember: it is not your server’s fault.
They do not possess any voodoo mama juju powers. And even if they do, do you think they’d use it to spoil their chance at making money? Servers have other things to worry about, like gaining Patrick Dempsey’s love or solving world hunger.

5) Sadly, and as much as everyone loves them, dogs are not allowed on patios.
I wish I could change this one, but I can’t.

6 )Please pay your bill.
This one sounds ridiculous to have to mention, but all too often and a few pitchers in, a party may get up to leave. Let me put this into perspective: as a server you tip out, so a percentage of your tips goes to tipping the wonderful kitchen staff and bar staff. (We work together as a great team.) If a party forgets to pay their bill, the server has to pay for it. All of it. Sometimes this forces him or her to have to go to an ATM to take out money, as all of the tips earned that day have to go to paying that very bill.

7) Control your volume.
I am 100% guilty of this one, but I like to think it’s because I’m a stage actor and I accidentally slip into my “stage voice.” Please be aware of Toronto’s patio shortage (see point i) and try your best to be courteous of other diners around you.

8) Have fun.
You’ve worked a long week. We’ve had a long winter. Enjoy every second of it. Don’t forget sunscreen and/or hats for prolonged visits. Stay as long as you’d like, you deserve to soak up this beautiful sunshine. Hope to see you around.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shave my feet.