summer drinks.jpgSumma summa summertime, it has finally arrived! This doesn’t apply to my West Coast friends, but in the East, it was a long, cold winter. The only cool thing I want to keep for the new season is a chilled, flavourful (and sometimes alcoholic) beverage, preferably sipped on a patio. 

Here are the drinks I’ll be serving this summer.

Brilliant 1L Glass Pure Jug

When you’re soaking up the rays, remember that the sun can get dehydrating (and so can too many alcoholic beverages). Make sure you drink lots and lots of water. I know you’re probably thinking, “Drinking water is so boring; I’d much rather have something flavourful.” This is why you should infuse your water with your favourite summer fruits. I’m obsessed with filling my water bottle with frozen cranberries. Make your setup all fancy by using this Brilliant 1 L glass pure jug. Chop up your berries, lime or apples, put them in this jar, then fill the rest with water. The jug features an integrated strainer to retain the fruit and ice cubes. It’s a great way to stay hydrated.

 


Brilliance Drink Dispenser

Our next drink option is also non-alcoholic. Called the Hibiscus Mocktini, it’s a colourful, easy-to-assemble beverage that’s perfect for your next barbecue. All you need is hibiscus tea such as Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger, ginger ale, and fresh pineapple spears. Pour all the ingredients into a pitcher for your friends and family to enjoy. If you are planning a barbecue party, you might want to get this drink dispenser, so that people can easily refill their glasses.

Mojito

Now, let’s switch it up by including an alcoholic beverage. My favorite is the mojito. Crushing mint and sugar into a drink adds lots of flavour and kick, and makes you want to go to Cuba. Check out this great recipe from Jamie Oliver. Making the best mojitos requires an important tool: a muddler. (It’s also useful for other specialty cocktails.) This one from Final Touch comes with two mojito glasses.

 Final Touch Mojito Glasses with Wooden Muddler

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts Bacardi Carta Blanco
  • ½ fresh lime
  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 heaped bar spoons of caster sugar
  • Dash of soda water
  • Cubed ice
  • Crushed ice
  • To Garnish: Sprig of Fresh Mint
 

Directions

  • Put the four lime wedges into a glass, then add the sugar and muddle (squish everything together) to release the lime juice
  • Put the mint leaves on one hand and clap. This bruises the leaves and releases the aroma. Rub the mint leaves around the rim of the glass and drop them in. Use a muddler, bar spoon (or even a rolling pin) to gently push the mint down into the lime juice
  • Half fill the glass with crushed ice and pour in the Bacardi Carta Blanco. Stir the mix together until the sugar dissolves
  • Top up with crushed ice, a splash of the soda water and garnish it with a sprig of mint

sangria.JPGSangria

Summer wouldn’t be complete without sangria. It’s the ultimate alcoholic fruit punch and it takes only ten minutes to prepare. This recipe from Rachel Ray calls for peaches, raspberries, lime and lemon. Personally, I love to soak the wine with the fruit for a few hours or even overnight, but it’s not necessary. It’s also nice to have an alcohol-infused garnish in your drink.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons sugar
3 shots Calvados or other apple liquor
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
2 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
3 ripe green apples seeded and cut into wedges
1 bottle white Rioja Spanish wine or other dry white wine

 

Directions

Combine sugar, Calvados, lime, lemon, peaches and apples in a large pitcher. Cover with 1 bottle of Rioja wine and chill sangria several hours. To serve, spoon fruits into glasses or goblets, adding a few fresh raspberries in each glass, pour wine over top of the fruit. Top glasses of sangria off with a splash of soda water and serve.

Lavendar Lemonade

Let’s end this article with one more non-alcoholic beverage, cool lavender lemonade. Intrigued? I certainly am. I love lemonade in the summer, and adding a touch of lavender and mint takes it to the next level.

Ingredients:

7 cups
water
1 cup
sugar
1 1/2 cups
frozen lemon juice from concentrate, thawed
4
mint sprigs
3
lavender sprigs*
Garnishes: lemon slices, lavender and mint springs
 

Directions

Bring 7 cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 cup sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, mint sprigs, and lavender sprigs; let stand at least 2 hours.

Pour lemonade mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding herbs. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.

*2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers may be substituted.

Enjoy your summer, and remember to stay hydrated. It’s going to be a hot one!