Delightful, Cool and Whimsical Summer Cocktails to Try Today

July 23, 2019 by University District

Top Tips to Up Your Drinks Game

 

Ah, summer. ‘Tis the season of easier living, lively patio gatherings and fun in the sun. Whether you’re grilling in the back yard, exploring the NW quadrant of the city with picnic basket in hand, throwing a summer party or having a relaxing night at home, there’s nothing better than enjoying the warmer months sipping a summery beverage.

 

From buzzy fruity sangria and strawberry lemonade to classic cocktails, our future retail partner Market Wines shares its top tips and list of refreshing family friendly and adult drinks that will hit the spot like nothing else.  Sure to refresh as well as impress, these delightful and University District suggested tipples are not only easy to make but are the epitome of summer in a glass, filled with the season’s freshest ingredients.

 

Follow this guide and check out the ultimate summertime drink recipe to help you make the most of the lovely light-filled days and keep you cool during those long, warm Calgary summer nights!

 

 

Whether you’re planning a summer BBQ, special dinner or visiting a happening new restaurant, picking the right wine to accompany your dish can make a good meal great. We sat down with Market Wines for the scoop on savvy wine pairings suitable for all kinds of meals.  Take a look at the suggestions here!

 

Quench Your Thirst: Five Modern Summer Cocktails

 

Pisco Sour

 

Tart but delicate, the pisco sour is probably the best-known cocktail import from South America. Its sweet and tangy frothy top produced by the addition of an egg-white is its hallmark. The whipped sugar, lime and egg froth bolsters the complex, earthy character of the drink, adding balance to the sour citrus of this favourite sip. 

 

Tip:  Instead of Angostura bitters, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon on top of the foam. It’s an unexpected but delicious flavour profile.

 

Ingredients: Pisco Capel | Fresh lime juice | Simple syrup | Egg white | Angostura bitters for garnish
Contains alcohol: Yes
Try it for yourself with this recipe

 

 

Strawberry Lemonade

 

Channel those midsummer vibes with a tart and tasty lemonade loaded with fresh ripe strawberries and zesty lemon.  The entire family will love this refreshing beverage, perfect for barbeque celebrations at nearby Bowness Park or top off a bottle and sip away while lazing down the Bow River. It’s the perfect seasonal drink with just a few simple ingredients.

 

Make it into a cocktail by adding a splash of vodka or even replace some of the water with sparkling wine. Thirst-quenching!  Nothing quite says summer like the fresh flavour of strawberries and an icy glass of lemonade.

 

Tip:  Give this summertime classic some elegant flair by infusing it with fresh herbs like basil and for some extra flavour, create a lemon sugar and use it to rim the glass. It adds a tangy-sweet bite to this bubbly drink.

 

Ingredients: Strawberries | Lemons | Sugar or Honey | Water | Ice
Contains alcohol: No
Try it for yourself with this recipe

 

Tea isn’t just a beverage that can jump-start your day. It can be dressed up to create an even better and more impressive summer drink. Whether it’s sparkling jasmine tea or cucumber peppermint tea, first learn how to brew the perfect cup of tea from the experts, Analog Coffee, with their step-by-step guide.

 

 

 

Watermelon Sangria

 

No seed spitting required! This beautiful take on the classic Spanish sangria spans the sweet-tangy spectrum that packs a powerful punch of watermelon goodness. It’s the ultimate refreshing summertime cocktail that infuses white wine with fresh seasonal flavours and is endlessly customizable making it one of summer’s most versatile drinks. 

 

Get creative and add frozen cubes of wine soaked fruit, lime and mint – it’s like a boozy fruit salad tantalizing your taste buds. You’ll be sipping on it all summer long!

 

Tip:  For a surprising touch, line the rims of your glasses with a powder of ground orange and lemon zest and garnish with different shaped watermelon cutouts. Because, why not?

 

Ingredients: Watermelon | White wine | Vodka | Simple syrup | Triple sec | Lime | Oranges | Blueberries
Contains alcohol: Yes
Try it for yourself with this recipe!

 

 

Berry Spritzer

 

Mix up this midsummer sip when ripened seasonal berries hit markets around the Northwest. This fruity, alcohol-free spritzer is just as complex and fun to drink as its boozier counterparts, thanks to its tart, crisp and refreshing  flavour. Add a splash of white grape juice or freshly squeezed lemon juice and some lime sparkling water for some extra bubbles and zing! 

 

Whether you’re entertaining guests or are in need of a light and cool drink for two, this mocktail will hit the spot.  A breeze to make with only four ingredients, it’s love at first taste and a University District favourite!

 

Tip:  With a bounty of fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables, summer is the perfect time to linger at seasonal bodegas in our corner of the city, such as the Triwood and Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers Markets.  With several vendors on-site, you’re sure to find some must-try flavours for your next cocktail adventure.

 

Ingredients: Frozen mixed berries | Ice cubes | Sparkling juice or water | freshly squeezed lemon juice or white grape juice
Contains alcohol: No
Try it for yourself with this recipe!

 

 

Aperol Spritz

 

Transport yourself to Italy this summer with an ultra stimulating, not-too-sweet bubbly Aperol Spritz. It’s the perfect tipple with its gorgeous coral hue, bitter-sweet aftertaste and combination of sweet liqueur and fizzy Prosecco. One of the most popular aperitifs in Italy, it’s no wonder the cocktail is making a comeback across the globe. It’s as easy to make (no fancy equipment required!) as it is to drink, delicious as it is refreshing. It tastes like summertime in Italy.

 

Tip:  Whip up a batch, pack it in a Thermos and enjoy a picnic outing and with family or friends at Confederation Park.  Serve your Aperol spritzes with Mediterranean inspired appetizers, such as stuffed olives, burrata and crusty bread, fresh fruit or even olive oil drizzled popcorn!  

 

Ingredients: Prosecco | Aperol | Club soda or carbonated water | Ice | Orange slices
Contains alcohol: Yes
Try it for yourself with this recipe!

 

 

Summer Sipping: Tips for Better Drinks

 

From frozen fruit to fresh herbs, shaken to stirred, sweet to tangy and on the rocks to straight up. There are so many fun ways to enjoy a scrumptious aperitif. Skip the bar and make your own artisanal cocktail or mocktail with these expert tips. Summer just got more refreshing!

 

Fruity ice cubes – who knew?

 

Don’t let boring ice be the downfall of your beverage. Make a splash with ice-encased fruit, giving your drink extra flavour and visual appeal. From melon and pomegranate ice cubes to chill your martini, to Tequila strawberry-lime cubes for your lemonade. Inspired ice cube creations will spruce up even the dullest drink! Remember to use distilled water for clearer ice cubes.

 


Photo credit: The Chic Site

 

It’s all in the glass!

 

From wine glasses and flutes to martini stemware, mule mugs and old-fashioned  low-ball cocktail glassware. Different style of drinks require different styles of glassware. There’s no one-size-fits-all glass for drinking. Don’t stock every style, rather base your decisions on the types of beverages you enjoy most because the fit-for-purpose vessel will only enhance the experience.  

 

 

Don’t limit your creativity

 

Gone are the days of cherries soaked in syrup! From exotic fruits like pineapple and mango, herbs like rosemary and lavender to homemade infused syrups and fresh-squeezed juices. The possibilities are endless. With so many high-quality ingredients at your fingertips, harness your creativity to the fullest by mixing and matching flavours until you get the taste just right. 

 

Hosting wine night at your place? Planning a special date night with your family (pooches included!)? Smart home automation such as smart switches can help simplify your life, making movie night, summer parties and wine soirees a breeze to host. Check out these budget-friendly smart home projects to ease you into the smart home world.

 

Sizzling Summer Cocktail Recipe: Rose Sangria Supremo

 

This oh-so-refreshing Rose Sangria Supremo is a perfect seasonal twist on the traditional Sangria with its lighter, tangy-sweet finish. The infusion of seasonal berries creates a wonderful fruity flavour sure to become a solid crowd-pleaser. It’s the perfect midsummer tipple – fresh and zesty – that has a non-alcoholic version too! Let’s take a look.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 bottle of dry Rose (such as Les Fleurines)
  • 1 cup blanco/silver Tequila such as (such as El Jimador)
  • Agave syrup to taste
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice 
  • 2 cups of fresh strawberries hulled and cut in half
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh pitted cherries 
  • 2-3 limes sliced
  • Sparkling water
  • Mint sprigs

 

 

Step 1: Mix liquid ingredients

 

Mix your dry Rose, Tequila, fresh lime juice and agave syrup in a large pitcher and stir.

 

Looking for a summery drink the whole family can enjoy? Try the non-alcoholic version of this fruity and fresh sangria. It’s just as delicious and will be a definite hit with the family. Simply replace your liquid ingredients with 3 cups of grape juice, ¾ cup of orange juice, ¾ cup of apple juice and add 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice.  Follow the remaining steps and there you have it – A virgin Sangrio Supremo! 

 

Step 2: Add fruit and let it sit

 

Collect your fresh strawberries, blueberries, cherries and sliced limes. Add them to the large pitcher and stir. Put aside and let your Sangria sit and ingredients soak in the flavour for four hours in the refrigerator. For a more intense zest,  set your beverage aside overnight.

 

 

Step 3: Serve and garnish

 

Sangria is best served chilled. Dole out by filling a cold wine glass half to 2/3 full. Top each glass with sparkling water, garnish with a sprig of mint and voila Rose Sangria Supremo!

 

Tip: If you like your Sangria extra sparkling, substitute a bottle of rose for the still dry rose. The Val D’Oca Punta Rosa Millesimato would be perfect!

 

Whatever the social occasion, making cocktails and mocktails should be an adventure. Start with easy tipple recipes that can be served in large jugs for sharing or make it interactive and get your kids, friends and guests involved. There’s no better way to cool down during Calgary’s summer months than sipping on a homemade, thirst-quenching beverage.

 

 

Do you have any tips or a must-try seasonal drink recipe of your own to share? Share your suggestions with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


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