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.




  • 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.

Join the Discussion

Comments are moderated before being posted. Your email address is required but will not be published.

Join our email list for more information and our newsletter.
I'm interested in learning more about:
Popular Keywords
New Retailers on the horizon: Take a look at the newest businesses coming to University District this year
The Perfect Easter at University District
Sneak Peek: A First Look at the New CHARCUT Restaurant at Alt Hotel University District
See All Blog Posts
2023, A year in review, active, Activity, Age-friendly community, Aging in place, Alberta, Alberta Children's Hospital, All ages, ALT Hotel, Alt Hotels, amenities, Ana Cummings, apartment rental, Aria, Artist, August, Bakeries, baking tips, Balcony, Balcony Decor, BBQ, beard grooming, Bike routes, BILD Awards, Block Party, blockbuster movie night, Bookstores, Bragg Creek, Breakfast, Brenda Stafford Foundation, Brenda Strafford Foundation, Brookfield Residential, Brunch, Bubble Tea, Bucket List, Budget, Budget conscious, Building Industry and Land Development, Business, Calgary, Calgary Activities, Calgary Art, Calgary bakeries, Calgary business, Calgary community, Calgary Drinks, Calgary events, Calgary Fitness, Calgary Hearing, Calgary LRT, Calgary Parks, Calgary Real Estate, Calgary restaurants, Calgary staycation, Calgary tourism, Calgary Trails, Calgary Transit, Calgary Women, Cambridge Manor, Canada, Canada Day, Canmore, Capella, Cartwright lighting & furniture, Celebration, centerpieces, Central Commons, Charcut, charity, cineplex, Classes, Cochrane, comfort food, Community, community festival, Community Living, condo life, condos, connections, contest, cookie baking, cooking, cooking together, Creative, Curious Hair, Curious Salon, Date Ideas, Date night, Decor, Decor Shops, Decor Tips, Denim & Smith, Dental, dental care, design styles, Dining, Discovery Centre, DIY, dog park, Dogs, Downsize, downsizing, downsizing tips, Easter, Eco decor, eLearning, Entertainment, environment, events, exercise, Explore, Fall, Fall Decor, fall design, family, Father's Day, Financial, fitness, fitness as we age, food, food waste, Functional Fitness, Garden Maintenance, gardening, gift guide, giving back, golf, Green Calgary, Grey Cup, Group Germain Hotels, Guide to Northwest Calgary, gym, hair grooming, Health, Healthy Eating, Healthy Foods, Hearing loss, hobbies, holiday, holiday activities, Holiday Budget, holiday memories, Holiday movies, holiday parties, holiday season, holiday traditions, holiday wines, home, Home Automation, home decor, Home Maintenance, home office, Home organization, Home Technology, homemade pizza, Homeowners, hosting the holidays, housing, I Can for Kids, IBI Group, Ice Cream, Ice Cream Shops, Ice Rink, inclusive, Interior Design, Interior Design for your pets, Interior Design Tips, interior lighting, International Womens Day, Isolation, Jayman BUILT, Kananaskis, kids learning, Level Playing Field, lighting, local, local business, local good, Love on Main Street, love your pet, made in Calgary, Magna, Maple, Market Wines, McKinley Burkart, meal prep, meals, mens grooming, mental health, mindful spaces, Mother's Day Brunch, Movies at home, moving, multi-generational, Nature, New at UD, New homes, New Projects, New Resident, Night Market, North Calgary, North Hill Mall, North Pond, Northwest Calgary, Northwest Calgary Brunch, Northwest Commons Park, Northwest neighbour, Northwestival, nutrition tips, NW Calgary, Office, Olympic Oval, online learning, Orangetheory, Organization, outdoors, Park n' Play Design, Parks, Partners, party hosting tips, Patio Decor, pet care, pet love, Photography, plant, plant care, play space, Playcore National Demonstration Site, playground, Programs, puppy love, rafting, real estate, recipes, redecorating, rent to own, rentals, restaurant, Retail, Retail Main Street, retailers, Rightsize, Romance, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Save-On-Foods, seasonal maintenance, senior health, Senior living, Seniors, sensory gadgets, shop local, Skating, Smaller space living, Smart Home, Sports, Spring, Staples, Staycation, Summer Activities, Summer Food, summer getaways, sustainable design, table setting, tablescape, Thanksgiving, The Space Reclaimers, things to do, tips, tourism calgary, townhome, townhome living, townhouse living, Trails in Northwest Calgary, travel, travel alberta, TREC Dental, U/D, UCalgary, UD Life, UDLife, University District, University District Dental, University of Calgary, Urban Balcony, urban dog park, Urban Garden, Urban Patio Decor, Valentines Day, Vegan Cuisine, Vegan Food, Vendors, vermicomposting, Village Ice Cream, Volunteer, Volunteerism, Walking, West Campus Development Trust, Wine, wine experience, Winefest, Winsport Zipline, winter, winter activities, winter festival, Winter Fitness, winter fun, winter memories, winter pet care, winter pet care tips, winter traditions, winter warm up, Winter workout, women grooming, Women Leaders, workouts, Yard, year in review, YYC Events, YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

Discover NW Calgary's most interesting places, people and things

Visit Our Channel

Looking for something to do in NW Calgary?

Check Out Our Event Calendar

The University District blog is a resource for Calgarians who want to live, work, play, visit or buy in the northwest. We will provide you with information, stories, news and a closer look at the things that matter so you can live a more inspired, active and connected life in NW Calgary at University District… Life works here.