Reading: Ditch Summer Regrets With These Drinks

Ditch Summer Regrets With These Drinks

What happens after Labour Day weekend? When you realise that while the Summer heat still lingers that Summer vibe is beginning to fade, and you suddenly remember all the plans you never made.  Fear not! There is a cocktail for just such an occasion.

When: You didn’t make it on a beach vacation
Try: Tiki-inspired cocktails

This summer the Bar scene has gone Tiki crazy, as the retro faux Hawaiian chic style has been responsible for a few of the best new bars in Toronto. Tiki drinks are typically tropical and therefore you need to start with some great juice. I have been digging’ Tropicana’s Pineapple Mango, which mixes well with either Tequila or Rum. If you want to go real Tiki crazy, mix the juice with an oz of each alcohol, then a touch of Amaretto. Add some Angostura bitters and never forget the fun garnishes like strawberry and pineapple. That right there is Summer in a cup!  If you don’t have the vintage Tiki mug to suit your needs, leave it to the professionals at The Shameful Tiki Room.

When: You didn’t make it to the pick-your-own Orchard
Try: Apple Cider

The hard Cider category has been having its breakthrough moment this summer, much like craft beer did a few years ago. There has been a great upswing in retail sales, local cideries seemingly opening every month, and new tasting festivals to enjoy. Plus in June the first bar in Canada dedicated to Cider opened here in Toronto. And inevitably longtime heritage international brands like Strongbow are beginning to cash in as well. This summer Strongbow launched with much popularity, a couple new flavours to our market. Between the Elderflower and the Ginger, I really loved the sparked up spiciness of the latter. This has been my go to drink this summer when the days are so hot that even the lightest of beer has felt too heavy.


When: You didn’t do anything on your DIY list
Try: Making your own Cask Beer

Yes, we know craft beer is now everywhere and has become a little old hat. Beer though is always going to be a summer favourite, as the amount of Beer Fests around the Province testifies. Did you know though that you can now create your own beer with out the hassle of being an actual home brewer? That’s right at 3 Brewers on Adelaide, you can consult with a brewmaster and develop your own small cask. First, you start with a beer style and then there is a universe of flavours that you can experiment with. This is the perfect gift idea for the beer geek in your life or as the next team building office party. For more info contact the Brew Pub.

A photo posted by 3 Brasseurs (@3brasseursca) on

When: You didn’t go skinny dipping
Try: Cocktails au Naturel

Despite the lack of rain this summer, it has actually been great for us Urban Gardeners. One bounty in particular has been the lovely bushels of herbs that have been available for use. One grand idea for this greenery, is that herbs are excellent to add to cocktails for both flavour and as stylish garnishes. My poolside go-to cocktail has been a spritzer made with Belvedere Citrus, a splash of vermouth, mix with equal parts sparkling water and tonic, then add sprigs of mint. It smells so garden fresh and makes all the work worries fade away so you can relax and enjoy some Sunday Fun. An awesome thing is other herbs like rosemary and thyme grow well indoors, so this summer trend can also be a hit throughout the whole year.

When: You didn’t collect wood and build a fire
Try: Scotch

Who said you can’t drink whisky in summer? Cause, they’re dead wrong. In August as the evenings beginning to cool after dusk, I love a dram at the cottage while relaxing on the deck or by the fire. For me these times are perfect for exploring Scotish Islay whiskies, as I love how their peattiness and smoke match with the woodsy surrounding. The best bet for your dollar? I think Ardbeg is making an incredible 10yr old Single Malt at the moment. It has some nice notes of citrus giving it a lighter then expected mouthfeel, with just the perfect amount of heat on the finish. This will keep you warm, better then any itchy summer sweater will.

A photo posted by John McFarland (@johnnydrinks) on


When: You spent the summer being a hot mess
Try: Gin

It’s time for something more refined, something that deserves silver tray service.  Distilled from British wheat (pip pip!) Boodles Gin boasts no citrus botanicals, which means you can always add that essential lime wedge to your Boodles and tonic.  Hopefully, a sip of gin will instill in you the same patience it took to craft the gently herbaceous liquor.