Summer Drink Essentials
by Billie Ann Woo
There is something so quintessentially summer about sitting outside with an umbrella drink. It’s certainly something you can’t quite pull off in the middle of winter. So in the heat of the summer, here are a few things to help you pull together the perfect summer bar:
Ice, ice baby!
It’s 30C+ outside, so what are you going to do? Add ice. And lots of it. Whether or not you make it on your own or grab it by the bag, make sure you have lots of it on hand if you’re entertaining. Ice is the backbone for your favourite daiquiris, margaritas and any shaken libations you plan on serving up. If you’re going to be outside, you’ll also need lots to pack your cooler with, you’ll want that beer cold, wine chilled and juices crisp!
Tis the season to be berry! Get them while they’re still around – whether it’s fresh watermelon, peaches, strawberries or apricots, they all make excellent components to summer drinks. Use strawberries to zing up your mojitos, blend watermelon and add spirits for a zippy slush and add apricots to spice up your sangria. Any of these fruits (and more) can be used as beautiful garnishes as well. For those more enterprising, consider infusing vodkas with some seasonal fruit to continue the summer flavour well past September.
As with fresh fruit – take advantage of the summer harvest and use fresh herbs to add a different dimension to your drinks. Mint is a bar staple of course, but why not try basil (with cucumber) or shiso in your martini? Use tarragon and thyme to enhance your drinks as well. Although perhaps not a herb – ginger is making a huge comeback at the bar, try it grated, muddled or using ginger beer/ale!
We love muddling! We’d muddle morning, noon and night if we could. This tool is great for mashing up fruit, herbs and other aromatics in your drinks. With the example above, muddle a strawberry with your mojito or use it to crush your lime in a caipirinha.
We hope you’ve been bitten by some bar inspiration – bottoms up!