5 tips for making refreshing cocktails for a summer BBQ
This year, everyone is looking forward to summer! Having a drink with family and friends (all while respecting social distancing measures, of course!) will never be taken for granted again. We’re taking this opportunity to discover local products to add flavour to and top off your favourite cocktails. On that note, we raise our glass to all of you… Cheers!
1. Top off your cocktails with sparkling water
In addition to adding bubbles to your favourite cocktail, sparkling water is especially refreshing and can significantly reduce a drink’s sugar content. You can create a delicious lemonade spritzer by mixing equal parts sparkling water and lemonade. Next, add ice cubes, one ounce of gin—there’s some great Quebec gins to choose from—and a fresh rosemary sprig to stir and flavour your cocktail in the most sublime way. You can also make a cranberry version of this drink by mixing equal parts sparkling water and cranberry juice instead. Add ice cubes, one ounce of vodka, a large orange zest, and voilà!
2. Add fruit to your sangria!
Fruits in lieu of ice cubes is great for summer cocktails, like Sangria, a summer drink par excellence! Whether you use a red, white, rosé, or sparkling wine base, you should always add fresh or frozen fruit. Melons, apples, and berries are ideal for keeping the drink fresh and adding a little flavour. Next, top off your sangria with a mixture of Loop juice and sparkling water for maximum flavour and freshness.
3. Make delicious cocktails using local products
Quebec distilleries have grown in popularity over the past few years. The same is true for local drinks that enhance cocktails beautifully. Think of drinks by Montreal’s 1642. They’re used in classics like gin tonics, but you can also let your imagination go wild and make your own delicious creations, like a Summer Spritzer with a base of 1642 tonic, and an Island Spritzer, with equal parts lemon, peach and clementine juice, a hint of apricot jam, and a few basil leaves. It’s simply divine!
4. Use fresh herb aromas
In addition to the ever-popular mint or basil leaves, herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage can also add nice flavours to your cocktails. Now’s the time to get creative! Some combinations of fruit and fresh herbs may seem odd, but trust us, they’re always outstanding. For instance, try a mixture of blackberries and sage, or this Triple C cocktail by Monsieur Cocktail with cantaloupe, clementine and carrot juice, orange flower water, and white pepper. Monsieur Cocktail also has a variety of syrups, like Quebec’s tonic with a seabuckthorn and Labrador tea base, which are sure to impress your happy-hour guests!
5. All about local beers
What’s more refreshing than a nice cold beer? In Quebec, we’re pretty lucky. Our local beers are really enticing. A great example is the IPA “session” light beer, by beer expert Philippe Woubert, available exclusively at IGA, for a limited time only. Plus, beer lovers can also turn it into a cocktail. A Michelada is always sure to please. Like you would for a Bloody Caesar, rub a lime wedge along the edge of a large glass and dip it in a little celery salt or spicy salt (like a mixture of salt, chili, and lime). Next, in this same large glass, mix beer—ideally a lager or light beer—½ cup tomato juice or Clamato, the juice of one lime, a few drops of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Enjoy!