Summer is definitively cocktail season. Sure, there are those who believe any cocktail is suitable for summer. And in some ways, they have a point. But when you’re grilling, sun bathing or picnicking on the sand, some combinations just add that little something extra!
We’re partial to sippers with a good sweet-sour balance, a bit of effervescence and a whole lot of ice. We’re working to the beat the heat after all!
Here are our five ways to use our favorite locally crafted summer spirits!
1 | Georgian Bay Gin
It’s floral notes blend nicely with strong herbs. Our favorite way to shake things up? The Southside.
2 ounces Georgian Bay Gin
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
10 fresh mint leaves
1 ounce cold club soda
1 mint sprig
Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, lime, lemon, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into ice-filled serving glass or mason jar, top with soda water. Garnish with mint sprig and serve immediately.
Smooth and full of character, this vodka is made with Niagara grapes. We love it in a Dillon’s Strawberry Lavender Aqua Fresca!
1 1/2 oz. Dillon�s Method 95 Vodka
4 dashes Dillon�s Lemon bitters
1/3 cup fresh pureed Ontario strawberries
3/4 oz Lavender Simple Syrup
Fresh Lavender & lavender sugar mixture for rimmer
Rim cocktail glass with lavender sugar. In a cocktail shaker, combine Dillon�s Method 95 Vodka, pureed strawberry, lavender simple syrup and bitters with ice. Shake and strain into rimmed glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh lavender and serve.
Earthy, rich with a slight sweetness — like the sugar beets it’s made from. We’re digging this rooty spirit paired with celery in a riff on the classic Summer Gimlet.
Pinch of salt
1 stalk Ontario celery
1 1a?�2 oz. Toronto Distillery Organic Beet Spirit
1a?�4 oz. chartreuse
3a?�4 oz. lime juice
1a?�2 oz. simple syrup
1a?�8 oz. white wine vinegar
2 dashes celery bitters
Muddle celery with salt in cocktail shaker until as much juice is released as possible. Fill shaker with ice and add spirit, chartreuse, lime juice, simple syrup, vinegar, and bitters. Shake, then strain over fresh ice to serve. Garnish with a celery stalk.
4 | Loon Vodka
This super clean, easy drinking spirit from Rheault Distillery doesn’t need a mixer, but we love it just the same with our Homemade Cherry Soda!
2 oz Loon Vodka
2-3 Ice cubes
2 oz Ontario cherry soda
In a cocktail shaker, add ice and vodka. Stir until cold. Pour into ice filled rocks glass and top with cherry soda. Wanna get super crazy? Replace with ice with vanilla ice cream!
5 | Triple Beam Gin
Newest of our five picks, North of 7 Distillery makes their flagship gin with local herbs and named it for the triple-beam scale used to measure out their botanicals. We like it in a Rosemary & Plum Fizz.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4-5 rosemary sprigs
2 very ripe Ontario plums
A dash of Club Soda
2 oz Triple Beam Gin
crushed ice, optional
To make a rosemary syrup, crush the rosemary in your hand to get the oils going. Drop into a small pot and add sugar and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Place in the fridge to cool. Take the rosemary out once cooled.
To make the drinks: Peel the plum. Muddle about 1/4-1/3 of the plum in the bottom of each glass, to break it up. Add a shot of rosemary syrup to each glass and 2 ounces of gin. Top with club soda and ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig. Enjoy!
Many of these unique spirits aren’t all that readily available, we know. We hope that these delicious little numbers will inspire you to plan a road trip or two!
Looking for other delicious adventures? Check out our Culinary Explorer.