Move over, merlot. It’s time to add more excitement to your next party. We’ve got a few of the best trends in cocktails just in time for patio season.
A new twist on brunch cocktails
While we’d never turn our noses up at a mimosa, there’s a new brunch beverage taking over some of the spotlight. Aperol, with its bright orange colour, makes an ideal base for a cocktail on a sunny summer day. So this season, give mimosas a break, and make the switch to the sophisticated, effervescent and slightly bitter taste of an Aperol spritz.
Aperol spritz recipe
- 3 parts prosecco
- 2 parts Aperol
- 1 splash club soda
- Orange slice for garnish
- In a glass filled with ice, add the prosecco and then the Aperol.
- Top with the club soda, and garnish with an orange slice.
Make it low-cal with coconut water
The must-have hydrator of the past few years is finding its way into cocktails. Coconut water is now not only a great post-workout drink. The nutrient-rich beverage can also be mixed into your next summer drink. Bonus: 2 ounces of coconut water has only about 10 calories, making it an ideal way to cut calories in your cocktails. Need some inspiration? The folks at Taste Nirvana shared a simple but satisfying summer sipper called the Coco Pod.
Coco Pod sipper recipe
- 5-6 ounces coconut water
- 3/4 ounce coconut rum
- 1 ounce vanilla-flavoured vodka
- In a glass filled with ice, add the coconut water, rum and vodka.
- Stir to combine, and enjoy.
Add a healthy twist with kombucha
Kombucha, a fermented tea with many purported health benefits, has made its way from obscure health food stores to major supermarkets, and now it’s showing up in cocktails. Kombucha has a unique taste — like a milder apple cider vinegar — and is slightly bubbly. It sounds strange, but it works and also comes in various flavours, depending on the brand you choose. Here we pair it with vodka and raspberries.
Kombucha, vodka and raspberry cocktail recipe
- 2 ounces kombucha
- 5-6 raspberries
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1-1/2 tablespoons simple syrup
- To make the simple syrup, simmer 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Gently muddle the raspberries at the bottom of a glass.
- Add ice, the vodka and the simple syrup, and then top with the kombucha. Stir to combine.
- Float a few additional raspberries on top for added colour.
Serve something savoury
Not all summer cocktails need to be of the tropical variety. As summer gets closer, we’re seeing more and more drinks that veer toward salty rather than sweet. Switch things up by going the savoury — or more “umami” — route with your next batch of drinks. This means using ingredients such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, pickle or olive brine, hot sauces, vegetable juices and spices. The classic Mexican favourite — the michelada — is a simple beer cocktail that packs a flavourful punch.
- 1 bottle Corona beer
- Juice of 1 fresh lime
- Chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco sauce, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3-4 ounces tomato juice or Clamato juice
- Rim a tall beer glass with the lime and then with the chili powder.
- Fill the glass with ice, and add the lime juice, tomato or Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and seasonings. Mix well.
- Add the beer, taste, and then add any additional Tabasco or seasonings if necessary.
Refresh with fresh herbs
Nothing says summer like the scent of fresh herbs, or better yet, having a garden full of fresh herbs you can use in your kitchen. But herbs aren’t just for adding an extra flavour boost to meals. This summer, we suggest jumping on the herbaceous cocktail bandwagon and trying out some herb-influenced libations. Rosemary and gin make an especially cozy cocktail couple.
Rosemary and gin cocktail recipe
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2-3 cucumber slices
- 2 ounces gin
- 2 tablespoons rosemary simple syrup
- Splash soda water
- To make the simple syrup, simmer some rosemary in 1 cup of water mixed with 1 cup of sugar for 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Gently muddle the cucumber at the bottom of a highball glass.
- Add ice, the gin and the rosemary simple syrup. Mix well.
- Top with soda and a sprig of rosemary.