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Easy Ways to Elevate Your Summer Cocktail Experience

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Whether you’re planning a BBQ for a group of 30, or kicking back to watch the sunset with your partner, a cocktail in hand will always add some extra flavour to your summer evening. If you happen to have fallen into a beverage rut, these six fresh cocktail trends may just be the inspiration you need to toast the season in style. They run the gamut from simply chic to experimental, which means you’ll be sure to find a style that suits your personal tastes.

Rose gold

No wine signals the start of summer more than a crisp rosé, and a hint of bubbles makes it that much more appealing for a special occasion. To hit the trifecta, mix the sparkling bevvy into a fruity cocktail to brighten and enliven its flavours. The Peller Estates Signature Series Ice Cuvée Rosé has a creamy mouthfeel with raspberry and white peach notes, and finishes with cranberry and white currant flavours. Preserve the pretty pink hue for your cocktail by adding muddled red fruits like raspberries, strawberries or pomegranate seeds.

Peller Estates Signature Series Ice Cuvée Rosé, available at The Wine Shop.

Worldly influence

Formerly exotic ingredients from across the world—think turmeric, moringa and goji berries—have made their way onto drink menus and into mixology books around the globe. Another way to create a well-travelled vibe at home? Adding cocktail accessories with a global twist. These blue-and-white tile coasters, which will keep your wood surfaces free of water stains, are reminiscent of the blue-and-white Portuguese tilework called Azulejo.

Tile coasters, available at Bois et Cuir.

Simple pleasures

Minimalists rejoice! While cocktails with elaborate garnishes, lengthy ingredient lists and intricate glassware are as popular as ever (thank you, Instagram), many bartenders have taken the opposite approach, with simple recipes that let spirits shine and a minimal-waste ethos. At home, simply choose a streamlined glass tumbler like LSA International’s blown-glass Olaf set, add a block of ice and a few fingers of favourite whisky for an effortless take on an elegant drink.

LSA International Olaf tumblers, available at Valency.

Caffeine kick

If a cup of coffee is your morning staple and the smell of a freshly brewed pot brings you inexplicable amounts of joy, consider experimenting with a shot of cold espresso or a few ounces of cold coffee in your next mixed drink. For help, look no further than the Barista & Co Brew It Stick, which allows you to make a single cup of joe (enough for about four cocktails) in four minutes with just ground coffee, boiling water and a mug.

 

Barista & Co Brew It Stick Coffee & Tea Infuser, available at Teatro Verde.

Stranger things

Unexpected ingredient pairings are making their mark, and there’s no simpler way to try the trend at home than with a pre-made cocktail mixer. Owl’s Brew, for one, offers creative tea blends, including chai tea with coconut and pineapple, Darjeeling tea with strawberry and hibiscus and English breakfast tea with lemon and lime. Pouring a pre-made mixer into sparkling water is also an easy way to dip into another big trend: creative non-alcoholic cocktails.

Owl’s Brew Premium Craft Cocktail Mixers, available at Whole Foods.

Easy does it

If you don’t have the energy to mix up a drink but want something more than a standard beer or glass of wine, a radler might be right up your alley. It’s a cross between a beer and a cocktail and usually features prominent citrus flavours. Try Ace Hill’s Grapefruit Radler, which mixes pilsner with organic grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime juices for a low-alcohol (2.5%) treat.

 

Ace Hill Grapefruit Radler, available at Palm Lane.