6 Strong Summer Drinks to Cool You Down this Hot Season


New York hospitality magnate Danny Meyer once said: “A cocktail done right can really show your guests that you care.

The ladies below must really care about the patrons, friends and regulars they serve, because they’re all known for their superior beverages and service. Summer usually means experimenting with flavours, staying cool and relaxing somewhere outdoors (maybe a backyard/patio/courtyard).

If you check out my ‘Summer’ board on Pinterest, its contents are primarily the cold, refreshing, liquid kind.  Summer always widens my adult beverage palate because there are so many fresh ingredients available to include in your summer drinks – from lovage to limes, cherries to cucumbers. I’m so excited to share these six tasty cocktail recipes from Canada’s best female barkeeps. Now is the time to show your BBQ/Patio Party/Friday night drinking buddies you care. Cheers to summer!

Lauren Mote at the Diageo World Class Canada competition.
Lauren Mote at the Diageo World Class Canada competition.

Lauren Mote is the award winning Bar Manager at Vancouver’s Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar and Cibo Trattoria. Mote was recently named Bartender of the Year by Vancouver magazine and earned 2015 Bartender of the Year at the Diageo World Class Canada competition. Mote’s also one half of Bittered Sling Extracts, artisanal bitters company she started with partner/Medina Cafe Executive Chef Jonathan Chovancek.

Cherry Collins
Cherry Collins

Cherry Collins

1.50 oz (45mL) Wallflower Gin by Odd Society Spirits

0.75 oz (22mL) Lemon Juice

0.75 oz (22mL) Cherry-Star Anise Syrup*

2 dashes Bittered Sling Suius Cherry Bitters

Ginger Beer

2 BC Cherries for garnish


Build ingredients in a Collins glass filled with ice.  Top with ginger beer and stir gently (swizzle). Garnish with two pitted BC cherries on a pick.

*Cherry-Star Anise Syrup 

1 cup BC cherries

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

3 whole star anise

Dissolve sugar in water in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring. Add cherries and star anise and simmer 5 minutes. Let stand off heat 30 minutes. Strain and reserve for later use.

Elizabeth Yu makes an Ianco Bijou at the Eau Claier Distillery south of Calgary.
Elizabeth Yu makes an Ianco Bijou at the Eau Claire Distillery south of Calgary.

Bright-eyed, friendly and a masterful barkeep, Elizabeth Yu is works at Edmonton’s North 53. She’s thought up many of North 53’s significantly slurpable drinks including my all time favourite Rosey Cheeks. But here for your summer drinking pleasure, a different bevy crafted with Alberta-distilled Eau Claire gin….

Ianco Bijou
The BIanco Bijou lights up any bar surface.

Blanco Bijou

3/4oz. Eau Claire Parlour Gin

3/4oz. Cocchi Americano

3/4oz. Yellow Chartreuse

Stir to dilution, single strain into a chilled coup, peel a swath of lemon zest and express the oils onto the top of the cocktail.

Blogger, bartender and magic maker Marta S at LUMA.
Blogger, bartender and magic maker Marta S at LUMA. Photo credit: Cindy La

Marta S is a bartender and freelance writer living in Toronto and working at Oliver & Bonacini’s LUMA. When she’s not shaking up a storm behind the bar, she’s in front of her computer tending her blog about the personalities of Toronto’s food and drink scene: Behind the Boîte.

Looking for some Sage Advice?
Looking for some Sage Advice?

Sage Advice 
4-5 large (or 6-7 small) leaves of fresh sage
1oz Tanqueray dry gin
0.5oz Lillet Blanc
0.75oz brown sugar simple syrup
0.5oz fresh lime juice
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Tonic water
Cucumber wheel 

Method: Hand clap sage leaves between palms (to soften and release oils) and drop into shaker glass. Build all ingredients (minus tonic water and cucumber) in shaker glass on ice. Shake vigorously and dump into Collin’s glass. Top with tonic water. Garnish with fresh cucumber wheel.

A former west coaster who moved to Hogtown: Evelyn Chick.
A former west coaster who moved to Hogtown: Evelyn Chick.

A girl after my own heart, Evelyn Chick used to live in Vancouver but recently located to Toronto to manage the bar at The Harbord Room. Previous to her T.dot gig, Chick ran the bar program at the esteemed Blue Water Cafe and coordinated events for the Canadian Professional Bartending Association in Vancouver.

Monkey Punch makes all the boys bananas.
Monkey Punch makes all the boys bananas.

Monkey Punch

3 oz Havana Club Anjeo

1 oz amontillado sherry

1.5 oz lime juice

1.5 oz banana falernum

2 oz roasted pineapple green tea ( from David’s Tea)

Method: Add all ingredients into shaker, shake vigorously, and fine strain into chilled glass. Garnish with a small sprig of mint in a dehydrated lime wheel.

We have our own falernum recipe which takes a few weeks to make, but it can be store bought, add 2:1 Banana Syrup** to falernum, blend, strain out solids & bottle

**Banana Syrup

1 L sugar

500ml water

500ml pineapple juice

1 banana

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan, bring to medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Take off heat and let cool. Blend ingredients in a blender, strain out remaining solids & bottle.

Katrina Roberts runs the beverage program at both Morris East's locations
Katrina Roberts runs the beverage program at both Morris East’s locations

Halifax’s Katrina Roberts is the bar Fundi at both Morris East locations. She Ioves designing seasonal cocktails from her garden. This year her lovage has been growing wildly. It lends a savory note of celery to her cocktails making them complex yet light and definitely refreshing.

The Atlantic Sun shines bright.
The Atlantic Sun shines bright.

The Atlantic Sun

1 oz The Botanist Gin

1 slice of cantaloupe

3 lovage leaves

1 bar spoon cane sugar


Method: Gently muddle the gin, cantaloupe, lovage and sugar. Add rocks and shake well. Fine strain into glass. Top with cava and garnish with a sprig of lovage. Enjoy!

Christina Cah, GM of Raw Bar YYC.
Christina Mah, GM of YYC’s Raw Bar.

Christina Mah started her career as a server at Raw Bar in 2008, left to work at Charcut for a few years and returned in 2012.  For the past three years she’s been the General Manager. During her previous tenure as a server, supervisor and Head Bartender, Christina won numerous awards for her classic and new-school cocktails. She’s a past winner of the Calgary Cocktail Challenge as well as the Grey Goose Pour Masters.


Celery Pimms Cup

1 oz Bombay gin

0.5 oz Pimms #1

0.25 oz celery shrub

0.25 oz lemon juice

5 dashes peach bitters

5 celery pieces

Top with ginger ale

Method: Add all ingredients into a collins glass with crushed ice, swizzle. Garnish with five celery piece

What’s your favourite summer beverage? Boozy or not? Share your recipes or links to recipes in the comments below.

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