Summer Inspired Drinks For Sharing
By Jeannie Dubois, Certified Pommelier and Sommelier
Great city on the lake, we have made it through an interminable winter and have arrived on the other side. Time to embrace the warm summer sun that will surely shine on our shores and also embrace one another in the flesh again, grateful for the opportunity for community and comradeship to finally be restored to us all.
Tis the season for deck and patio, outdoors and open air. If you’re feeling celebratory, mix up a punch bowl or pitcher perfect for sharing with family and friends under the wide blue sky our city affords us. Easy to prep ahead and even easier to pour out, these fresh and flavourful, company-friendly cocktails beat the heat but also give you the time to be a gracious host and enjoy every minute of companionship.
4 c pomegranate juice
2 c orange juice (fresh if possible—strained/pre-made, no pulp)
2 c chilled limeade (the Simply brand has a pre-made)
1 750 ml bottle prosecco
Lime and orange slices for garnish
1 c pomegranate seeds
In a punch bowl, combine pomegranate juice, orange juice, and limeade. Pour in prosecco, float lime and orange slices on top. Ladle into ice-filled glasses, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.
Ginger Garden Shandy Punch
1 12 oz bottle ginger beer
3 11 oz bottles of Hoegaarden (or traditional wheat beer)
1 thinly sliced lemon
Mint sprigs for garnish
In a punch bowl, combine chilled beer with ginger beer. Stir in most of the lemon slices and some mint sprigs. Fill rock glasses with ice. Add remaining lemon slices to glasses and ladle in shandy. Garnish glasses with a mint sprig and serve.
2 lb red seedless grapes, plus 1 c sliced
½ c clover honey
½ c fresh lemon juice
¾ c vodka, very cold
1 750 ml bottle sparkling rosé wine, very cold
Lemon wedges for garnish
Combine grapes, honey, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Add vodka and cut grapes. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least one hour. Add sparkling rosé to the pitcher just before serving. Fill cocktail glasses with ice, garnish with lemon wedges, and fill from pitcher to serve.
Garden Patch Pitcher
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped into small chunks
3 small melons (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon)
1 L sparkling water, chilled
500 ml vodka, chilled
200 g white sugar
6 limes, juiced, plus wedges for garnish
Small bunch of mint leaves
Place the mint and cucumber in a container, and pour vodka over. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours (up to one week, stirring daily). Strain through a fine sieve when ready to prepare the pitcher. Pour vodka, lime juice, and sugar into a pitcher and stir well. Using a melon baller, scoop out as many melon balls as you can. Add them to the pitcher and cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Top with sparkling water when ready to serve. Fill cups with ice, pour from pitcher, and add mint leaves and lime wedges to serve.