3 In Featured Articles/ Food/Drink

Serving up summer drinks and easy-to-make outdoor recipes

Depending on where you live, there may not be many more evenings when you can sit in a backyard or balcony and enjoy a cool cocktail. Best to carpe diem, then, kids, an idea I wrote about recently in my column. Here are a few excellent recipes to try, courtesy of the Thompson Hotel in Toronto.

No time to organize a picnic Drinks and nibbles on your favourite rooftop bar is a good substitute. Pic credit Thompson Hotel Toronto

If outdoor dining is not an option, catch the last of summer on a rooftop balcony of your fave local hotel. Pic courtesy Thompson Hotel.

At any social event where booze is offered, do include at least one non-alcoholic bevvy option that’s more interesting that a soda. There are terrific suggestions on the LCBO’s page.

In a pinch, make a simple syrup from frozen fruit that can flavour sparkling water. Find out how at All Recipes

Earlier this year, I also started making Hibiscus tea from dried leaves I bought in Mexico. I also tried to replicate the delicious fizzy Hibiscus cold drink I had down there. Turns out it starts with a really flavourful syrup that I fund out how to make, and which I have now added to sparking water, soda, and pop. The ginger and lemon in this recipe definitely boost the flavour but are not indispensable, esp. if you add lemon juice or a splash of ginger ale or ginger beer to the mixed drink you use it for.

Here are the drinks:

Sparking Orange Crush


1oz Grey Goose

0.5oz Aperol   – a bitter, orange-coloured Italian aperitif

0.5oz Lime juice

0.5oz Mango syrup

0.5oz Prosecco

Lime for garnish (Dehydrated lime optional)


Fill cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice

Add Grey Goose, Aperol, Lime juice and Mango syrup

Shake till tin is frosted on the outside

Strain into a wine glass over ice

Add Prosecco (I’d recommend something dry)

Garnish with lime

Pomegranate Mint Mojito


2oz Bacardi Ron Maestro Rum

1oz Lime juice

0.5oz Simple Syrup

0.5oz Pomegranate juice

6 Mint leaves

Garnish with Pomegranate seeds and Lime


Fill cocktail shaker three-quarters full with ice

Add Bacardi, Lime and Pomegranate juices, and Simple Syrup

Shake Well

Place mint leaves in a Collins glass. (Click here if you need to brush up on glass shapes)

Fill glass with ice

Strain ingredients into glass

Garnish with Lime

Blistered tomato spaghetti on white plate with gold cutlery on white background

Blistered tomato spaghetti is a seasonal suggestion from Pusateri.

Looking for a couple of late-summer recipes that take advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available in many  — but not all, sadly, parts of the country  — Here are two options from Pusateri’s – one of Toronto oldest family run grocery chains (look for a profile on Around the House about this fascinating company some time soon – aka as soon as I get around to writing it!)

Try wither a blistered tomato spaghetti  or a flavour-forward green pizza

Whatever the menu, soak up the sun and enjoy what’s left of summer.



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  • Reply
    Janet Lorusso
    August 24, 2019 at 8:49 pm

    Yum! Great sounding drinks – will have to try these!

  • Reply
    Sheri Bruneau
    August 25, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    You had me at, ‘summer drinks’. All of the recipes look yummy and I will be certainly trying out a few!

  • Reply
    Leslie Carothers
    August 25, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    I’m all in for trying that Orange Crush recipe with you, Vicki, if I ever get to meet you in person. I love the combo of mango and lime and Grey Goose. Delicious!

    I love your images, too. They are so pretty!

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