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5 Cocktails to Help Toast Summer in Style

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With the days of summer quickly slipping away we want to do what we can to savour every last ray of sunshine and bask in its warmth before the snow flies again. What better way to do that than to enjoy a delicious cocktail on your patio?

With that in mind I set about putting together a delicious list of some of my favourite summertime cocktails to help you make the most of the summer we have left.

1) Summertime Sangria -- It would seem that what is old is new again, and sangria is no exception. It seems to be popping up on menus everywhere, and for good reason. It's a great refreshing way to beat the heat. I particularly like this one because of the use of moscato, a slightly sparkling wine that brings just the right effervescence to this drink.

3 oz. Jacob's Creek Moscato
½ oz. Triple Sec
½ oz. Soho Lychee Liqueur
1 oz. fresh pineapple juice
Club Soda

• Fill a wine glass with ice, add the Moscato, Triple Sec, Lychee Liqueuer and pineapple juice, stir gently
• Fill with soda and serve

2) The Paloma -- This is Mexico's most popular tequila-based cocktail and when it hits your lips you'll know why. I particularly love our twist of using a little Fresca for pop!

1 oz. Cazadores Tequila
2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz. each, fresh lemon and lime juice
½ oz. elderflower syrup
3 oz. Fresca

• Fill a cocktail glass with ice, add the tequila, juices, syrup, stir
• Top with Fresca and serve

3) Watermelon Fizz -- This is simply a fun, easy to enjoy, cocktail that is made for the sunshine, try it by the glass to start, but I can almost guarantee you'll be making them by the pitcher before too long.

1 oz. Absolut vodka
½ oz. Absolut citron vodka
1 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. watermelon juice
4-5 pc. fresh mint leaves, more for garnish if you choose
1 ea. lime wedge
3 oz. Club Soda
¼ ea. watermelon, to make "ice" cubes (optional, but highly recommended)

• Peel the watermelon, and cut into 1" cubes, place on a parchment lined plate and place in the freezer at least one hour
• Reserve scraps of watermelon trim in a bowl to extract juice and snack on, as the watermelon sits it will bleed the juice required for the cocktail
• Place 4-5 ice cubes in martini shaker, squeeze lime wedge in
• Add mint leaves, vodka, syrup and watermelon juice
• Top the shaker and shake vigourously
• Place the watermelon ice cubes in a cocktail glass
• Line the glass with mint leaves for garnish
• Strain the cocktail into the glass
• Top with club soda and serve

4) Dragon's Breath Mojito -- This is our summertime take on Cuba's oldest cocktail and the drink of choice of Ernest Hemingway.

1.5 oz. Bacardi Dragonberry Rum
½ oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
1 ea. lemon wedge, juice
2 ea. lime wedge, juice
4-5 pc. fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh summer berries
3 oz. Club Soda

• In a high ball or mason jar combine rum, Chambord, lemon, lime, mint and berries, muddle
• Fill with ice and then top with soda and serve

5) Victoria Gin & Tonic -- While this cocktail might be simplest of the bunch, it's all about great ingredients and crisp, clean flavours. Relying on Canada's very own premium gin, which balances the characteristic evergreen flavour with notes of citrus, I could sit and sip on these all day long!

1 oz. Victoria Gin
4-5 pc. fresh mint
2-3 slices fresh cucumber, super thin
1 bottle Fentiman's Tonic Water

• Fill a rocks glass with ice, placing the mint leaves and cucumber slices throughout
• Pour the Victoria Gin over the ice, and serve with a bottle of the Fentiman's soda. Enjoy!

So, there you have it! A mix of classic and contemporary cocktails that is sure to satisfy even the most sophisticated of palates. Please enjoy responsibly!

If you like these recipes and want to try some more, head to http://www.chefpaulshufelt.com for more great recipes and cooking tips.

50 Summer Cocktails
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