08/05/2013 10:00 EDT | Updated 10/05/2013 05:12 EDT

Summer sippers to enjoy on warm days can range from sweet to savoury

There's nothing better than relaxing with a drink on a warm day. Here are some recipes for special summer sippers.

The first three were created by Nathan Cameron for the Casey's Grill Bar chain. The Prime Restaurants Inc. beverage manager says he wanted to give a twist to traditionally popular summer cocktails. In the case of the margarita, it's the addition of beer. For the sangria and mojito, the secret ingredient is hard cider.

The last two drinks run the gamut from a savoury libation featuring tomatoes to a gin-based strawberry elixir.

Shock Top Margarita

22 ml (3/4 oz) tequila

22 ml (3/4 oz) orange liqueur

30 ml (1 oz) fresh sweet lemonade

90 ml (3 oz) Shock Top White Ale (or any American wheat beer)

1/2 orange slice, for garnish

To an ice-packed glass, add tequila, orange liqueur and lemonade. Top with beer.

Stir well and garnish with orange slice on rim of glass.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: Nathan Cameron, Casey's Grill Bar.


Blueberry Cider Sangria

3 blueberries

3 lime slices (reserve 1 for garnish)

15 ml (1/2 oz) blueberry vodka

30 ml (1 oz) Cabernet or Merlot wine

30 ml (1 oz) fresh sweet lemonade

90 ml (3 oz) hard (fermented) cider

60 ml (2 oz) soda

To an ice-packed glass, add all ingredients in the order listed. Stir well and garnish with reserved lime slice on rim of glass.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: Nathan Cameron, Casey's Grill Bar.


Strawberry Cider Mojito

30 ml (1 oz) spiced rum

15 ml (1/2 oz) strawberry puree (commercial or homemade)

30 ml (1 oz) fresh sweet lemonade

6 to 8 mint leaves or to taste

90 ml (3 oz) hard (fermented) cider

1/2 strawberry, for garnish

To a cocktail shaker, add rum, strawberry puree, lemonade and mint. Add a scoop of ice, shake well and strain over ice-packed glass. Top with cider. Stir well and garnish with strawberry on rim of glass.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: Nathan Cameron, Casey's Grill Bar.


Sangrita Cooler

Sangrita, a popular spicy Mexican beverage, is prepared with juicy, sweet, ripe tomatoes. Traditionally a shot of tequila is served on the side to sip alternately with the sangrita — slowly, one after the other.

3 field tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered (about 500 g/1 lb)

250 ml (1 cup) each tomato juice and orange juice

30 ml (2 tbsp) diced red onion

5 ml (1 tsp) hot pepper sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 piece cucumber (10 cm/4 inches long), peeled and chopped

4 stalks celery, for garnish

In a blender, combine tomatoes, tomato juice and orange juice, red onion, hot sauce, garlic and cucumber; process until smooth. Refrigerate to thoroughly chill. Stir to mix. Pour into chilled glasses and garnish each with a celery stalk.

Makes 4 servings.

Tips: To peel tomatoes, cut an X in bottom of each and place in heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for about 30 seconds or until skins begin to split. Immediately drain and cool in ice water. Peel and cut out cores. To seed tomatoes, cut in half crosswise and squeeze out seeds.

Source: Foodland Ontario.


Strawberry Gin-tinis

Party in high style with this not-too-sweet fruity summer drink. To make larger quantities, use equal parts gin and strawberry puree.

625 ml (2 1/2 cups) strawberries

50 ml (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice

30 ml (2 tbsp) granulated sugar

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) gin

500 ml (2 cups) ginger ale

8 strawberries, for garnish

In a food processor, puree strawberries, lemon juice and sugar until smooth or desired consistency. Strain to remove seeds, if desired. Pour into a pitcher; stir in gin. Refrigerate until chilled.

To serve, place 2 ice cubes in each of 8 martini or stemmed glasses. Pour in gin mixture; top with ginger ale. Garnish with skewered strawberry.

For kids: Double the strawberry puree, omit gin and top with ginger ale.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Foodland Ontario.