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A Guide to Summer Sipping, from Rum Punch to Sour Beer

Find your new summer drink with our primer on the season’s top cocktails, beers and wines.

Cool Cocktails

Open sesame: Now’s the time to try unexpected ingredients or else whip up a refreshing, low-alcohol punch.



André Bober is bar manager of Little Hong Kong, Edmonton

Anne-Marie Bungay-Larose and Coady LeBlanc bartend at the Watch That Ends the Night, Dartmouth

Kevin Demers is owner of El Pequeño, Montréal

Patrice Plante is bar manager of Nénuphar, Quebec City

Guy Stowell is the co-owner of Tocador, Vancouver

For the deck (or dock)

Haul out your punch bowl: Our bartenders share their favourite big-batch cocktails.

“I have two rules for party punches: Keep it simple, and keep it low-alcohol. My favourite is the Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth and club soda). Easy, inexpensive and delicious.”  –CL

“The Jungle Bird cocktail is made with Jamaican or blackstrap rum, Campari, pineapple and lime juice, and simple syrup. The fruit juices give it a tropical feel; the rum and Campari make it rough around the edges.”  –AB

For something new

“It’s sour yet extremely fragrant. Rhubarb negroni? Yes, please!”  –GS

“I love the Man on the Moon cocktail from Detroit’s Grey Ghost. Fresh pineapple with yellow chartreuse and sesame – it’s bright and savoury.”  –AMBL

“It tastes kind of like a combo of pineapple and banana. Add coconut milk and rum for a new take on a colada.”  –AB

“Reminds me of my childhood. I love to pair it with citrus, cucumber and aloe vera.”  –PP

For around the campfire

“Manhattans: Premix them in mini glass bottles, smoke them with a smoking gun and screw the lids on. Keep them in a cooler bag, pull them out as the sun sets, and boom, you are a legend.”  –GS

“A mezcal margarita with rosemary. The earthiness of the mezcal and rosemary pairs perfectly with campfire smoke.”  –AMBL

“Irish coffee, no question.”  –KD

Buzzy Beer

Fresh, light and sour are what’s brewing this season.



Dan Lake is the brewmaster at Paddy’s Barbecue and Brewery, Calgary

Luc « Bim » Lafontaine is the owner of Godspeed Brewery, Toronto

For the deck (or dock)

Hit refresh with a crisp, cool pilsner or lager.

“I love refreshing German helles, kölsch, altbier or Czech pale lager. I have a světlý ležák 10º in our fermenter that will arrive right on time for summer. And for the beach, you need something you can crush. Go for a well-made gose or saison – low ABV, refreshing and dry.”  –LL

“I’m all about a crisp, well-made pilsner, regardless of the season. Ours is light and delicate with a nice lemon-lime background flavour. Two more great Calgary-brewed pils: O.T. Brewing Co.’s Bush League Pilsner and the Establishment’s PilsGnar.”  –DL

For something new

“All beer geeks will (finally!) be drinking them. At Godspeed, our Otsukaresama Dortmunder Lager and our světlý ležák 12° Czech Premium Pale Lager are awesome. And look out for Vim & Vigor from Tooth and Nail Brewery in Ottawa.”  –LL

I think more breweries are going to experiment with them. One of my favourite sour beers is Nectarous by Four Winds in Delta, British Columbia. Paddy’s will release several kettle sour beers this summer, including a Blackberry Vanilla Dark Sour.”  –DL

For around the campfire

“Smoked beers made with malted barley dried over an open flame, like our Kemuri Smoked Porter, are perfect to drink around the campfire.”  –LL

Sunshine Wine

Resist the urge to #RoséAllDay and go for sweet bubbles, Greek whites and slightly chilled reds instead.



Krysta Oben is the general manager and sommelier at Paris Paris, Toronto

For the deck (or dock)

Pink or white, but always sparkling: Let your glass bubble over.

“Low-alcohol, perfectly sweet sparkling wine is due for a comeback. Pretty pink Cerdon from Renardat-Fache is delicious before or after dinner, or while you’re soaking up the sun. And moscato d’Asti gets a bad rap as 7 Up for adults, but isn’t that nice sometimes? You can sip it all day.”

For something new

“They offer incredible value and are still full of complexity and depth. Try Hatzidakis assyrtiko (if you can find it), or a grape you aren’t quite sure how to pronounce like moschofilero or vidiano. Don’t be scared!”

For around the campfire

“I like a smoky red like a zinfandel, chilled for extra refreshment. Ridge Lytton Springs is a classic zin I can get behind, and Les Lunes by Shaunt and Diego has all that energy and spice and power in a style you can drink a million glasses of.”

Prop stylist: Stephanie Saunders (Judy Inc.); Food Stylist: Michelle Diamond