Shaking Things Up: Cocktails and Libations That Add a Fresh Twist On Familiar Favourites

Cocktails with a Twist

From Sangria to the Paloma to a no-sugar wine (we’ve even discovered an old-is-new-again no-alcohol beer), there’s a new way to sip an old favourite. Photo: Courtesy of Fever-Tree

If you’re looking to shake up your mixology or entertaining skills with a few new tastes, we’ve got you covered. 

We asked a few bartenders to share their latest recipes. From Sangria to the Paloma to a no-sugar wine (we’ve even discovered an old-is-new-again no-alcohol beer), there’s a new way to sip an old favourite.


The Pomegranate Paloma


Courtesy of the bar team at EPOCH Bar & Kitchen Terrace at The Ritz-Carlton hotel, Toronto.

This seasonal twist on the classic Paloma will be on the menu at Epoch this winter, as a part of its brand new cocktail program. Try creating what the bar team is describing as a refreshing libation at home until we can visit Epoch’s bar once again. 

Known for its citrus flavours, a Paloma classically includes grapefruit juice along with tequila and lime. Epoch’s Paloma substitutes the grapefruit with pomegranate — which is currently in-season — for a wintery pop and is topped with a sprig of rosemary, reminiscent of pine.


Cocktails with a Twist
Photo: Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton hotel, Toronto



2 tbsps freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tsps simple syrup

¼ cup pomegranate juice

1.5 oz of your favourite white (or silver) tequila 

¼ cup club soda

Salt for rim; rosemary for garnish


1. Prepare a salt-rimmed highball glass with ice.

2. Shake together freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup and pomegranate juice.

3. Add tequila and club soda, then shake all the ingredients together.

4. Pour into glass and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.


Spiced Sangria


From the makers of Fever-Tree premium mixers such as tonic water, soda water and ginger beer, try this quick version of a traditional Sangria, without sacrificing any flavour. 

You won’t find the traditional red wine in this Sangria, but a healthy pour of rum and a bright pop of orange-forward aperitif bitters make up for its absence. The three types of ginger used in making the Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale mixer are responsible for the fresh green, chocolatey, and earthy flavour of this aromatic and spicy long drink.


Photo: Courtesy of Fever-Tree



2 oz dark rum

1 oz Aperol

¾ Fever-Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale

Garnish: cinnamon stick, orange wedge


1. Add an orange wedge for garnish.

2. Add the rum and Aperol to a Collins or other tall glass, then fill the glass with ice cubes.

3. Top with spiced orange ginger ale.

4. Garnish with cinnamon stick and orange wedge.


Winter Rose Cocktail


Courtesy of Anish Sharma, General Manager, Food and Beverage at Hotel X, Toronto

Gene Simmons, the outlandish and outspoken co-founder and bassist from Kiss, is also known as an entrepreneur, not to mention being the husband of Canadian Playboy bunny, Shannon Tweed. His latest project is MoneyBag, his riff on vodka, which he launched in November 2021. 

What we love? It’s distilled right here in Canada, in Niagara Falls, using organic Canadian wheat and barley. Oh, did we mention it is filtered five times through gold? When it comes to Gene Simmons, and the number of gold albums the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee must sport on his walls, we’re not surprised.


Photo: Courtesy of Anish Sharma, General Manager, Food and Beverage at Hotel X, Toronto




1.5 oz Money Bag vodka

1.5 oz spiced pear juice

0.5 oz diluted honey

0.5 oz lemon juice

0.25 oz rose syrup 



1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add all ingredients and shake.

2. Fill a highball glass with ice and strain the cocktail over it. 

3. Garnish with a long cinnamon stick, star anise and lemon peel.

4. Serve and enjoy!


And, Since it’s Dry February…


If you’re looking to cut back on your consumption (alcohol, sugar, calories, you know), here are a few new, healthier ways to enjoy good old wine and beer now.

Arterra, the Canadian wine operator and distributor for Canuck brands such as Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs, as well as New Zealand’s Kim Crawford, is working on a first-time collaboration with Weight Watchers Canada. The result of the partnership is On Point. This wine comes in Crisp White or Smooth Red, with each serving clocking in at 90 calories, one gram of sugar, two grams of carbs and 9 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV).


Photo: Courtesy of On Point


Arterra has also launched Jackson-Triggs Light, with Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Rosé to choose from. The lower-alcohol version of the winery’s bestsellers is 8 per cent ABV. 


Photo: Courtesy of Jackson-Triggs


If what you’re after is absolutely no sugar, take a sip of Bask. Its latest, Pinot Grigio, is described as bright, crisp, and with aromas of pear and lime, and a clean and refreshing finish. The best part? There’s zero grams of sugar for every 188 mL pour. The wine also comes in red and rosé.


Photo: Courtesy of BASK


Sunshine in a Bottle?

Just in time for cold weather blues, Corona Canada introduces Corona Sunbrew. The beer launches in Canada first, and because we’re all starved for a bit of sunshine at this time of year, why not? To wit, Corona has fortified Sunbrew with 30 per cent of the daily value of vitamin D per 330 mL, something unheard of in beer. It’s also non-alcoholic, so you can get your boost somewhat guilt-free. Add a wedge of lime, as Corona drinkers do, and you’re golden.


Cocktails with a Twist
Photo: Courtesy of Corona



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