Summer sippers

Sunshine, long days, fresh ingredients and good company are just a few of the things we love about summer. After all, there’s no better season to kick back and relax with a cold beverage on the patio or in a hammock.

Whether you’re treating yourself or entertaining a crowd, here are some tasty beverages to suit the season:

Watermelon Cosmicpolitan (shown above)

1 Watermelon cube, frozen (1-inch x 1-inch/2.5-cm x 2.5-cm)
1 cup (250 mL) ice
1 oz (28 mL) premium vodka
1 oz (28 mL) Cointreau
1 tbsp (15 mL) grenadine syrup
1 cup (250 mL) watermelon puree
1 mini skewer featuring a watermelon cube, pineapple cube and small strawberry

In bottom of chilled martini glass, place frozen watermelon cube. In shaker, place ice, vodka, Cointreau, grenadine and watermelon puree; shake 30 seconds. Strain into glass and garnish with skewer.

Makes 1 cocktail.

(Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board. For more recipe ideas, visit

NEXT: Strawberry Muddle Cocktail


Strawberry Muddle cocktail recipeStrawberry Muddle Cocktail

Have you muddled yet? This trendy technique for blending drinks creates perfectly juicy and flavorful cocktails that will delight your guests.


2 large or 3 small fresh California strawberries, stemmed
1/2 -1 tbsp. simple syrup
2 slices lemon
6 ounces prosecco
crushed ice
mint leaf


In a glass, muddle strawberries to a fine pulp. Add simple syrup to taste. Place lemon slices on top of
strawberries and punch out the centers, leaving rinds in glass. Gently pour in prosecco; do not stir. Layer
top of glass with ice; garnish with mint.

Makes 1 cocktail

Recipe and image courtesy of California Strawberry Commission. For more information and recipe ideas, please visit

NEXT: Lost in Laos cocktail


Lost in Laos cocktailLost in Laos

This refreshing drink was created by Matthew Biancaniello, mixologist at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Library Bar, for the Almond Board of California. Blend almond milk, fresh lime juice, kaffir lime leaves, agave syrup, green chartreuse and gin, for a smooth cocktail that’s sure to quench your thirst.

Makes one serving


3-4 kaffir lime leaves
3/4 oz (21 g) of fresh lime juice
3/4 oz (21 g) agave syrup
1/2 oz (14 g) of green chartreuse
2 oz (55 g) gin
2 oz (55 g) unsweetened almond milk


In a cocktail shaker, muddle together kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and agave, approximately 2 minutes. Add liquors, almond milk and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a collins glass with ice, Garnish with kaffir lime leaves on the side.

Nutritional Analysis: per serving

Calories: 243, Fibre: 2 g, Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sat Fat: 0.1 g, Sodium: 89 mg, Mono Fat: 0.7 g, Calcium: 2.9 mg, Poly Fat: 0.3 g, Magnesium: 1.9 mg, Protein: 0.6 g, Potassium: 62 mg, Carb: 13.6 g, Vitamin E: 0.04 mg*

* total alpha-tocopherol equivalents

More recipes can be found online at (Source:

NEXT: Watermelon Lavender Granita, plus reader recipes for Raspberry Frost and Rhubarb Slush


Watermelon Lavender Vodka Granita recipe Watermelon Lavender Granita

A refreshing treat, this recipe offers a unique blend of nutrient-rich watermelon and aromatic lavender in a light palette-pleasing sorbet. A touch of vodka will ensure the right consistency for a perfect summer-time cocktail.

4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) puréed watermelon pulp, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar (or part sweetener)
1 tsp (5 mL) culinary edible lavender
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) vodka

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the watermelon pulp, sugar, lavender and salt. Bring to a slow boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes.

Place strainer over a large bowl and pour syrup mixture through, straining out lavender flowers. Add remaining 4 cups (1 L) watermelon, lemon juice and vodka. Stir until blended.

Pour into container, cover, place in freezer. When semi-solid, put into food processor and pulse to remove chunks. Scoop desired amount into a small bowl or parfait dish, garnish with a small wedge of watermelon and a lavender flower.

Serves 4 to 8.

TIP: Use watermelon or citrus flavoured vodka to enhance the flavour. The vodka helps to prevent sorbet from setting too firm.

PER SERVING (1/2 cup/125 mL): 73 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 0 g protein. % RDI: 0% calcium, 1% iron, 2% vitamin A, 13% vitamin C.

Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board. For more recipe ideas, visit

For more frozen treats, try one of these ideas from readers:

Raspberry Frost

1 1/2 cups canned pineapple juice
1 cup Raspberry Sorbet
5 ounces frozen raspberries
1 liter diet Ginger Ale

Combine pineapple juice and sorbet in a blender and process until frothy, about 1

Add frozen raspberries and continue processing.

Divide mixture evenly between 4 tall glasses. Fill the rest of each glass with chilled Ginger Ale.

Makes 4 servings.

(Submitted by reader JSC788)

Rhubarb Slush

Cook 2 cups rhubarb in 2 cups water. When cooked, strain juice into ice cream pail, discard pulp.

Add 1 package cherry Kool-Aid drink mix and 1 package strawberry Kool-Aid drink mix, 1 can frozen lemonade and 1 can frozen orange juice.

Mix well, add gin or vodka and fill to 1 inch from top of pail with water.


Serve in tall glasses, half slush and half 7-Up. (I double the recipe and put half a litre of gin or vodka per pail.) A very refreshing drink on a hot day. Enjoy!

(Submitted by reader Yorkshire)

NEXT: alcohol-free recipes for Watermelon Green Tea Punch and Minty Lemon Iced Tea


Watermelon Green Tea Punch recipeWatermelon Green Tea Punch

Packed with antioxidants from both green tea and watermelon, this sweet and refreshing twist on iced tea is adult and kid friendly.

2 cups watermelon purée (500 mL)
2 cups unsweetened green tea, chilled (500 mL)
1 cup grape juice (250 mL)
1/4 cup cherry juice (optional) (50 mL)
2 cups ginger ale or Chardonnay (500 mL)

In a large pitcher, add watermelon purée, green tea, grape juice, cherry juice and gingerale or Chardonnay. Mix well and chill. Serve over ice.

Makes 9 servings.

Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board. For more recipe ideas, visit

Love iced tea? Here’s another way to kick it up a notch:

Minty Lemon Iced Tea

6 Earl Grey tea bags
1/2 cup granulated sugar or Splenda
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
8 cups boiling water
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tbs. lemon juice
Ice cubes
Fresh mint sprigs

Place tea bags, sugar and mint leaves in large measure; pour in boiling water, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let steep for 6 minutes or until desired strength; remove tea bags.

Refrigerate for 8 hours. Strain into serving pitcher. (Tea can be prepared to this point and
refrigerated for up to 3 days). Add lemon slices, lemon juice and ice. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Yield: 8 cups (2L)

(Submitted by reader Louan)

For more drink ideas, see Fun and easy summer cocktails and Best wines for the barbeque.

Have you tried this recipe or have a cooking tip for other readers? Share it in the comments below.

More summery ideas:

Summer sides: Readers’ Choice
Wicked Watermelon Sorbet
Light fare: finger foods
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Light summer fare with Asian flare

Plus see what else is cooking in our in recipes archive.