Sip on This: Summer Cocktail Trends

Check out what Toronto’s busiest bartenders are mixing up this summer!

Bitters: Those looking for an authentic, Mad Men-era cocktail are re-exploring bitters; alcoholic ingredients flavoured with herbal essences and added to cocktails in small quantities to enhance flavour.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Yonge & Front’s “Ed’s Old Fashioned”: Housemade brown butter bourbon, cut with spiced orange syrup and house-spiced orange bitters, finished with orange zest

Brassaii’s “School’s Out”: Vanilla infused vodka, Fentiman Dendelion soda, House-made root beer bitters, Vanilla Ice cream pearls

Mezcal: Though distilled from the same type of plant, mezcal has long been the lesser-known, unpopular cousin of tequila. After years of obscurity, mezcal is finally surfacing among patrons in search of the uniquely rich and smoky flavour that distinguishes it from tequila.

Hudson Kitchen’s “Anticuado”: Tromba Blanco, Mezcal, Agave, and Memphis BBQ Bitters

Brassaii’s  “Gardens of Havana”
Brassaii’s “Gardens of Havana”

Rum: Often called a “mixologist’s best friend” due to the endless varieties, styles and flavours, rum is an incredibly versatile alcohol with a range that pairs well with both sweet and savoury dishes. Adding to the allure, high-quality rum is cheaper than mediocre whiskey. Anticipate rum-based drinks to pop up at restaurants everywhere.

Hudson Kitchen’s “Plants vs Zombies”: Overproof rum, Beefeater Mix, Citrus, Dill, Ginger Beer, and Absinthe

Brassaii’s “Gardens of Havana”: Mint-infused Havana 3 year Anejo Rum, lime juice, simple syrup, and cucumber water

Malibu Melon Mojito (Photo by Cindy La)

Carbonated Cocktails: Classic cocktails like the mojito and cosmopolitan are being updated for the 21st century with the addition of soda water. A lighter, refreshing take on flat cocktails, carbonation adds an aromatic and intense flavour to drinks.

Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Yonge & Front’s “Malibu Melon Mojito”: Malibu rum shaken with fresh lime & crushed watermelon, wrapped with mint & cane sugar, topped with soda water

The Original King West Tea'se
The Original King West Tea’se

Tea and coffee-infused Cocktails: Move over Long Island Ice tea and Baileys and make room for unique caffeine and alcohol hybrids like Mill Street Brewery’s Lemon Tea Beer; a remarkable wheat beer infused with a blend of Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey teas. This natural component adds an extra fragrance to cocktails.