CTV Ottawa Morning Live
July 20, 2016. 9:15AM
Theme: New Twists on Summer Cocktails
Today on CTV Morning Live, CTV’s Melissa Lamb and Sommelier Matt Steeves served up some easy to make and super refreshing ice cold summer cocktails. Check out the video link here .
Ice cold cocktails are the perfect solution to cooling off on these hot summer nights. With a few simple ingredients, you can easily craft your own signature iced cocktails that you and your guests will love!
A few tips for serving ice cold drinks in the heat of the summer…
- Put down that massive pint glass…bigger isn’t always better when it comes to serving and enjoying ice cold drinks in the heat of the summer. This time of year I recommend smaller glasses with smaller and more frequent pours. Smaller glasses, loaded with ice, means you’re going to enjoy that beverage served cold (as planned) and not end up with a watered down jug of melted ice had you opted for the 32 oz super sized mug.
- Use big ice cubes. Small ice cubes or crushed ice will melt faster than large cubes meaning your special drink is more likely to get watered down and lose the flavour profile you intended when you mixed it. Bigger is better in this case.
- Use small cans of tonic water and club soda to get the most fizz. 2L bottles tend to go flat quickly which means you’re not getting the full texture your drink is supposed to deliver. I prefer the small 222ml cans of club soda and tonic water versus the 355 ml cans as the smaller cans are perfect for one drink and they seem to pack more fizz too.
- Whenever possible use freshly squeezed lemon and lime over the bottled alternatives. You know exactly what you’re getting when you squeeze a lime on your own and there’s nothing fresher than that.
- Keep your vodka, gin, and other spirits in the freezer prior to service to help keep your cocktail as cold as possible.
Following those few tips will help make your cocktails some of the finest your guests will enjoy all summer long!
Before we get into the iced cocktails that I showed on CTV today, here are a couple of my favourite (world renowned) iced cocktails. The Mint Julep and the Moscow Mule.
The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. It’s been enjoyed by many for a long time. Tasty and super easy to make, it’s the perfect iced cocktail for any size gathering you may be hosting and it’s a fantastic cocktail to enjoy in the summer heat. The Mint Julep is a blend of premium Bourbon, mint, sugar, and lots of ice. I’ve used the premium Basil Hayden’s Bourbon in my premium mint Julep. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/mint-julep http://www.esquire.com/drinks/mint-julep-drink-recipe
Another favourite iced cocktail is the Moscow Mule. This cocktail became popular during the vodka craze in the USA during the 1950s. The Moscow Mule is made with a high quality vodka, a spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice or wedge of lime. It is usually served in a copper mug. I like to mix my Moscow Mules with Kealy’s Diamond Vodka (recognized as the World’s smoothest Vodka) or an Ontario craft vodka, Georgian Bay Vodka – a recent double gold winner and best Vodka at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. I’ve used local Ottawa produced Harvey & Vern’s Ginger Beer to add that spicy and sweet kick to the drink. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/moscow-mule
Here are some other super delicious iced cocktails that you may not have heard of before but are absolute dynamite and work perfectly at keeping you refreshed this summer:
Cucumber Basil Gin and Tonic
- 3 oz Georgian Bay Gin
- 2 oz Lillet Blanc
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 sprigs basil, plus more to garnish
- 1 cucumber
- Using a vegetable peeler, slice thin ribbons of cucumber and place in your cocktail glasses. From the remaining cucumber, cut off 5-6 chunks to muddle into the cocktail, and save the rest.
- Squeeze the lime juice into a cocktail shaker and add the gin, Lillet, basil, and cucumber chunks.
- Muddle the ingredients well, and then add ice.
- Shake well, then pour to divide between 2 glasses. Top with tonic and garnish with basil.
Georgian Bay Gin is one of Ontario’s newest craft gins, having only established in 2013, they’ve got off to a great starting having won silver medals twice at international competitions and quickly made its way to the top rail of many fine establishments. Made from malted barley, Georgian Bay Spirits Co. credits the source water (an aquifer in Elmvale, Ont. — said to be the cleanest water in Canada) for their award-winning spirits smooth mouth-feel and clean flavour profile.
I tasted Batch 16, bottle 1025, and couldn’t agree more. Fresh, with sweet and aromatic botanicals, the Juniper berries and slight pine notes give way to a fresh sea breeze. Smooth and clean on the palate, with all elements in balance; no sharp edges on this beauty. A fantastic gin to mix with any cocktail. Why not try a Strawberry Basil Lemonade Cocktail or a Cucumber Basil G&T this summer. Cheers! Tasted July 2016. 92 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca
Choose a full-flavored, full-bodied, dark-colored rosé for freezing. It will lose some of its color and will be a bit diluted after freezing and blending; you want something that can hold its own.
Servings: Makes 4–6
- 1 750 ml bottle hearty, bold rosé (such as a Pinot Noir or Merlot rosé… I chose 13th Street Wine Rosé13th Street Winery Pink Palette Rosé given its deep colour, flavour profile, and affordable price)
- ½ cup sugar
- 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered
- 2½ ounces fresh lemon juice
- Pour rosé into a 13″x9″ pan and freeze until almost solid (it won’t completely solidify due to the alcohol), at least 6 hours.
- Meanwhile, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add strawberries, remove from heat, and let sit 30 minutes to infuse syrup with strawberry flavor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl (do not press on solids); cover and chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Scrape rosé into a blender. Add lemon juice, 3½ ounces strawberry syrup, and 1 cup crushed ice and purée until smooth. Transfer blender jar to freezer and freeze until frosé is thickened (aim for milkshake consistency), 25–35 minutes.
- Blend again until frosé is slushy. Divide among glasses.
- Do Ahead: Rosé can be frozen 1 week ahead.
Pineapple & Gin Frozen Cocktail
For best flavor, use fresh fruit. Freeze in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet until solid.
- 3 cups frozen pineapple pieces plus wedges for serving (optional)
- 6 oz. Georgian Bay Gin
- 2 oz. simple syrup
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. pineapple juice
- Mint sprigs (for serving; optional)
- Purée frozen pineapple, gin, simple syrup, lime juice, pineapple juice, and 2 cups ice in a blender until smooth and very thick (mixture will loosen immediately once poured). Divide among glasses and garnish with pineapple wedges and mint sprigs, if desired.
There are so many options when it comes to Sangria. Most common in Spain and Portugal, it normally consists of red wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of brandy. Chopped fruit can include orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwifruit, mango, and anything else I’ve left out! A sweetener such as honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice is added. Instead of brandy, other liquids such as Seltzer or lemonade may be added. Sangria is steeped while chilled for as little as minutes or up to a few days, making it a great drink to prepare in advance of your pool parties so it’s full flavored and ready to enjoy as soon as your guests arrive.
Now if you’re in a rush and didn’t quite get around to making your Sangria in advance, there’s options for those with super busy lives. Most liquor stores sell variations of off the shelf, ready to be enjoyed, pop ‘n pour Sangria that simply requires a twist of the cap, some ice, and a bit of chopped fruit if you so please.
Yellow Tail Sangria: A lively blend that offers pronounced citrus, strawberry and floral notes on the nose; the palate is medium-sweet with medium acid and a soft/full mouthfeel. Perfect for entertaining and serving with spicy tapas.
F’rosé Watermelon Slushies
- Cube 2 cups of watermelon and place in freezer until frozen solid.
- Combine 1 cup (250ml, a 3rd of a bottle) of chilled rosé
- Blend the frozen watermelon and chilled rosé until smooth and serve immediately. Given the high water content of watermelon, this drink has a tendency to separate quickly so best to serve immediately and not store in the fridge for any period of time.
Basil Watermelon Cocktail
Cool down with this refreshing mix of Georgian Bay Vodka, watermelon and ginger.
3 large basil leaves
1 slice peeled ginger
1 chunk watermelon
.5 oz Simple syrup
2 oz Georgian Bay Vodka
.5 oz Fresh lime juice
Splash of Ginger ale
Glass: Rocks, or Mason jar.
In a shaker, muddle the basil, ginger, watermelon and simple syrup.
Add the Georgian Bay Vodka and lime juice, and fill with ice.
Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
Top with ginger ale and garnish with a watermelon chunk and basil leaf.
STRAWBERRY BASIL LEMONADE COCKTAIL
1.5 oz Georgian Bay Gin
3 Basil leaves
2-3 Large strawberries (preferably deep red locally produced strawberries)
2 oz Lemonade
Splash of Club soda
1 Strawberry and basil
Glass: Double Old Fashioned
In a shaker, muddle the strawberries and basil leaves.
Add the Georgian Bay Gin and lemonade to the shaker and fill with fresh ice.
Shake, and strain into an Old Fashioned glass (or Mason jar). Top up with ice and a splash of Club Soda and garnish with a strawberry and a basil leaf.
If you love crisp white wine (as I do!), then these refreshing Sauvignon Blanc based wine cocktails will be right up your alley on those warm summer days and evening!
- 2 parts chilled Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
- 3-4 pieces lemon wedge
- .75 parts simple syrup
- Pinch of mint
- Lemon for garnish
- Mint sprig for garnish
- ice cubes
- Muddle Mint, lemon and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
- Add Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.
- Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
- Garnish with a mint sprig and lemon pinwheel.
KIM’S HIGH TEA
2 parts Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
2 parts Green Tea
Splash Sparkling Water
- Allow tea to cool before pouring.
- Mix Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, cooled green tea and sparkling water in a Collins glass over ice.
- Garnish with thin strips of lemon and lime peel.
Stay cool with this perked up party-pleaser. A cucumber and Kim Crawford cocktail will be your favorite sippable splash of summer.
- 1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 lime thinly sliced
- Fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup of lime juice
- 1/4 cup of local honey
- 1 bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 liter bottle carbonated water, chilled
In a large pitcher, combine cucumber, lime slices and 12 mint leaves in a large pitcher. In a small bowl, stir together lime juice and honey until combined. Pour over cucumber mixer, add wine, stirring gently. Cover and chill for at least two hours. (Recipe makes a batch. For single serving, use parts; 1 oz = 1 part).
CTV Morning Live’s Sommelier, Matt Steeves is a wine writer & Director with the National Capital Sommelier Guild – follow Matt and all his wine and drinks recommendations on Twitter @Quercusvino or www.quercusvino.ca