CTV Morning Live

CTV Ottawa Morning Live

June 30, 2017

Theme: Sangria and Summer Cocktails for Canada Day Celebrations

Today on CTV Morning Live, CTV’s Lianne Laing and Sommelier Matt Steeves served up some easy to make and super refreshing ice cold sangria and summer cocktails that will be perfect for your Canada Day parties and summer entertaining. Check out the CTV video here!

When the temperature is sky rocketing there’s nothing like an ice cold cocktail to keep you refreshed.  Ice cold cocktails are the perfect solution to cooling off on these hot summer nights, and when you’re hosting a crowd they’re great as they can be made ahead of time and served to many without delay.

With a few simple ingredients, you can easily craft your own signature iced cocktails that you and your guests will love!

Before we get into some of my favourite iced cocktails and sangria recipes, here’s a few tips for serving ice cold drinks in the heat of the summer…

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!


These sangria and iced summer cocktails are absolute dynamite and will work perfectly at keeping you and your guests refreshed this Canada Day and all summer long:


There are so many options when it comes to Sangria. Most common in Spain and Portugal, it normally consists of red wine, fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of brandy or Grand Mariner. Chopped fruit can include orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwi, mango, and just about anything else! A sweetener such as honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice is added.  Instead of brandy, other liquids such as soda water 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 Canada Day party so it’s full flavored and ready to enjoy as soon as your guests arrive.





  • 1/2 apple, cored, skin on, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 orange, rind on, sliced into small pieces, large seeds removed (save the other half of the orange for garnishing the individual glasses)
  • 3-4 Tbsp organic brown sugar (or 3 Tbsp (37.5 g) organic cane sugar)
  • 3/4 cup  orange juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup brandy, plus more to taste – I elected to use Grand Marnier
  • 1 750 ml bottle full bodied, fruity, dry red wine ( I chose an Italian red from Puglia…Torrevento’s Negroamaro)
  • Ice to chill (~1 cup, preferably large ice cubes or spheres (the bigger the ice the slower it will melt))
  1. Add apples, oranges, and sugar to a large pitcher and muddle with a muddler or wooden spoon
  2. Add orange juice and brandy and muddle again
  3. Add red wine and stir, then taste and adjust flavor as needed. If you want a bit more kick then add a splash more brandy, orange juice and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
  4. Add ice and stir once more to chill. Serve as is, or with a bit more ice. Garnish glasses with orange wedges.



From the very southern end of Italy, in the famous ‘heel’ of Italy’s boot, Puglia produces delicious deeply flavorful wines, such as Negroamaro. Torrevento’s 100% Negroamaro is nearly black in colour with a deep ruby hue. The nose shows dark black fruits, some stewed, black cherry, liquorice root, and sweet spices. Ripe dark fruit greets the palate with moderate acidity and a hint of tannins making this a great wine to enjoy with BBQ burgers, ribs, or Italian tomato-based pasta dishes. If you like Sangria in the summer sun then this value priced wine ($8.65 at the LCBO) makes a great choice given its sweet dark fruit flavours. Tasted June 2017. 88 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Available at LCBO – $8.65



Strawberry F’rosé



Servings: Makes 4–6

  • 1 750 ml bottle hearty, bold rosé (I chose Featherstone’s Rosé given its deep colour, flavour profile, and affordable price)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered
  • 2½ ounces fresh lemon juice

Recipe Tips


  • 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.


I chose Featherstone’s 2016 Rosé for the Watermelon Sangria given its dark colour and complementary fruity profile.  My review of the 2016 Rosé: Featherstone’s Rosé has won impressive awards in the past, including double gold medal at the 2014 Ontario Wine Awards. Year after year this sub $15 wine offers a very consumer friendly style that many reach to as their go-to patio-wine. The 2016 shows strawberry, candied watermelon, and baked cherry on the nose. Creamy and refreshing, with cherry and cran-apple persisting on the finish. Enjoy in the sun on a patio, and pair with grilled Cajun shrimp skewers. Tasted April 2017. 88 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Featherstone rose

Available at LCBO










  • 1/2 cup Rosé (I chose 13th Street Wine Rosé (Pink Palette) given its deep colour, flavour profile, and affordable price)
  • 1/2 cup ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • mint and grapefruit slices to garnish
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 sprigs rosemary



  • Bring water to a boil and add sugar and rosemary sprigs. Stir vigorously to allow sugar to dissolve entirely. Allow syrup to come to a boil once more and then remove from heat.
  • Pour the syrup into a heat proof vessel such as a mason jar and refrigerate until entirely cool. Remove rosemary sprigs.
  • In a blender, combine ice, Rosé, rosemary infused simple syrup and ruby red grapefruit juice. Blend until mixture is a smooth, icy consistency.
  • Pour frozen mixture into glass and garnish with rosemary sprig and serve.



With a remarkably deep and brilliant pink colour, 13th Street Winery’s 2016 Pink Palette does exactly what a great Rose ought to do…gets your taste buds revved up and upon that first sip delivers you to that summer oasis. The nose shows ripe sweet red fruit, cranberry, apple, cherry and pomegranate aromas. A blend of 31% Cabernet Franc, 31% Merlot, 19% Pinot Noir, and 19% Chardonnay from the Niagara Peninsula, it all makes for a refreshing glass of wine that delivers layers of sweet and tart red berries with baking spice and dried herbs making it very approachable to enjoy on its own and equally delicious when enjoyed with a wide array of dishes. My top picks include BBQ burgers, charcuterie, summer salads, and also spicy Asian cuisine. A touch of sweetness on the finish keeps inviting you back for another sip… Tasted June 2017. 88 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Available at LCBO in July 2017 or winery direct – $15.95




Kannuk Sparkling Cup


  • 6 leaves fresh mint
  • 2 slices cucumber
  • 2 oz. premium vodka (I chose Canada’s premium Kannuk Vodka)
  • 3/4 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Sparkling Wine – Jackson Triggs Cuvee Close

Directions: Muddle mint and cucumber. Add Kannuk vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup and shake. Pour over glass with ice. Top with Sparkling Wine, I’m using Jackson-Triggs Cuve Close (on sale for $14.95 at LCBO until mid-July) which was served at the Juno’s held earlier this year in Ottawa.




JT Cuve Close




Vodka Gimlet


  • 2 oz. vodka, preferably a premium Canadian vodka such as Beattie’s, Kannuk, or Iceberg
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • Lime wedge, for serving

Directions: Shake vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Pour over a coupe and garnish with lime wedge.


Cucumber Cocktail

Stay cool with this perked up party-pleaser. A cucumber and Kim Crawford cocktail will be your favorite sippable splash of summer.   Although this delicious cocktail is stunning with New Zealand Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, try a Canadian twist on it and enjoy with 13th Street Winery’s Burger Blend (white), which is on sale until mid-July.



  • 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).

Make this a fully Canadian treat and substitute 13th Street Winery’s Burger Blend White for a refreshing summer wine cocktail.  Crafted with summer and BBQ season in mind, 13th Street’s winemaker, JP Colas, brought together two very popular aromatic grapes (78% Riesling, 22% Pinot Grigio) that are packed full of sweet tree fruit (pear, apple), honeysuckle, and sweet spice. The creamy-smooth mouthfeel is backed with refreshing crisp pear and spice on the long finish. Fantastic with seared tuna or salmon burgers, or go all out with a stacked Aussie burger with the lot (i.e. big, bold and delicious stacked burger topped with beets, pineapple, fried egg, and smothered in a creamy sauce). Look for it in LCBO all summer long or get some shipped to your door winery direct. Terrific wine for the price and perfect to enjoy this summer! Tasted June 2017. 89+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca


Available at LCBO and on sale until mid July – $13.95



Canadian Mule

A 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  premium Canadian vodka such as Kannuk, Iceberg, or Beatties,thereby transforming them into Canadian Mules. I’ve used local Ottawa produced Harvey & Vern’s Ginger Beer to add that sweet and spicy extra kick to this popular summer cocktail.   

Classic Moscow Mule rebranded as a Canadian Mule using Canadian vodka and Harvey & Vern’s Ginger Beer



1/2 oz. lime juice

2 oz. vodka (Iceberg or Beattie’s make great choices)

4-6 oz. ginger beer



Squeeze lime juice into a Collins glass (or Moscow Mule mug) and drop in the spent shell.

Add 2 or 3 ice cubes, then pour in the vodka and fill with cold ginger beer (not ginger ale, although what the hell).

Serve with a straw.



Watermelon Sangria


  • 1/2 medium seedless watermelon, washed
  • Three 750 milliliter bottles rosé wine, chilled
  • One 375 milliliter bottle sparkling wine, Champagne or moscato, chilled

Several hours before serving, slice big slabs of rind from around the outside of the watermelon, making sure there’s plenty of red fruit attached. Slice the rind into large chunks. Add the chunks to a large drink dispenser or punch bowl and add the rosé wine. Cover and stick it in the fridge to let it chill for at least 6 hours (or more if you can).

Right before serving, stir in the chilled sparkling wine. Serve in glasses, using tongs to add individual pieces of fruit. Yum!






F’rosé Watermelon Slushies

frose watermelon slushies

  • Directions:
  • Cube 2 cups of watermelon and place in freezer until frozen solid.
  • Combine 1 cup (250ml, a 3rd of a bottle) of chilled rosé (my pick for this is Niche Wine Co.’s Pinot Noir Blanc)
  • 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.


Summer in a bottle! Niche Wine Co.’s Pinot Noir Blanc is a unique and delicious twist on a patio-favourite wine! The 2015 Pinot Noir Blanc has a light coral-copper colour with a sweet and fragrant bouquet of strawberry, baked peach, blood orange, vanilla, and ginger. Richly flavoured and very refreshing, it’s perfectly suited for a wide array of patio-foods, including charcuterie, sweet chili BBQ’d wings or shrimp kebabs, fresh and tangy summer salads, and is terrific on its own. With direct to consumer shipping, it’s a breeze to get these wines shipped right to your door. Highly recommended. Tasted May 2016. 90 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca

Available winery direct



Basil Watermelon Cocktail

Cool down with this refreshing mix of Kannuk Vodka, watermelon and ginger.



3  large basil leaves

1  slice peeled ginger

1  chunk watermelon

.5 oz Simple syrup

2 oz Kannuk Vodka

.5 oz Fresh lime juice

Splash of Ginger ale



1 Watermelon chunk and basil leaf

Glass: Rocks, or Mason jar.


In a shaker, muddle the basil, ginger, watermelon and simple syrup.

Add the Kannuk 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.









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.




Blackberry Wine Slushy



1 12 oz Vodka
5 Blackberries
1 oz Orange juice
4 oz Red wine
1 tsp Agave



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


  1. Muddle Mint, lemon and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass over ice.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig and lemon pinwheel.








2 parts Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

2 parts Green Tea

Splash Sparkling Water





  1. Allow tea to cool before pouring.
  2. Mix Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc, cooled green tea and sparkling water in a Collins glass over ice.
  3. Garnish with thin strips of lemon and lime peel.



Cucumber Cocktail

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