Summer is synonymous with drinks on a patio, and if it’s your own patio or deck, so much the better. In the spirit of relaxed entertaining at home, we have four fabulous recipes for knock-out summer cocktails to share with you.
Inspiration for this post came in the form of teapigs tea, which I tasted for the first time in a cocktail. I had never seen tea used for cocktails before, and I am now a convert. After tasting it, I decided I had to host my own cocktail party. Then, my amazing midwife pointed the way to a recipe for how to make my own lilac syrup, and it was a floral-themed affair from there. A plan was hatched and dispatched to say goodbye to the school year and hello to summer. I had jasmine green tea and vodka coolers, rose gin and lilac martinis, and elderflower bellinis. It was heavenly. We even had edible floral treats, courtesy of Roseanne at Summer of Funner. Her recipe for her elderflower cake is here.
The Inspiration: Teapigs Elder Mint Sour
created by Conor Brown, mixologist at Her Majesty’s Pleasure
When British tea sensation teapigs launched in Canada, we had the great good fortune to attend the launch at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, where resident mixologist Conor Brown served us delicious cocktails made from teapigs teas. This mint and elderflower cocktail was to die for, and I am so pleased to be able to share the recipe (and make it for myself!).
1 1⁄2 oz scotch infused with teapigs green tea with mint
1⁄2 oz. St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
3⁄4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 oz. teapigs green tea with mint syrup
1 dash of Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech
Combine and shake/fine-strain into chilled Coupe. Garnish with mint leaf clipped on top.
How to Infuse with teapigs
To infuse the scotch, tear the tea bags open and empty the contents into a jar or bottle. Six to eight tea bags should be all you need to infuse a bottle. It only takes about 2 to 3 hours to infuse but be sure to taste it. Strain the contents and enjoy.
To create the syrup, boil water and let a few tea bags steep for about an hour and then strain it out – be sure to taste it. For a small batch, a few tea bags will do just fine. Then, stir in equal parts sugar and the tea steeped water until everything is dissolved.
Jasmine Green Tea and Vodka Coolers
Basically, this is delicious spiked iced tea. Refreshing and lethal. I used jasmine green tea because mine was a floral theme, but you could use your favourite flavour of iced tea. Begin by making a strong pot of jasmine green tea (approximately 1 litre). Add 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar to the hot tea, depending how sweet you like your tea. Dissolve and chill. If you want to amp up the jasmine flavour, add a splash (1/4 oz) of jasmine water to each drink. Jasmine water is quite bitter on its own, so adjust sweetness accordingly.
3 oz. jasmine green tea
1 1/2 oz. vodka
frozen blueberries (optional)
splash of jasmine water (optional)
Combine jasmine green tea and vodka in a tumbler. Serve over lots of ice, add enough soda water to fill the glass and top with frozen blueberries.
Lilac and Rose Gin Martini
I first used Dillon’s Rose Gin for a Turkish delight-inspired cocktail at Christmas. It has become a favourite. This cocktail took its inspiration from a recipe for lilac simple syrup that I made from the lilac in my garden. The recipe I used for the lilac syrup from Urban Huntress is here. You can take inspiration from whatever is in season right now (strawberries, lime blossom, mulberries….) You could also use a floral liqueur from the liquor store in place of a floral simple syrup. I am partial to St. Germain elderflower liqueur. On a hot night, there is nothing better than this cold cocktail served in a chilled glass.
1 oz. lilac simple syrup
1 1/2 oz. Dillon’s Rose Gin
two shakes of rhubarb bitters
soda water (optional)
Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a chilled martini glass. You can turn this into a spritzer by serving it on the rocks topped with soda water.
1 oz. St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
Pour 1 oz. of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur into a champagne glass. Fill with sparkling rosé. That’s it, that’s all. Easiest cocktail ever, pretty and pink, and a fool-proof crowd-pleaser.
Plenty more cocktail recipes here: