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Barbecue Secrets

Recipes of the Week: Delicious Summer Drinks

Jun 27, 2013

Generally I like to serve beer and wine to accompany grilled or barbecued food. Dry, hoppy beers go nicely with richer barbecue, as do fruity, spicy white wines like Gewürtztraminer and crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blancs. And, of course, there’s nothing like a big chewy red like Ravenswood Zinfandel to go with steak or lamb. I recently discovered that the smoky, intense flavour of artisanal Mescal (a relative of Tequila) is insanely good with barbecue. More on that in my next podcast, coming soon!

The key to summer beverages is to maximize your eating and drinking pleasure, and one way to turn up the fun volume is to start off the party with a nice cocktail. Here are a few of my favorites.


Cuba Libre

Makes 1 drink

Have one of these and it’s summer … even if it’s 20 below zero.

11/2 oz | 45 mL best quality white rum (I like Appleton best)

1/4 fresh lime

cold Coca-Cola

1 lime slice

            Fill a highball glass with ice cubes, pour in the rum, squeeze in the lime juice, and top the glass up with Coke. Garnish the drink with the slice of lime.

Pimm’s No. 1 Cup and Ginger

Makes 1 drink

These sneaky little cocktails are innocuous enough, until you’ve had a couple and your face starts to feel as if it’s made of rubber.

11/2 | 45 mL oz Pimm’s No. 1 Cup liqueur

cold ginger ale

1 orange slice

Fill a highball glass with ice, pour in the liqueur, top it with ginger ale, and garnish the drink with an orange slice.


Makes one large pitcher full

Make this great Spanish-style cooler a day ahead to give all the flavors time to meld into the ultimate summer drink.

2 bottles of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Zinfandel, or Shiraz)

2 tsp | 10 mL Cointreau

2 oz | 60 mL Brandy

2 oz | 60 mL Curacao

4 Tbsp | 60 mL Sugar

2 navel oranges, cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices

2 ripe peaches, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices

2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices

half a ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into ½ inch | 1 cm slices

2 cups | 500 mL club soda

Combine all the ingredients except the club soda in a pitcher. Mix them together, cover the sangria, and refrigerate it, overnight if possible but for at least a couple of hours before serving. Just before serving, stir in the club soda. Serve the sangria in tall glasses.

Dirty Banana

Makes 1 drink

This rum-based drink, from my friend Chris Brown, makes any time, or day, or location, a tropical celebration.

11/2 oz | 45 mL Appleton Estate VX

1/2 oz | 15 mL Sangster’s Jamaica Rum Cream

2 oz | 60 mL pineapple juice

2 oz | 60 mL orange juice

quarter of a banana

(half if you really like banana)

fresh fruit for garnish

Blend the ingredients until they’re smooth. Serve the drink in a hurricane glass. Garnish it with fresh fruit. 

Rocky Mountain Margaritas

Makes 2 blenders of margaritas, enough for 8 to 12 drinks

I call these Rocky Mountain Margaritas because the blue curaçao combined with the green limeade concentrate gives the drinks an emerald glow like a glacier-fed river or a high mountain lake.

2 fresh limes, cut into wedges

kosher salt

1 12 oz | 350 mL container limeade concentrate,


1 cup | 250 mL water

1 81/2 oz | 235 mL bottle lime juice from concentrate

10 oz tequila

6 oz blue Curaçao (or Triple Sec) 

Pour 2 Tbsp | 25 mL of coarse salt onto a small plate. Wet the rims of 4 large margarita glasses (or however many you’re serving) with a wedge of lime and dip the rims into the salt. Set the glasses aside. Combine the thawed limeade concentrate, water, lime juice, tequila, and blue Curaçao in a jug or a large measuring cup. Fill a blender with ice cubes. Pour in the mixture to cover the ice cubes and whiz it until it has the consistency of a Slurpee. Fill the glasses and go for it!


One batch makes one blender of daquiris, enough for 4–6 drinks

This, my friends, is the ultimate summer blender drink. It should only be made when local peaches are at the peak of their ripeness, the sky is deep blue, and the ambient temperature is over 90˚F | 32˚C. This is the kind of drink that should be hand-delivered to your beautiful wife as she reads a trashy novel in a chaise longue wearing a cheap straw hat. One of these and she will love you forever. Two of them and she will love you as soon as she’s finished the drink.

1 Tbsp | 15 mL sugar

ice cubes

3 or 4 ripe fresh peaches, peeled,

pitted and cut into chunks

5 oz | 30 mL white rum

11/2 oz | 45 mL peach schnapps

chilled soda water

sugar to taste

fresh lime juice to taste

Rim four wide-mouthed glasses with the sugar and set them aside. Fill a blender about half full with ice cubes. Place the peach chunks on top of the ice. Pour the rum and schnapps into the blender, then top them up with soda water to cover the ice and peaches. Whiz the mixture in the blender until it’s smooth and frothy. Jack up the flavor with a little sugar and some fresh lime juice (that’s especially important if the peaches aren’t quite ripe). Pour the daquiris into the glasses and serve them immediately.

Oaxacan Daisy

(from my friend Eric Lorenz, a Vancouver-based importer of fine tequilas and mescals.

 Find him at

1.5 oz Sombra Mezcal

1 oz. Cointreau

.75 oz. Meyer Lemon juice

Shake in iced cocktail shaker, then strain into coupe glass. Garnish with Meyer Lemon peel.

Super easy but surprisingly delicious!