Photography and Food Styling: Mark Burnham
Make new summer memories over these simple and delicious drinks
There’s little that compares to the bliss of a hot summer afternoon spent lounging with good company, grilling something delicious and keeping cool with a refreshing cocktail.
Some of our fondest memories of summers past include sticky popsicles, freshly picked raspberries and a perfectly chilled drink in our hands. From gin and tonics to sangrias to the uber trendy frosé – frozen rosé! – nothing says it’s time to chill like the right drink, especially with the right summer moment to match.
Enter ultimate summer relaxation mode and up your cocktail game with mixers that are a perfect complement for the occasion. Whatever drink you’re craving, Western Family's wide selection of sparkling waters and soft drinks are the perfect accompaniment to any backyard BBQ, available at your local Save-On-Foods. Top your favourite spirits, from the on-trend to the nostalgic, with sodas that are both affordable and endlessly versatile.
From light and refreshing to decadent, here are three drinks to suit your every summer BBQ need, whether you’re manning the grill, soaking up rays by the pool or playing lawn games.
Tropical Summer Sunrise
For those who favour refreshingly bright and citrusy drinks, the Tropical Summer Sunrise cocktail is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. A reimagining of the traditional margarita, this drink uses tequila with orange and pineapple juice instead of lime, giving it those tropical vacation vibes. Topped with Western Family Citrus Twist Sparkling Water for a refreshing finish, this cocktail is very drinkable, making it an ideal companion during long hot afternoons spent in the backyard, on the beach or at the lakeside cabin. Shake it up with ice and pair it with a lounge chair, beach umbrella and sunscreen.
- 3 oz silver tequila
- 2 oz orange juice
- 1 oz pineapple juice
- A splash of Western Family Citrus Twist Sparkling Water
- Pineapple wedge for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, orange juice and pineapple juice. Shake until chilled.
Strain into two tall glasses and top with Western Family Citrus Twist Sparkling Water (to taste). Garnish with a pineapple wedge and serve.
Test kitchen tip: Squeeze your own fresh orange and/or pineapple juice for an extra citrusy kick.
Cranberry Gin Fizz
This drink is the sophisticated answer to the summer cocktail question. Fit for warm evenings spent on friends’ patios or scorching afternoons spent in front of the grill, the Cranberry Gin Fizz has just the right balance of tart and sweet. Coming together with little fuss, as all summer cocktails should, the most complicated part of the assembly involves rimming a glass with lemon sugar, which adds a certain je ne sais quoi. Fill a tumbler with ice, add gin and top with Western Family Backyard Ginger Ale followed by a splash of cranberry juice. Garnished with mint, it’s as pretty as it is refreshing. This effervescent delight goes well with twinkly string lights, grilled prawns and bossa nova music.
- 4 oz gin
- 1 cup Western Family Backyard Ginger Ale
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 sprigs mint for garnish
Mix together lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl. Rim glasses with lemon sugar mixture.
Half-fill rimmed glasses with crushed ice. Add gin, followed by Western Family Backyard Ginger Ale and cranberry juice.
Garnish with mint sprigs. Serve.
Test kitchen tip: Muddle some fresh cranberries in the bottom of each glass for extra tartness and colour.
Grownup Root Beer Float
This one’s for the kid at heart, who fondly remembers their childhood summers spent running through sprinklers and licking ice cream cones. The Grownup Root Beer Float is no kid’s drink, though; ranging from two to four ounces of dark spiced rum, depending on how boozy you want to go, this float is fit for summer memories of a different sort. Go classic with vanilla ice cream and Western Family Road Trip Root Beer or turn this nostalgic drink into something even more sophisticated with experimental ice cream choices like coconut. Serve it in a frosted glass with a side of all dressed potato chips, burgers right off the grill and a quick game of lawn badminton — no sticky hands required.
- 2-4 oz dark rum (depending how boozy you want it)
- 1 ½ cups Western Family Road Trip Root Beer
- 4 scoops your favourite ice cream (we recommend vanilla, cookie dough or coconut)
- 2 dollops whipped cream 2 maraschino cherries for garnish
Add 1-2 shots of dark rum to two large glasses, then split half the Western Family Road Trip Root Beer between them.
Gently drop two scoops of ice cream into each glass, then top with remaining Root Beer.
Garnish each drink with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Serve.
Test kitchen tip: Use dairy-free ice cream for a lighter version. You can also substitute cream liqueur or vanilla vodka for the dark rum.