International Summer Cocktails

With summer just around the corner the excitement is building for lazy afternoon picnics and sun-drenched evenings spent on the patio in the company of good friends. What better way to start off either of these activities then a refreshing summer cocktail?

We’ve been lucky here in Alberta to have some interesting and delicious additions to our shelves in the aperitif/digestif/bitters department. Two specific examples come to mind immediately…Pimm’s and Aperol. Let’s take a quick look at these delightful ingredients and the cocktails they can create.

Pimm’s No.1 Cup – Many a UK expat has squealed in delight upon seeing this classic from Great Britain on the shelf. This gin-based aperitif is old school and Pimm’s claims to use the original recipe created in a London oyster bar in the 1840’s. They also claim that the recipe is top-secret and is known to only 6 people…fancy!

Pimm`s Punch (Serves 4) taken from http://www.taste.co.au

  • 8 thin slices cucumber
  • 1/2 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
  • 4 strawberries, hulled, washed, quartered
  • 4 small sprigs fresh mint
  • Ice cubes, to serve
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) Pimm’s No. 1 Cup
  • 500ml (2 cups) chilled lemonade
  • Place the cucumber, orange, lemon, strawberry and mint in a large jug. Add the ice, and pour over the Pimm’s and lemonade. Serve immediately.

My mixologist brother Cody who is quite skilled has also served me a simple Pimm’s lemonade in the past which was a mixture of 2 oz Pimm’s, 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice and simple syrup or sugar poured over ice in a tall glass topped with soda. Dangerously good!

Aperol

This outstanding Italian aperitif is a recent addition to the shelves in our city and it’s adding a whole new twist to many mixologist’s repertoires. Many people would describe this herb infused delight as a sweeter version of Campari (which makes sense…as the Campari group now owns and produces Aperol). The most famous Aperol based cocktail is certainly the “Aperol Spritz” and it has been making waves internationally as a delicious option for a summer treat.

Aperol Spritz

The Aperol Spritz is extremely quick and simple to make. Simply add 2 parts Aperol, 3 parts Prosecco and a splash of soda to a tall glass filled with ice. Finish off with a slice of orange and you are ready to rock!

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