Summer may be coming to a close, but we still have plenty of sunshine and warm days ahead before the deep chill sets in. Now is the time to savour the last of the season and bask in all of our warm weather favourites and summer drinks. Sip on glasses of rosé or mix up some rosé cocktails with friends, visit any of the city's best patios that are still on your summer hit list, go for that beach day or park picnic. Take in all that summer has to offer.
Before we know it, spooky season will be upon us and everything will be about cozy sweaters, hosting dinner parties and sipping fall drinks like full-bodied reds and dark whiskies. And as nice as that sounds, let's not wish away the easy breeziness of warm weather too soon.
From herbaceous gins to light sparkling wines and even a few non-alcoholic options, these summer drinks are perfect for revelling in the last days of warm weather and sharing with friends and family. Bring them to that barbecue, to the cottage or just enjoy in your backyard or on the balcony. Cheers to summer.
Summer drinks worth sipping well into the fall
Wilda's bee-friendly beverages are made with sustainability and regeneration at the forefront — every can produced supports the pollination of 185,000 wildflowers. The refreshing natural spritzers are gluten-free, low-sugar, low-alcohol and they come in at around 120 calories. The slightly-sweet blueberry and lavender is our favourite flavour, but they also come in cherry as well as lemon and ginger. The dry-hopped honey brew is similar to a beer, but lighter.
2. Maestro Dobel Tequila
Tequila isn't just for shooting — something this fine is meant to be savoured. Billed as the world's first cristalino tequila, Maestro Dobel is double-filtered to create a smooth, crystal-clear spirit. Made with 100 per cent agave, it's a blend of extra añejo, añejo and reposado tequilas that's aged in European oak barrels. The result is a complex tequila with sweet notes of caramel, honey, maple and vanilla, and a long smooth finish.
3. Saintly Minis
Our favourite VQA sparkling wines now come in a miniature version for all of life's little wins and small celebrations — or just for enjoying at a park picnic. The Good Sparkling is full of citrus, peach and pear, while The Good Sparkling Rosé is all strawberry, raspberry and peach. Both of them are light and crisp, striking the perfect balance between fresh, fruity and dry. The creamy mouthfeel will keep you wanting more. The mini bottles are perfectly portable and make for great gifts.
4. Simply Spiked Lemonade
$29.95 for 12
These spiked lemonades taste like the real deal, but with a grownup twist. Fresh and sweet, without being overly sugary, they’re perfect for sipping in the sunshine at backyard barbecues or on beach days. The variety pack includes the OG along with strawberry lemonade and blueberry lemonade.
5. Ceder’s Rose Non-Alcoholic Distilled Spirit
You don't need alcohol to have a good time. Ceder’s Rose is a soft and sweet distilled spirit that pours just like gin — but without the alcohol. Floral, fruity and citrusy, it combines the flavours of juniper, rose and hibiscus. Mix this zero-calorie, zero-sugar and zero-alcohol spirit with tonic water for a fresh summer sipper without the negative side effects.
6. Olmeca Altos Margarita Classic Lime
Pre-made bevvies can be hit or miss, and in our experience, they’re more often a miss. But Olmeca Altos's ready-to-serve margarita is one outstanding exception. We popped it open at a summer barbecue and couldn’t believe how delicious and well-balanced it was — and how fast our guests drained the bottle.
7. Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc
$12.45 and $12.95
It's already hard to find a good bottle of wine for under $19, so at just over $12, Santa Rita 120 Reserva Especial is a steal of a deal. Dry and medium-bodied, the cabernet sauvignon hosts notes of coffee, cassis, liquorice and smoke. Meanwhile, the sauvignon blanc is fresh, floral and herbaceous. Neither of them carries the acidity or bitterness often found in lower priced wines. They're both excellent choices for a wallet-friendly bottle — and we bet your guests would never guess that they have such a low price tag.
8. Good Sunday
As fresh and light as a summer's day, Good Sunday is an incredibly crushable canned bevvy. Gluten-free with only 95 calories and 1g of sugar, it's meant to be a drink that you can enjoy on Saturday night and still feel good about on Sunday morning. We like slurping back these crisp, easy-drinking bevvies all day long in the park.
9. Gray Whale Gin
This eye-catching blue bottle is more than just beautiful on the outside. Inspired by the Californian coast, Gray Whale Gin is made with botanicals that are sourced from sustainable farms or wild-foraged along the migratory route of the gray whales. It's then seven-times distilled and rests for 48 hours before being bottled. The result is a London Dry-style gin with notes of citrus, juniper, mint and sea kelp. Gray Whale Gin partners with Oceana and One Percent for the planet.
From $2.40 each or $28.95 for 12
Let this sipper transport you to tropical climes with its fruity flavour — without the jetlag. Vizzy comes in fun tropical flavours like papaya-passionfruit, blueberry-pomegranate and strawberry-lemonade. Buy them individually or be the party hero and show up with the 12-can variety pack. They pair well with jerk chicken and a sun-soaked afternoon with friends.
11. La Presserie Cocktail Mixers
$6.99 a bottle or $42.00 for six
La Presserie's all-natural, cold-pressed mixers make cocktail time super easy and even healthy-ish. With no artificial ingredients, refined sugar or added water, it's all fruits, veggies and roots. They come in a range of flavours, but the mojito and daiquiri iterations instantly won us over. Each bottle makes two cocktails — just defrost, add alcohol and enjoy. Buy them online or find them in the freezer section at Longo's and Sobeys.
12. Malfy Gin
View on Instagram
Inspired by the slow-paced, sun-soaked Amalfi Coast, this Italian gin is all about "la dolce vita," or "the good life." It comes in the pink-hued Rosa with Italian juniper, rhubarb and pink grapefruit; Limone, infused with ripe Italian lemons from Amalfi and Sicily; and Arancia, a stunning Sicilian
blood-orange-infused iteration that screams summer cocktails.
13. Navy Street Blueberry Lemon
$3.30 a can
If a G&T is your go-to, but you're looking for something a little more portable, this canned bevvy has your name all over it. Navy Street Blueberry Lemon is essentially a gin and soda with just a hint of lemon and a splash of blueberry juice. It's not sweet, just refreshing and crisp. And Navy Street is B-Corp certified, so you can feel good about drinking it, too.
14. Asahi Super Dry
$3.75 a can or $17.95 for six bottles
This Japanese beer’s “Super Dry” taste makes it an easy-drinking, crushable serve. On warm days, its light body and crisp taste are wonderfully refreshing. It has a quick, dry finish that doesn’t leave any lingering aftertaste, making it the perfect companion to a range of dishes and cuisines.
15. Kim Crawford Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc
$21.95 and $22.95
If you’re looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing wine to serve at a barbecue or gift your host at a dinner party, you can always count on Kim Crawford. Notes of passion fruit, gooseberry and pea pods combine in the bright and refreshing sauvignon blanc. A blend of merlot and malbec, the rosé features pink grapefruit, red currant, floral, red plum and candy notes. Both of these New Zealand wines come in around $20 and pair well seafood, summer vegetables and grilled chicken.
16. Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%
From $3.75 a can
Since 1963, Peroni Nastro Azzurro has been brewed in Italy with the original recipe. It’s a classic, world-renowned brew for good reason. Made with high-quality ingredients and the tradition of Italian craftsmanship, it’s an Italian summer in a bottle. This crisp, refreshing beer features notes of citrus and a delicate bitterness, followed by a clean, dry finish. It’s also available in a 0% alcohol iteration for non-imbibers or those who want to have a few without having a few too many.
17. Bottega Pinot Grigio Rosé
This bright and acidic wine is made from grapes grown along the shores of the Piave river in northern Italy. Tart notes of peach and apricot mingle with minerality. Pair it with light pastas, garlic butter shrimps or grilled vegetables.
Post Malone makes his second foray into the beverage business with SKRT. After first launching in the U.S., the hard seltzer line that he co-owns with his manager Dre London is now available in Canada. With black cherry, peach, lemon lime and grape versions, they’re more flavourful than the average hard seltzer and come in at 100 calories per can. They’re currently only available in Quebec, but we’re hoping for a Canada-wide rollout soon.