PATIO SEASON | Right at Home

Ahhh Summer Sun. We know you're out there, waiting to bask us in your golden rays. So we're getting ready for you! With sunshine comes patio season. If you're in a city, it's likely that you would be able to find a happening outdoor spot with a decent cocktail menu and satisfying appie list. If you're in a small town, the likeliness of this possibility is greatly decreased, so you've got to improvise on your own turf.  Even if you are in a city, the plus side of being at home is you avoid waiting in lines, overpaying for drinks, and you can crank up your own tunes. Not a bad trade off really!

So what makes a great summer hang out? First, the beverages. It doesn't take much to up your cocktail game (or at least look like you have). Having a few barware tools on hand like a muddler, a tall spoon, and a shaker not only makes concocting your drinks easier, but sets you up nicely to create a small bar area in your entertaining space, making it seem like you are always prepped to host.

Next, the ingredients. Go fresh, and go classy. If you are enjoying quality drinks in the early evening, chances are you aren't going to be having too many, so springing for the nice gin won't hurt the purse too much because it will be lasting longer. Also a small amount of fresh garnishes like citrus, berries, and herbs will go a long way and enhance flavour.

When the heat is beating down, we like to sip on something refreshing. W&P Design has recently come out with a line of cocktail syrups designed to make a Spritz (what's a Spritz? They explain here). All their recipes look perfectly suited to a hot day and a relaxing afternoon. We are excited to try a classic combo using their Grapefruit Spritz syrup.

The Classic

1/2 oz syrup

4 oz sparkling wine.

Stir over ice, garnish with an orange slice and enjoy!

If you can't get your hands on a pre-made syrup, get crafty with these recipes to make your own!

If you can, take your cooking outside. Light up the BBQ and add a fiery kick to your meal. The same as with your cocktails, a perfect summer meal is light and flavourful. This easy Mango Lime Grilled Chicken has flavour infused right in by requiring you to marinate the chicken overnight. Taking that extra step elevates your protein so easily.

Pair that with this fresh Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad. We must stress that BBQing fresh corn on the cob and using ripe cherry tomatoes is key to getting the sweet notes that make this salad stand out. 

Lighten up your menu with a leafy salad, like this fresh and simple Arugula, Lemon & Olive Oil option, and you have got a healthy, delicious plate to enjoy.

Wether you have an actual patio or not, when that sun makes an appearance, find a patch of light to set up a few chairs or throw down a blanket, and you are in for a tasty, relaxing summer evening. Don't forget the sunscreen!

What are your favourite summer cocktail + nosh recipes? We are always looking for new ideas!