Drink recommendations to ease you into fall
As much as it was a “bummer summer” for many of us, it nevertheless managed to blow by rather quickly. Too quickly, for my liking. Some of the following recommendations will help you push the boundaries of BBQ season to the outer limits, while others will provide some necessary warmth to ease you comfortably into fall.
Refreshers (to keep summer alive)
After a long hiatus in the Canadian (or at least Ontario) market, Spain’s Yago Sangria is back in the form of Yago Bio Rosé and Yago Bio Red. Whether you opt for the pretty, fruity Rosé or the spicer, somewhat more complex Red, the drill is the same: chill well, dump into a pitcher, and some sliced fresh fruit, sip and dream of the south of Spain. Both versions are certified organic, vegan, and gluten free.
Hard seltzers have been the recent rage in the ready-to-drink category. Mike’s HARDer Sparkling Lemon Water and Mike’s HARDer Sparkling Lime Water both offer a good jolt of crisp, clean floral/citrus aromas and flavours (though for whatever reason, I was getting a lot of cherry off the Lime Water…which wasn’t a bad thing at all).
The Bangarang Hard Seltzer family (Mango, Blue Raspberry, Lemon Lime) all offer well defined and balanced flavours mixed into a crisp, effervescent delivery mechanism. With but a single gram of carbo per 355ml can, Bangarang Hard Seltzers are definitely non-guilty pleasures.
Looking for a similar refreshment experience but with no alcohol and a rather interesting source? Give Sapsucker Sparkling Tree Water a shot. Available in three flavours (The Original One, The Lime One, The Lemon One) are naturally-sourced waters (tapped without doing the tree any harm) from Canadian maple trees. Lightly infused with natural flavours and carbonated, they offer a unique twist on the usual hydration suspects.
Being the über-snob that I am, I approached the recently received Bud Lite flavoured trio (limited edition Strawberry Lemonade, along with Radler, and Apple) with some (read: lots) of trepidation. I was quite pleasantly surprised. Maybe not what the beer purists would go for, they were all nonetheless balanced, refreshing, and rather tasty. The Radler was my fav, but they’ll all appeal to a range of palates. Low enough in alcohol and high enough in flavour to be quaffed in quantity.
Beer & Ciders (to ease gently away)
Crisp, mildly hoppy, slightly spicy, and ultimately thirst-quenching beers like the Mill Street Organic Pilsner have always been the de facto drinks of summer. Toronto’s Northern Maverick Brewing Co stepped into the fray with a quiver of quenchers, including the grapefruity/tropical/earthy Heart Of Tartness Dry Hopped Sour, the fresh, lemony, spice and banana-tinged Hefeweizen, and the full-flavoured, Handcrafted Lager, with aromas hinting at caramel, malt, and citrus. To take our palates closer into fall, there’s the Enforcer IPA, a powerful &% ABV), richly-flavoured, dry-hopped IPA, with distinctive pine, herb, and anise notes in a lightly carbonated package.
Ciders continue to gain popularity, and BC’s Windfall Cider & Co. offer a range of hand-crafted ciders. There’s the Hail Mary rosé cider that blends BC apples and local berries into dry, crisp, subtly fruit refreshers with hints of crabapple, cranberry, rosewater, and green melon. The Wild Card dry hopped cider shows mildly yeasty/earthy apple barrel aromas that segue into a dry, mildly hoppy palate. Jackpot dry craft cider sports aromas suggesting red apple and tropical fruit, with mild floral notes. Dry, balanced, and super-refreshing.