Oh those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer when we all want to do is be outside on the patio with tempting smells from the barbecue wafting over. And of course, a cooling cocktail in hand while dinner is cooking.

But not everyone wants to (or can) drink alcohol in the heat, so we asked two Alberta mixologists to create recipes for refreshing cocktails that also taste great as mocktails for the family.


Mixologist Chris Krock of Ampersand 27 says he has the perfect, peachy summer cocktail easy to batch for large summer parties.

“This drink is the essential taste of summer,” says Krock. “With B.C. peach season coming and amaro being really popular right now, this drink lends itself to patio days.” For mocktails, Krock says to leave out the amaro, bourbon, and bitters if you like, and just add the cherry juice from maraschino cherries.

Just Peachy

1 oz Amaro Montenegro
1 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
4 frozen or fresh peach slices, a bit defrosted if frozen
8 mint leaves
½ lime, sliced thin in half rounds
Ginger ale
3 dashes of cherry bitters
Mint leaves and peach for garnish

In a tall Collins glass add peaches, lime and mint. Muddle quickly, then add ice to the glass and add the amaro and bourbon, and stir.

Top with your favourite ginger ale and bitters, and stir again. Garnish with mint and peaches and enjoy!


Swinton’s Thai Basil Cooler is a light, effervescent drink that actually came about by accident, believe it or not!

“The inspiration was from things I found in my kitchen,” explains Swinton. “I happened to be making Thai coconut curry, and the easily paired flavours just came together. I picked sparkling kombucha as I find that the natural acidity from fermentation is great in long drinks. It adds a unique tang to cocktails similar to using a shrub.”

Bombay Sapphire East gin features the added botanical pop of lemongrass and black peppercorns, adding a herbaceous note to an otherwise light drink. For a delicious cooling mocktail, leave out the gin.

Thai Basil Cooler

1 large coin sized slice of ginger, peeled and julienned
6-8 Thai basil leaves
2 oz Bombay Sapphire East gin
¼ lemon, seeds removed and sliced
4 oz sparkling citrus kombucha
Edible flowers and Thai basil for garnish

In a mixing glass muddle ginger well, then add basil and lemon and muddle lightly. Add gin to the mixing glass and stir to combine. Transfer everything into a wine glass, and add ice. Top with sparkling kombucha, and garnish.




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