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Must-Try Cocktail Recipes To Celebrate The End Of Summer

August might be over, but doesn’t mean summer is on its way out just yet. Before we bring out the parkas for another six months, let’s relish the last few weeks of warmth and sunshine, the only way we know how — with a good cocktail in hand.

From the cocktails you had at happy hour, to the ones you had while overlooking the sunset at your friend’s cottage in Muskoka, there’s nothing that brings us together more like a good drink. So before we toast away to summer, here are some must-try cocktail recipes to celebrate the end of the season, using some of our favourite spirits from Spirit Of York.

The Blinker

This classic cocktail first appeared in the 1930s Prohibition era in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s The Official Mixer’s Manual. The original recipe called for a few simple ingredients, gaining popularity for it’s sweet but tart flavour. While it’s traditionally a bit sour, modern day mixologists like to give it their own twist by swapping the grenadine for a raspberry syrup instead. While both versions taste great, the key ingredient to keep in mind here is the rye whiskey and of course, the grapefruit which is what transforms this into a refreshing seasonal cocktail. Take one sip and you’ll be reminiscing on all the good ol’ days of summer.

Ingredients:

60 ml Spirit Of York Rye Whiskey
30 ml freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon grenadine or raspberry syrup
Grapefruit peel for garnish

Instructions:

Combine ingredients (except for garnish) into shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and then strain into coup glass. Top it off with a grapefruit peel and it’s ready to serve!

Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule is best known for its copper mug, which helps keep your drink cool — making it the perfect summertime cocktail. This easy 3-ingredient cocktail is bold to the tastebuds; the ginger beer gives it a spicy kick but the lime juice brings out sweet undertones to help balance out the palate.

Moscow Mule

Ingredients:

60 ml Spirit of York Vodka
0.5 ml fresh lime juice
Top with ginger beer
Lime wedge for garnish

Instructions:

Pour your Spirit Of York Vodka, ginger beer and lime juice into a copper mug or highball glass. Stir lightly and then throw in your lime wedges for garnish. Once it’s ready, sit back, sip and enjoy!

Bloody Caesar

We couldn’t pass on the opportunity of including this Canadian classic. Whether you’re enjoying it over brunch or happy hour at your local patio, this cocktail has undoubtedly cemented itself within the Canadian identity. Invented in 1969 by Walter Chell of the Calgary Inn, the cocktail creation is inspired by the mixologist’s favourite Italian meal, spaghetti vongole. His creation debuted during the launch of his restaurant and the rest is history. To say that Canadians love this cocktail is quite the understatement, with approximately 350 million of them being ordered by locals every year. So while we’re talkin’ Caesars now, why not pour another shall we?

Ingredients:

60 ml Spirit of York Vodka
15 ml fresh lime juice
7 drops of hot sauce
4 dashes of Worchester sauce
A pinch of celery salt
120 ml Mott’s CLAMATO® juice

Instructions:

First, frost the rim of a highball Collins glass. Mix in your ingredients and stir with a mixing spoon. Then garnish with whatever your heart desires — from pickles, olives, bacon or shrimp, the garnish for a Caesar can be fun and creative. But if you want to keep it old school, one celery stock and lime wedge will do just the trick.

Aquavit And Tonic

We’ve all heard of the gin and tonic, and while it’s a go-to cocktail for the summer months, why not celebrate the end of the season with something different and a little more sophisticated. Aquavit is a vibrant and great tasting Scandanavian spirit that’s slowly breaking into the North American cocktail scene. While traditionally enjoyed in one cold shot, it’s also a great alternative to you favourite vodka or gin cocktails. If you’re just warming up to this spirit, going with an Aquavit and tonic is a good place to start.

Ingredients:

60 ml Spirit of York Aquavit
120 ml Tonic Water
Garnish with lime wedge

Instructions:

Just like your regular ol’ G&T, stir all the ingredients together and serve in a highball glass over ice. Top it with a lime wedge and before you take your first sip, do as the vikings did before downing this spirit and do a “Skål” toast.

Cosmopolitan

While it’s said that the “Cosmo” first made an appearance in the cocktail scene in around the 1930s, it didn’t truly make a splash until the 1990s after it’s appearance in the TV show, Sex and the City. Soon after it’s pop culture introduction, it topped every “Must-try” cocktail list curated by media. With its peak long behind us, the Cosmo has moved on from being a cocktail fad to classic, and now enjoyed by anyone looking for something sweet, strong and sour all in one sip.

Moscow Mule

INGREDIENTS:

40 ml Spirit of York Vodka
15 ml Lime Juice
15 ml Cointreau
30ml Cranberry Juice
Dehydrated Lime
Ice

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine ingredients and shake them in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with dehydrated lime. Serve and enjoy!

Summer isn’t over until we say so, and frankly there’s still time to enjoy these cocktails and a lot more right at the heart of it all, our distillery in Toronto. Pull up a seat at our cocktail bar and one of our talented mixologists would be happy to whip up a drink using one of your favourite Spirit Of York spirits — our vodka, gin, aquavit or whisky. You name, we’ll make it. See you there!

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