Summer’s hottest cocktails

Whistler, BC; May 30, 2016: Nita Lake Lodge Cure Lounge cocktails and summer menu for Aura Restaurant. Photo: Joern Rohde/

Summer’s finally here! We’re keeping things sweet (and savoury) with three cocktails you can make at home to enjoy at a garden party, barbecue or just sip on your patio at sunset.

Get fresh – OPUS Bar’s Basil Gimlet

Basil is not just for pasta and salads – add it to your drink for a refreshing burst of colour and flavour. It’s a perfect pairing with gin and you can make a simple syrup by combining one cup of sugar with half a cup of water and half a cup of basil leaves: boil, simmer and sieve into a sealed jar so you can use it all summer long.

2oz Tanqueray

1oz basil simple syrup

1oz lime juice

Fresh basil leaves (a few to be shaken in)

Shake everything over ice, then serve on the rocks and add a basil leaf  to garnish.

Keep it zesty – Hawksworth Restaurant’s Untitled

Hawskworth Restaurant’s Head Bartender Cooper Tardivel created this citrusy delight as a modern way to get some of your seven a day. Use lime or lemon juice if you can’t find Japanese yuzu – green pepper zest adds a splash of colour and a quirky garnish for your cocktail.

.75oz Cynar

.75oz Cachaca

.5oz Amantillado Sherry

dash Yuzu juice

.75oz fresh pineapple juice

Shake all ingredients then strain over ice and garnish with fresh green bell pepper zest.

Spice it up – Nita Lake Lodge’s No Sympathy

Strawberries scream ‘summer’ and this juicy cocktail spices them up with a kick of haberno bitters to inject some fire into this tequila-based treat. Even if you don’t have the lodge’s lakeside view this drink will transport you to a sunny place!

Muddled strawberries

1.5 oz Tequila

.5 oz Triple sec

.5 oz Lime

4 dashes Habanero bitters

.5 oz Sugar

Dash of soda

Shake, pour over ice in a rocks glass and serve with a strawberry garnish.