summer drinks

20 things you need to drink in Toronto this summer

There are some things you just need to drink in Toronto in the summer, and while beer and cider does the trick, it's possible to get way more creative. These drinks are like sunshine in a glass, so get out there, get sweaty, then quench that thirst. 

Here are some drinks to add to your summer must-try list.

The Parlour - Eye of the Tiger punch bowl

Serving a minimum of four, there's no better way to get the party started than a bowlful of Botanist gin, St. Germain, prosecco, lemon and orange blossom water with flowers and citrus slices floating on top from this King West pizza place.

The Delaware - sangria flight

Don't just have a glass, have a whole sangria flight of white, rosé and red varieties at this fun bar in Bloorcourt; they're not just for craft beer anymore.

Founder - The Mystery Machine

Try this sunny drink that comes in a tiki-style glass from this Dundas West bar, made with Santa Teresa 1796 rum, Santa Teresa anejo rum, Wray & Nephew Overproof rum, passionfruit syrup, lime juice, and Jerry Thomas bitters, and garnished with angostura bitters and a blooming orchid for that Hawaiian look. 

Le Swan - St Tropez Swizzle

If you can't fly away to a tropical destination this summer, you can at least feel like you are with this drink made with Jamaican rum, Aperol, fino sherry, grapefruit and lemon yuzu passion fruit sherbet.

Slushy - I'll Be Seeing You

Layers of frozé slush and peach bellini slush garnished with a peach ring mean layers of refreshment in Riverside.

La Carnita - Hasta Luego

Bacardi White, violette, Lillet, agave, lime, and orange bitters are combined to make the Hasta Luego, garnished with flowers. Pair with a taco for a pretty summertime snack at this Mexican spot in Riverside.

Gare de l'Est - Green Goddess

Sip on this bevvy made with Vodka, St. Germain, Verveine liqueur and lime at this Dundas and Carlaw French restaurant, and feel like you're rolling down a grassy hill. 

Maison Selby - Selby Mule

Instead of a boring old margarita, opt for this refreshing take on a mule made with tequila, mezcal, ginger beer and a raspberry black pepper syrup from this French restaurant at Bloor and Sherbourne.

Project Gigglewater - Pineapple Cobbler

Summer is the perfect time to get yourself hooked on a cobbler loaded with fruity flavour and crushed ice, so try this one made with Amontillado sherry, Amaro Montenegro, absinthe, pineapple "sizzurp," and lemon from a new Dundas West cocktail bar.

Maracas - Let the Funky Man Go

Anytime is a good time to drink a dry ice cocktail out of a vessel shaped like a shark, but during summer it's especially necessary. This one found in Kensington Market keeps it simple, basically a strong gin and tonic with fresh mango juice added.

Shook - Royal Beach

Not only does this cocktail have the beachiest name, but it combines all the beachiest ingredients as well: Aperol, white port and sour ale. Try it from this vegetarian restaurant on Portland, just south of King.

Mother - Lemongrass and Galangal Pina Colada

You've never had a pina colada like this before: made with goat's milk, curry leaves, pineapple, ginger, galangal and turmeric, the smoothest and creamiest one in the city might just be found at this West Queen West bar.

Viajero Cantina - margarita pitchers

Why have just one margarita when you can have a whole pitcher? A bar in the High Park neighbourhood with a summery garage door that opens to the street has them in several flavours.

Steam Whistle Biergarten - Beer in a litre stein

Summer is an excuse to drink all the beer you want, so get as much as you can at once with any of Steam Whistle's beers available in a litre portion from their new Biergarten project.

Three Monks and a Duck - Cat Lady

This is the summer of novelty drink vessels, so if you really want an Insta-worthy one, try out the Cat Lady made with Toki, pineapple juice and fermented pineapple honey for a super summery flavour.

Mulberry Bar - Milkshake Dreams

Admit it, combining cocktails and milkshakes is every adult's dream, and this drink that combines Briottet strawberry and creme de cacao liqueurs, strawberries, vanilla ice cream, chocolate bitters at a bar in Bloorcourt does it so well.

Super Bargain - Blue Hawaii

This combination of Malibu rum, Blue Curacao and pineapple juice looks like a deep blue ocean you just want to dive into.

City Betty - Solar Eclipse of the Heart

Eighties music, sunshine, astrology. What other references could you want for a summer cocktail? This stunner at a Danforth East restaurant is made with Olmeca Altos Tequila Blanco, strawberry-basil limeade, rose water and organic prosecco.

Aloette - Aloette Punch

Meant to be shared at $28, this ain't your auntie's bowl of punch: served in a tall, sleek vessel, this cocktail of aromatised wine, plum, champagne syrup and jasmine tea is a fantastic Queen West refresher for two after some sweaty summer shopping.

Bar Stray - Hanlan’s Point

If you're too shy for the nude beach, just have this cocktail named after it with Pike Creek, Tio Pepe and Rinomato at a bar in Little Italy.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at The Parlour

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