Summer cocktails: tips and trends

As much on the trendy terraces of the city center as at the edge of private swimming pools, cocktails are always popular when the mercury rises.

Summer cocktails: tips and trends

As much on the trendy terraces of the city center as at the edge of private swimming pools, cocktails are always popular when the mercury rises. Several trends are coming together behind the bar this summer, and it's easy to draw inspiration from them for our in-house creations, tell us mixologists at the heart of the action.

Daphnée Vary Deshaies, Director of Bars for the A5 Hospitality group and co-founder of Cocktail Roads, develops cocktail menus for several establishments in downtown Montreal. “When I create a summer cocktail menu, I go with alcohols like vodka, gin, unlike the cold seasons, where we will go with heavier alcohols, with notes of wood or spices. What we want is something refreshing, with fruity or floral notes,” says the bubbly mixologist.

In Quebec City, at the Légende par la Tanière restaurant, customers can discover a 100% local six-course menu with boreal accents that changes with the seasons, accompanied by six wines or cocktails to match. Bar-chef Jean-François Laurence's cocktails are an integral part of the adventure and may contain ingredients as surprising as meat juice or mushroom infusion!

“I work according to the seasons, according to what is on the plate. If there are peas in the dish, it could be that there are some in my cocktail, or even beets, or small red fruits. We also incorporate the mushrooms, making a syrup from the cooking water, which brings a nutty flavor, a forest side.

He also wants to give freshness to his creations. “I use fresh squeezed juices, but also fresh herbs, lemon balm, basil, macerations of tea, fennel, caraway. One trick is to add acidity to cut the overly sweet flavors and bring a refreshing side. I also go for farm flavors, a little sour, for example by using kombucha, or even towards a certain bitterness, like that of hops.

Aperol Spritz and alcohol-free

Flowers and honey are also aromas that evoke the heat of summer. “We now find wild flower liqueurs, produced by hydromeleries here. Very nice products!”

Daphnée Vary Deshaies, who works with the general public, is well placed to observe trends. “This summer, everyone is asking for Apérol Spritz! There is also a return to the classic cocktails of the 1990s. I had never made cocktails with blue Curaçao, and there, people are asking me! And of course, non-alcoholic or less alcoholic cocktails.

The ultimate thing for cooling off will always be ice, explains Daphnée. "If we want our cocktail to stay cool as long as possible and the ice doesn't melt too quickly, we have to put as much as possible in our glass, we can't get away with it!"


Traditionally, the syrup is made by bringing the water to a boil for a few minutes, with the sugar and the ingredients chosen to flavor it, before filtering. For even more freshness, mixologist Daphnée Vary Deshaies offers an easy-to-make syrup, without cooking:

“Just put equal parts water and sugar in a jar, with one or more ingredients of your choice; it can be mint, strawberries, jalapeno! Then let it rest in the fridge for 24 hours. The next day, just filter and we have our syrup! The fact of not cooking the ingredients makes it possible to extract very fresh aromas. Instead of tasting like strawberry jam or mint tea, the syrup will taste like fresh strawberry or fresh mint!”

According to Daphnée Vary Deshaies, recovery is a very current trend among mixologists. “We are also concerned about our environmental footprint, so we are increasingly trying to maximize what we use to avoid food waste. For example, nothing is easier than keeping the lemon or orange rind once squeezed and putting it in the sugar to make a syrup.”

by Jean-Francois Laurence

by Jean-Francois Laurence

by Daphnée Vary Deshaies

* Cocktail servi au Cathcart

by Daphnée Vary Deshaies

* Cocktail served at the Loïc bar

Jalapeño syrup:

*Voluptuous and unexpected, this cocktail is inspired by an old family of cocktails called flip by the first mixologists at the end of the 19th century.

* For 4 people

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