Summer is scorching on – but that doesn’t mean free time needs to be spent sweating it out.
AJ Snetler, bartender at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront bar Tobogo knows just how to cool you down. Here are some pro tips that are on trend and guaranteed to beat the heat.
Summer is all about refreshment and relaxation. Cocktails that are low in alcohol and incorporate fresh flavours are really popular right now, according to Snetler.
“We are seeing a lot of people ordering either a classic mojito or an Aperol spritz,” he says. “But it’s not just cocktails. A lot of people are enjoying cold, crisp white wine or bubbles.”
An easy, low-calorie and low-alcohol drink is a simple wine spritzer. Use half sparkling water, half white or dry rose to create a thirst quencher that halves the empty calories.
Go green when it comes to ingredients. Think about incorporating mint, basil and celery into your cocktails. Citrus is also really great and can be used in many ways, so get your hands on fresh fruits like naartjies, oranges and limes.
Go clear or light
Snetler says in spring and summer the best spirits to use in cocktails are fresh flavoured and best served cold. Think along the lines of Aperol, gin, and sparkling wine. Tequila and cachaça are also two of Snetler’s personal favourites for the warmer seasons.
In colder weather, you’ll want to serve darker, heavier, more spirit-forward cocktails.
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A twist on the classics
Snetler advises taking classics (which are often popular for good reason) and giving them a unique twist. Shake up brunch by serving a red snapper instead of a bloody Mary. A red snapper is sometimes called the better bloody Mary and uses gin instead of vodka.
Snetler likes to take it a step further using Gin Mare which is an attempt to distil and bottle the flavour of the Mediterranean. So, you’ll taste basil, thyme, rosemary and olive from the spirit alone.
Another good classic for summer is a tequila sunrise. But why not try it with grapefruit and soda for a lighter, refreshing twist?
Drink on a diet
Anything made with vermouth is lower in alcohol and calories. One trend among the diet-conscious set is the reverse martini, which uses a double measure of vermouth and a single gin to change the dynamic of the drink.
At work Snetler is currently focused fun, tiki-style cocktails incorporating all of these trends. His favourite is a tropical Collins which incorporates passion fruit, soda, gin and fresh citrus.
So make your own refreshing beverages at home to help you beat the heat.