WW guide to summer cocktails

Summer sippers that are SmartPoints approved!

There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold cocktail on a hot summer’s day, especially when you’re sitting on a patio or in your own backyard with good company or a good book. These suggestions for making WW-approved cocktails will result in refreshing summer beverages with low points values that are perfect for sharing or solo sipping.

 

Watch out for sugary liqueurs and dessert wines

 

Liqueurs (especially cream-base liqueurs, which can run you 5 SmartPoints per ounce) are often made from spirits that have had sugar added after the distillation process, making them an ingredient to avoid in your roster of cocktail recipes. If you’re a wine lover, choose dry or off-dry white and rosé wines for regular summer sipping and are 4 SmartPoints per 5 oz serving.

 

Make your mix a 0 SmartPoints choice

 

Use plain or flavoured seltzer water, club soda, and diet sodas as your mix of choice. Although tonic water looks the same as club soda and has a bitter taste, it’s actually higher in sugar than many regular colas (5 SmartPoints per 8 oz) so stick with the diet version if you love a refreshing gin or vodka and tonic.

 

Try a locally made premium spirit

 

If you’re a fan of premium spirits, there’s never been a better time to explore the world of artisanal Canadian distilleries. Whether it’s gin, vodka, whisky, or rum, (each 3 SmartPoints per 1.5 oz serving) chances are there’s a local option (or two!) available at your closest liquor store. Small batch spirits tend to have more refined flavour profiles than their mass-produced counterparts, making them ideal for sipping neat, on the rocks or mixed with seltzer water and club soda.

 

Use guilt-free garnishes

 

Take advantage of ZeroPoint foods such as fresh fruit, cucumber slices, citrus wedges, and thinly sliced spicy peppers to add plenty of flavour without impacting the SmartPoints value of your drink. Frozen fruit can also be used to keep drinks cool on hot summer days without diluting the flavour (this works especially well for wine or wine spritzers.)

 

Chill out with saké

 

Saké (7 SmartPoints per 5 oz serving) is an exceptionally light-tasting Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice. Although it is often referred to as rice wine, saké has more in common with beer due to the way it’s brewed. While you may have enjoyed saké as a warm beverage, it’s also delicious when served well chilled, either neat or on the rocks. Saké is also delicious when used as a cocktail base, especially when mixed with seltzer water, a splash of grapefruit or orange juice and a dash of bitters.

 

Add a homemade simple syrup tailor-made for your taste buds

 

Make your own simple syrup out of equal parts sugar and water to add controlled sweetness without going overboard. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Customize simple syrup by adding citrus peel, dried lavender, sliced ginger or turmeric, coarsely ground coffee, or even a bag of your favourite herbal tea to the saucepan as the syrup cooks. Pour the simple syrup through a fine mesh sieve before storing in a jar or reusable squeeze bottle in the fridge for up to a month.