Spring has sprung at the LCBO and with it, the release of the year’s most anticipated new wines, sour beers and a bevy of fashionable spirits infused with botanicals.
Elevating your at-home entertaining experience is easy when it comes to the extensive selection of exciting new products available at the province’s beverage emporium. Beyond equipping the home bar with the buzziest new flavours, the LCBO is also a go-to resource for the latest cocktail trends for at-home bartenders of every experience level.
To help make home bartending fun and delicious, the beverage authority has enlisted the expertise of Liquid Culture’s Monica Carbonell to create a batch of unique spring cocktails using the LCBO’s hottest cocktail trends with a local twist. Inspired by a group of some of the coolest and most notable Ontario creatives, the LCBO and Carbonell celebrate the trendsetters’ fields of interest in fashion, art, design and food by embodying their craft into tasty concoctions using the newest products in the season’s hottest cocktail styles.
Bright and refreshing, learn how these methods and on-trend flavours can be incorporated into your next cocktail-making session for an enlightened imbibing experience. Pick up some expert mixing tips and learn how to garnish like a pro.
Trend: Star Appeal
Inspired by: Sascha Lafleur, @westofmainshoppe
With a number of exciting new brands with celebs at the helm – Monica decided to centre Sascha’s cocktail around Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana Tequila Reposado. For Sascha, simplicity as a pillar to let specific elements shine is something she applies in her design practice, and in the ways in which she sees the world. Inspired by her travels, and specifically, by a bar in Bali, she was captured by the design space and the freshness of a cocktail and local meal. This cocktail embodies all of this, with directness in ingredients showcased in stunning displays, and Carbonell does just that with this Hibiscus-forward Tequila cocktail, a riff on the classic Jungle Bird Cocktail.
– 1 ½ oz Teremana Tequila Reposado
– ½ oz Campari
– 1.5 oz Pineapple Juice
– ½ oz Lime Juice
– ¾ oz Hibiscus Syrup
– Shake all ingredients into a shaker and strain over fresh ice in a Collins Glass
Trend: Savvy Swaps
Inspired by: Chef Rafael Covarrubias, @rafacovarrubias
For the winner of the prestigious S. Pellegrino Young Chef North American Semi-Finals 2020, Rafael Covarrubias, moving from a small town in Mexico to pursue his passion for cooking was only the start of the upward trajectory. A nod to the signature duck with mole sauce dish Covarrubias and his team serves at Hexagon Restaurant and noting Covarrubias’ taste for spirit-forward cocktails, Carbonell twists the classic Martinez with an unexpected and tasty makeover by savvily swapping the spirits traditionally used in this classic cocktail. Carbonell opts for richly aromatic, full-bodied Hendrick’s Gin and swaps out other ingredients like maraschino liqueur and aromatic bitters for sherry and mole bitters.
– 1 oz Hendrick’s Gin
– ⅓ oz dry vermouth
– ⅓ oz Amontillado sherry
– 1 small bar spoon of orange liqueur
– 2 dashes mole bitters
– citrus peel
– Stir together everything but the citrus peel in a mixing glass with ice.
– Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass. Twist the citrus peel over the drink and drop it into the glass.
Trend: Sour Beers
Inspired by: Lesley Hampton, @lesley_hampton
Having spent her formative years in various countries including Australia, artist, fashion designer and ambassador for diversity in media Lesley Hampton is longing to return to the saltwater of the Gold Coast Down Under. With tacos and Margaritas playing a memorable part in Hampton’s last experiences at a bar, Carbonell gives this at-home version a simple, bright and bubbly fresh spin. Zingy, tart and funky, sour beers continue to dominate as the cool thing to enjoy when the weather warms. By including one in this recipe, Carbonell has added a zippy kick to one of North America’s most popular cocktails, the Margarita.
– Shake tequila, passionfruit juice, lime juice and agave in a cocktail shaker with ice.
– Pour strained cocktail over fresh ice in a salt-rimmed tumbler, and top with sour beer.
Trend: Twist on Citrus
Inspired by: Kirk Pickersgill, @gretaconstantine
As one half of Toronto-design team Greta Constantine, a highly celebrated name in the fashion circuit with wares donned by international socialites and celebrities, this drink was inspired by Pickersgill’s recent penchant for Negronis and the Spritz culture he experienced during the 15 years he spent in Milan. Drawing on Pickergill’s love of wine, Carbonell combines both aperitifs and uses citrus-infused spirits as a backbone to create a flavour for this cocktail that brings the Twist on Citrus trend to life. Taking it to the next level, these zesty thirst quenchers are receptive vehicles to fancy garnishes, and layered flavours from lemongrass, lime leaves and sliced fruits.
– ½ oz Gordon’s Sicilian Lemon Gin
– ¼ oz Simple Syrup*
– 1 ½ oz Sparkling Wine
– ½ oz Soda
– 1 Brûléed Lemon Wheel
– 1 Sprig of Mint
– Fill your wine glass with ice, brûléed lemon and mint.
– Add the gin, simple syrup, sparkling wine and top with soda. Stir before enjoying responsibly.
*To make a Simple Syrup at home, simply combine 1 part granulated sugar with 1 part boiled water. Stir until combined and let cool before use.
Need some more inspiration? Click here to view the full list of LCBO’s spring cocktail trends.