7 Pitcher Perfect Summer Cocktails and Soups

With all the warm weather we’ve been getting, all that’s on everyone’s mind is how to stay cool. Here are some cocktails and cold soups to get you through the heatwave deliciously.

The Jackson

Christopher Cho, bar manager at CHARCUT Roast House in Calgary shares three superb summer cocktails.

To make The Jackson, blend 12 strawberries, 1/2 pineapple (sliced), leaves of 5 mint sprigs, 2 cups (500 mL) simple syrup, 4 cups (1 L) aloe vera juice, 8 dashes orange bitters and 8 dashes cherry bitters in a blender. Strain mixture into a pitcher. Into a small rocks glass, pour 2 oz (60 mL) vodka and top up with the mixture. Top with soda and ice. Garnish with mint leaves.

Marguerite

In a blender, blend 4 egg whites, 3/4 cup (185 mL) lime juice, 3/4 cup (185 mL) simple syrup, 1½ cups (375 mL) tequila, pinch of salt and 4 cups (1 L) fresh raspberries. Fill blender with ice and blend again on high. Pour mixture into a pitcher with fresh berries and mint to garnish.

Version: switch tequila for tropical-fruit juice.

Ginger Gimlet

To make ginger-lime cordial: chop 1 lb (500 g) fresh ginger and juice in juicer; double-strain. Add an equal part granulated sugar to ginger juice; whisk. Add 2 cups (1/2 L) lime juice; whisk. To make gimlet: fill pitcher 1/3 with cordial, 1/3 with gin and 1/3 with soda water; add ice and stir. Garnish with kaffir lime leaves or quartered limes.

Version: trade gin for soda water.

Black-Cherry-Beet Borscht

Cook until soft 2 cups (500 mL) pitted black cherries in 1 cup (250 mL) each red and water with 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice, ½ tbsp (7 mL) red vinegar and ½ tsp (2 mL) ground allspice. Drain, reserving liquid and setting aside cherries. Cook 2 medium peeled and chopped beets in liquid until soft. Return cherries to pot. Puree and season with salt and pepper. Chill.

Asparagus-and-Leek Vichyssoise

Sauté 2 large peeled and diced potatoes and 2 leeks, chopped, in butter. Simmer in 1/3 cup (75 mL) white, 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock and 2 cups (500 mL) water. Add 1 lb (500 g) chopped asparagus stalks; cook until tender. Remove from heat and add 1 cup (250 mL) 35% cream; purée. Stir in dash of Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) lemon zest, salt and white pepper to taste. Chill.

Spinach, Cucumber and Basil

In batches in food processor, chop 1 lb (500 g) spinach, 1 English cucumber, 1 bunch scallions, ½ cup (125 mL) fresh basil, juice and zest of
½ a lime, and salt and pepper to taste.  Add 2 cups (500 mL) hot vegetable stock, a little at
a time; purée until smooth. Chill. Garnish with 1 or 2 basil leaves and serve with lime wedges.

Curried Squash, Orange and Ginger

Saute in butter 1 small onion, diced; 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh ginger, grated; pinch cumin; 2 cloves garlic, minced; and 4 cups (1 L) butternut squash, peeled and diced. Simmer in 1 cup (250 mL) orange juice and enough water to cover the vegetables, 1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest, 1 tbsp (15 mL) red curry paste, and salt and pepper to taste, until soft. Purée. Chill. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.