Spring cocktail trends from the LCBO
Let the LCBO and Monica Carbonell help you transform your at-home bartending experience into something fresh, vibrant and cool just in time for the new season
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: Frothy and Fluffy
Inspired by: Catherine Addai, @kaelakayonline
As CEO, designer and lead stylist of clothing label Kaela Kay, Catherine Addai has built her brand around bold and vibrant colours. Incorporating Addai’s love of rum plus embrace of bold flavours and colours, Carbonell has combined the delicious elements from smoky rum, guava, citrus and mint into this frothy, fluffy and vibrant cocktail that’s christened with a dramatic egg white cap. Aerating your ingredients as a frothy layer of foam will not only bring out their aromatics but also add a whimsical effervescent crown to your drink.
- 1 ½ oz Havana Club Cuban Smoky
- 1 oz guava juice
- ⅔ oz lime
- ⅔ oz Demerara syrup
- 1 egg white
- 3 raspberries
- 1 sprig of mint
- Add all the ingredients except for the ice and mint in a shaker and dry shake (without ice) vigorously.
- Add ice to the shaker and shake once more. Strain into a coupe and garnish with the mint leaf.
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.
- 1 ¼ oz Villa One Silver Tequila
- ¾ oz passionfruit juice
- ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz agave syrup
- ¾ oz Side Launch Passionate Sour
- 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.