3 Summer Cocktail Recipes to Try Right Now

Don't feel like going out? Make bartender Max Borrowman's Mexican Wrestler and more at home.

June 27, 2017

By Vancouver Magazine / Photo: Clinton Hussey

Summer is fun, but let’s face it, a jam-packed social calendar can be downright exhausting (on our minds, bodies and wallets!). Lucky for us, Juniper’s bar manager Max Borrowman has come up with a tasty solution: he’s crafted three refreshing, perfect-for-the-season cocktails and he’s shared the recipes with VanMag. Now, whether you’re sipping a casual after-work bev or hosting a low-key patio party, you’ll feel like you’re on the beach (or at your fave local watering hole!) even though, in reality, you’re in the comfort of your very own home.

From left to right: Max Borrowman’s English Garden, Mexican Wrestler and Blackberry Summer cocktails.

English Garden

1½ oz Queensborough gin
½ oz ginger syrup*
½ oz lemon
1 oz cucumber juice (or 4 to 5 pieces of muddled cucumber)
½ oz Fino sherry
2 dashes Scrappy’s lavender bitters
Cucumber slice (for garnish)

Method: Shake and serve on the rocks.

*For the ginger syrup:

  1. In a pot, combine 1 litre of water with 1 kg of sugar and bring to a boil.
  2. Add approximately 2 cups of fresh ginger (chopped) and turn off heat.
  3. Let steep for a few minutes and then transfer half of the mixture to a blender. Blend on high for one minute. Strain the blended mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Repeat with the remaining half.
  4. Transfer to glass bottle(s) and store in the fridge (up to three weeks).

Mexican Wrestler

1 oz Lost Siete Misterios Doba-Yej mezcal
½ oz Don Julio Reposado tequila
¾ oz peach and chili pepper shrub*
½ oz Fernet Branca
1 oz lemon juice
¼ oz agave nectar
Dehydrated lemon (for garnish)

Method: Shake and serve in a coup.

*For the peach and chili pepper shrub:

  1. Add store-bought (Max suggests Boiron or Fruitier, both available at Gourmet Warehouse) or homemade frozen peach purée to a large saucepan. Add sugar (approx. half the quantity of purée), 1 tbsp of dried chili flakes and 1 tbsp of whole black peppercorns.
  2. On high heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for approx. 10 minutes. (Taste it! If it’s too thick, you can add a touch of water. If it’s not sweet enough, add more sugar. The syrup should be quite spicy at this point.)
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Add sherry vinegar (approx. ⅓ as much vinegar as there is liquid in the pan).
  4. Transfer to glass bottle(s) and store in fridge (up to one month).

Blackberry Summer

1 oz Odd Society Creme de Cassis
½ oz lemon juice
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Blackberry and lemon twist (for garnish)

Method: Pour over ice and top with Sea Cider’s Bramble Bubbly cider.

Check back for more from our Good Libations package (our June 2017 cover story!) for more on the hottest bars, beloved local watering holes and best hangover cures.


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