It’s summertime and due to COVID-19 many will continue to stay more at home than go out during the summer. I received a variety of beverages to try and review in time for Father’s Day and the beginning of summer.
Here are 10 of my favorites for sipping in the backyard, taking on a social distance picnic, or enjoying during a weekend brunch.
1. Cutwater Spirits transports you into a vacation state of mind while sipping their new Tiki Rum Mai Tai in a can. It’s a tropical paradise of flavors with a blend of Cutwater Barrel-aged Rum and Bali Hai Tiki Gold Rum. These two rums are mixed with pineapple, citrus and coconut flavors to provide a refreshing cocktail that can be poured over ice or sip from a chilled can. Tiki Rum Mai Tai won a 2020 GOLD Denver International Spirits.Â (It’s tastes like Hawaii in a can. This is a 12.5% ABV Mai Tai, so sometimes I dilute it with a sparkling water).
2.Dads who love Bloody Marys on the weekend can make their own exotic concoction with Cutwater Sprits Fugu Vodka Spicy Bloody Mary It’s a Bloody Mary with a fiery bite. Just pour a can filled with Cutwater Spirits signature Vodka and our award-winning Bloody Mary mix. The flavor profile includes fresh ripe tomatoes, exotic spices and a generous sprinkle of pepper. Pour the 12 oz can in a jar glass, and add garnishes such as a celery stalk, skewers of cherry tomatoes, olives and gherkin pickles. For an extra special Bloody add a crispy slice of Applewood Smoked Bacon to absorb the zesty cocktail. (This Bloody Mary packs a punch in spiciness. I add ice to the glass and let it melt a little to soften the zesty kick with every sip).3. Since Father’s Day is on Sunday, June 21, serve the World’s Greatest Father and family members 21+ Ohza Mimosas in a can. One 12-pack is equivalent to four champagne bottles of bubbly and a full juice carton. These mimosas are as good or better than making your own. Inside a 12 oz can is premium sparkling wine and real fruit juice, yet 80% less sugar and 60% less calories. (I love these mimosas and bellinis. They are sparkling, fun to drink and perfect to serve during Sunday Brunch).4. Give dad a Crystal Head Vodka skull for Father’s Day. It’s distilled quadruple times and filtered seven times, with the final three filtrations through Herkimer diamond crystals makes this vodka easy drinking. It’s slightly sweet, silky smooth, and offers a hint of vanilla. Plus the eye-catching bottle is designed by world-renowned American portrait artist and landscape painter John Alexander. His work is featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Corcoran Museum and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. (Fun Fact: Actor and SNL Comedian Dan Aykroyd makes this vodka. He makes a beautiful rainbow colored bottle during PRIDE month).5. For the tequila loving Dad, QUI Tequila offers a slight essence of hazelnut, vanilla and butterscotch characteristics. It’s a smooth and sophisticated tequila, not the type to down quickly with salt and a lime,” said Pete Girgis, president and co-founder of QUI. This spirit is named from the heart of the word te-QUI-la. They take the blue agave plants and discard the heads and tails, only using the juice of the heart. (This tequila is smooth and similar to a fine Scotch to sip slowly).6. The quintessential summer wine to sip during the day and weekend brunch is Domaine Houchart Cotes De Provence Rose served chilled. It’s an ideal summer wine to drink offering beautiful salmon color highlights, with hints of red berry and strawberry flavors. Notes of pear and peach, with a touch of goji berry and grapefruit give this wine an extra flair. Winning the TOP 100 BEST BUYS award in 2018 & 2019, Domain Houchart is a family owned 200-acre estate with 10 grape varieties located in Provence at the foot of Mount St. Victoire. The estate produces 55% rose’, 40% red and 5% white wines. (If you like Rose’ wine, you will love this one chilled and served with brunch fare or a charcuterie plate).7. Canned cocktails crafted with Rogue Spirits are available for Father’s Day and this summer for home delivery or you can purchase it on shelves at Whole Foods. Rogue Spirits begins with two spirits – Rogue Bayfront Vodka and Rogue Spirits Gin. The vodka is the base for the Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda, Grapefruit Vodka Soda and Ginger Lime Vodka Mule. Rogue Spirits Gin is the base for the Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz. Go to buy.rogue.com for dad and family to enjoy. (These are refreshing, fruity and fun to drink).8. Hard Ciders are the rage, especially an icy cold one during the summer. Austin Eastciders hard cider and spiked seltzers is lower in sugar and calories. It’s made with real cider apples that are sourced from Europe. These are rich in tannins and offer more complex flavors. With an alcohol by volume at 5%, these ciders contain about two-thirds less sugar than others. Plus they are gluten-free and certified kosher. (Popping open a can of Texas Honey Cider, I noticed a floral aroma and bubbly crispness. Taking a sip, the flavors include a hint of apple, and touch of Texas honey, cane sugar and brown sugar to produce a creamy caramel finish). 9. GoKo Energy Drinks are excellent non-alcohol drinks and make a great cocktail mixer. They add natural flavor, a boost of energy and a sparkling kick to any mixed drink. GoKo Energy Sparkling Coconut Water Ginger & Lime makes a great Moscow Mule. Measure out three ounces of your favorite vodka (or any clear spirit will do) into a copper mug; add ice; then stir in GoKo Energy Sparkling Coconut Water Ginger & Lime. Squeeze a lime wedge and use as garnish to finish. (My friend Jeff makes these caffeinated beverages. Some are a little to sweet for my palate to drink alone, but as a mixer, these are dynamite).
10. Pali Wine is a Lompoc-based winery, along the iconic Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County. This ultra-high-quality wines sells bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Rose’ and Syrah at a fair prices. It employs environmentally friendly wine grape growing, and non-invasive winemaking practices. (Pali has tasting rooms that are a lot of fun to visit, especially in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone).