Classic Cocktails for Summer Sipping

Posted by: Erin May 26, 2020 No Comments
Appleton Daiquiri

Brown spirits lighten up with the Daiquiri and Old Fashioned classic cocktails – perfect sipping for beating the summer heat

by Erin

Who says dark spirits are winter specialities only?

If you have been following along for a while, you know what a fan I am of a Cognac-based French 75, and of course, I’m far too polite to turn down a Whiskey Sour when offered (sans egg whites, thank you very much).

So recently, when Appleton Estate sent me their 8 Year Old Reserve Rum – relaunched this year under a sleek new bottle design ­– I was quick to break this baby open and take it for a spin.

My inaugural drink was a classic Daiquiri, which I sipped during my Instagram Live chat with Toronto Life Publisher, Ken Hunt. He made an inviting Armagnac Old Fashioned – a recipe he learned from the swanky Toronto restaurant, Aloe. (If you didn’t see this live, it’s now on The Wine Sisters’ IGTV for your viewing pleasure.)

Viewers tuning in were asking for both recipes, and I am here to oblige. Santé.

Classic Rum Daiquiri

A classic Daiquiri is not the frozen slush of your March Break (vague) memories. No, a classic Daiquiri is actually quite sophisticated in its simplicity requiring only three ingredients: good rum, citrus, and sugar. While Appleton’s recipe suggests the cocktail be served neat, and in a coup, I prefer to serve my Daiquiris with one large ice cube as the name of the game for me is cooling refreshment on hot summer days.

  • 2 oz Appleton Estate 8 Year Old Rum
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice (Yes fresh. No bottled stuff. Sorry, this is a non-negotiable.)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake until it turns frosty, about 20 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube (or into a coup if serving it neat as Appleton suggests), and garnish with a lime wheel.

Many thanks to Appleton Estate for gifting me this beautiful bottle of delicious Jamaican rum. Rest assured, I am putting it to very good use.  

Ken’s Armagnac Old Fashioned

Ken gives all credit of this recipe to the expert barkeeps at Aloe, one of the Toronto Life Publisher’s favourite restaurants.

  • 2 oz Armagnac
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 oz Ken’s simple syrup*

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube and garnish with a wide orange peel.

Ken’s Spiced Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 star anise buds (to taste)
  • 2-3 Szechuan peppers (to taste)

Gently heat water and sugar together over a soft simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves (a few minutes). Remove from heat, add in spices and let cool for about an hour. Strain into a clean jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.


Interested in learning about making cocktails? We offer lessons!


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