Patio season is upon us. It’s the time when dining out means never actually setting foot in a restaurant, but soaking up the sun outside it.
According to lifestyle expert Danielle Finestone, low-alcohol cocktails and low-carb snacks will be headlining this season’s patio menus. This shift shows patio owners are accommodating Torontonians’ commitment to healthier living and the popularity of low-carb diets. “The benefits of low-alcohol, zero sugar cocktails is that we can indulge in more than one cocktail without the guilt, and it highlights other flavours in the drink more prominently when the alcohol is lessened,” shares Finestone.
Here are Finestone ‘s top picks for a quick and easy drink to combine with snacks that patio goers can enjoy at their home patios or out on the town. Cheers!
Summer Thyme Cocktail
0.5 ounces Crystal Head Vodka
1 ounce pomegranate liqueur
1 ounce Schweppes Zero Grapefruit flavour
Garnish: sugar (for rim), and thyme sprig
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the vodka, liqueur and mix. Shake well. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with thyme sprig and use sugar for the rim.
5-minute Summer Appetizers:
Goat Cheese, Fig and Prosciutto Bites
4 fresh figs, halved
4 tbsp of goat cheese (or to taste)
4 slices of prosciutto
Topped with drizzled honey and coarse sea salt
Halve the figs and top each fig with goat cheese. Then, wrap each fig with one slice of prosciutto and drizzle with honey. Add a dash of sea salt, to taste.
Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip
3 ounces of canned red peppers
1/2 cup Tre Stelle feta cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Chili flakes, to taste
Mix all the ingredients into blender until all items are blended entirely. Serve with vegetables or tortilla chips.
For more info and great ideas from Danielle Finestone go to: @tofoodies.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Associate Publisher and Executive Editor of DINE and Destinations magazine.