BY ALEXANDRA COOKE ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR
Let’s face it: many people entering/currently in university have pretty well tested their limits with the dos and donts when it comes to alcohol consumption. The school year invites frequent binge drinking weekends, even when we promise ourselves we’ll “take this weekend off”. By the time summertime comes around, drinking alcohol can feel like drinking water: it’s left us bored and defeated when it comes to planning what alcohol you want to drink for those summertime weekends off downtown at the bars or at the docks at the cottage. If you’ve been feeling like this, I’m here today to shed some light on these cloudy thoughts because Summer 2017 has proven to be THE biggest and BEST yet for new alcohol launches and products from our favorite friendly neighbourhood alcohol brands.
VODKA/COOLER DRINKERS THESE ARE FOR YOU!
Sick of the basic vodka you drink multiple nights a week throughout the year? WORRY NO MORE! Smirnoff has launched a variety of new vodka-based coolers AND 3 new flavoured vodka’s this summer that have been flying off the shelves and into the arms of happy consumers; Palm Bay has launched a whole new beverage with two flavours as a Vodka Soda; and Mott’s Clamato Casears have a new limited edition flavour all for Summer 2017- all sold at LCBO!
Smirnoff has come up with 2 new Sangria Coolers; 5 new flavours of that beloved Smirnoff Ice; and 3 new flavoured Vodka’s under the new label Smirnoff Sourced (for those of you who gravitate more towards drinking the hard stuff).
Smirnoff Sangria is a nice alternative for people who like the idea of Sangria, but are not a fan of wine. While both are carbonated the Red Sangria is a more sweet, berry-like flavour, while the White Sangria is for citrus-lovers out there who prefer a more tart taste when it comes to their coolers. Both are sold individually in tall boy sizes (473ml) and retail for $2.95 with 5% alcohol. Serve chilled and you have the perfect dock drink!
*ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF LCBO
Smirnoff Ice is (and will ALWAYS be) a cult favorite when it comes to coolers. The sweet, carbonated, lemony taste is the original Smirnoff experience that has been endlessly popular amongst people of all ages. Due to the overwhelming popularity of Smirnoff’s Ice, the brand launched for the summer of 2017 multiple different flavours of Ice in order to bring in a larger variety of consumers. The most popular flavours thus far have been Orange Screwdriver, Lime, and Pineapple. Orange Screwdriver is the sweetest of flavours with a distinct orange creamsicle-like taste with the matching bright orange colour to go with it; Lime has a refreshing less sweeter, but not quite tart taste for those who like a more flavoured soda kinda mixed drinks; Pineapple is the most poignant when it comes to scent, with the yummy sweet taste to match. Each Smirnoff Ice Flavour is sold in a 6-pack for $12.25 each at 355ml and 5.0% alcohol. These refreshing, carbonated Ices make the perfect pre-drink, with a level of sweetness that isn’t too much which can be found in some cases when it comes to vodka coolers.
It’s undeniable that Smirnoff vodka is one of the most recognized and beloved vodkas of our time. If you haven’t seen at l
east 2-3 mickeys of Smirnoff vodka at a pre/party you are either partying with older people, or someone has hired a sponsor for the night. With that being said, Smirnoff’s flavoured vodka’s have also been enormously successful for those who can’t bear the
taste of straight vodka. Smirnoff Sourced is a new, naturally flavoured and sweetened vodka launched for Summer 2017 with each bottle containing 10% of real fruit juice! The alcohol percent is 30%, 10% lower than your typical Smirnoff vodka, but the taste is just as strong and pure with delicious hints of either Grapefruit, Orange, or Cranberry-Apple. Each bottle is sold in a glass 26 at 750ml for $26.25 each.
Smirnoff Sourced is a great new alternative for hard liquor lovers looking to try something new and exciting for the summer (with the vivid colours thanks to the fruit juice to go with it!).
Palm Bay is the holy grail of sweet tasting and smelling vodka coolers. Whether you are at the bar, out for dinner, or having a cottage weekend, Palm Bay has flavours for everyone. The only downside to their coolers is they tend to be more on the sweet side and this turns off a lot of consumers (a.k.a men) because this turns into an automatic brand of ‘girly drinks’. Palm Bay has taken this all in stride and launched a new product aimed to bring in more consumers called the Palm Bay VODKA SODA in Mango Pineapple and Raspberry Passionfruit. These are flavoured vodka coolers mixed with soda to dull down the sweet taste of their regular coolers. Each are sold in a 6-pack, 355ml can at 6% for $13.25, providing the perfect amount of flavour and chase to create a cooler for the masses.
Last but not least in the Vodka section we have Mott’s Clamato Caesar’s. From a personal standpoint, I used to think that Caesar’s were God’s worst creation on this earth. I was ignorant at the time (a sad point in my life) until I tried a real spicy Caesar and the whole game CHANGED. Mott’s has three alcoholic Caesars out right now sold at your local LCBO, the Classic, Extra Spicy, and new limited edition for the summer 2017 Pickled Bean!!! Now this product automatically rules out consumers who are not fans of spice, pickles, or tomato juice (sorry not sorry but y’all are missing out) but for those who are fans of all 3- this will be your new fave! With a percentage of 5.5 % alcohol, the Pickled Bean Caesar tastes like your average Caesar but intensified with a distinct pickle taste. Sold in a glorious tall boy can at 458ml, this Caesar drink is a great alternative choice of alcohol vodka beverage to enjoy on a hot sunny day when you don’t feel like drinking anything that tastes remotely like alcohol, but are looking to get a good buzz on(also great for hangovers FYI).
BEER LOVERS UNITE
To those who are new to the Radler game, this is your formal invitation to get on board. Summer 2017 has seen the incredible new launch of the Bud Light Radler: a delicious blend of Bud Light and real Grapefruit juice. Many people do not like beer; many people do not like grapefruit juice because it is too bitter. So what do we do about this? WE MIX THEM TOGETHER! The bitter-sweet taste of grapefruit juice compliments the carbonated distinct taste of beer creating a whole new unique flavour altogether known as the Grapefruit Radler. These are the perfect drinks to be served on a hot day for those who like to take their alcohol consumption slow. At 2.4%, one could drink these all afternoon without getting the intense bloat that drinking beer for an extended period of time can #bless you with. The grapefruit juice makes the beer bearable to drink for prolonged periods of time and evens out the taste leaving one feeling refreshed and somewhat healthy (grapefruit is good for your HEART!). Each can is sold individually at $2.85 and can be found at the Beer Store or your local LCBO.
Well that’s all I’ve got folks! Hopefully one of these drinks has sparked a new fire inside of you to hit up your local LCBO/Beer Store in search for one of these new Summer 2017 products. All are under $20 and taste phenomenal on a hot day served chilled over ice or straight from the can. If you are not a Vodka, Fruity-cooler, Caesars, or Beer fan I apologize but your fave brands are all lacking this summer in innovation and new products. With these new fun summer drinks alcohol shopping (and drinking) can now be FUN and FRESH again and provide you with a new experience for the remaining summer weeks left before school. Maybe one of these products will become your new favorite and drinking them throughout the year will have you always associating it back to those good summer times! But even if not, summer is a time for relaxation and no strings attached fun and I guarantee trying one of these new drinks will provide you with just that.