Cottage life is the good life – so why not kick up your feet, breathe in the fresh lake air and indulge in your favourite beverage of choice? For some, they might sip a glass of vino, cool down with a chilled brew or enjoy a non-alcoholic bevvie. Others might prefer mixing cottage cocktails to showcase their creativity and tempt their tastebuds. Acclaimed local mixologist Joel Carleton offers insights on must-have ingredients to create refreshing cabin cocktails. “All cocktails require balance between sweet and sour or bitter,” said Carleton, a national bar and spirits judge, as well as a gardening and foraging enthusiast. “Lemons or limes are necessary to be juiced.” Carleton suggests keeping white sugar on hand to make simple syrups, as well as maple syrup or honey for unique sweeteners. “Simple syrup is sugar and water mixed in equal parts,” Carleton said. “It lends neutral sweetness to drinks, which is required to provide structure to the cocktail.” To make a simple syrup, Carleton recommends adding equal quantities of sugar and water to a blender and mixing well. “If you don’t have a blender, heat the water and mix the two in a bowl. Do not heat them together in a pot,” he said. “Shelf life is three weeks in the fridge. Your first batch can be one cup water, one cup sugar and start from there. Refrain from making too much.” To take your simple syrup to the next level, try adding some herbs or a handful of berries to the blender. The herbs and berries can be local or leftovers to reduce waste. “Store the pulpy syrup in the fridge for one day to infuse, then strain for a berry syrup,” Carleton said. “You can also sub the water in the simple syrup recipe for juice or tea to create a flavoured or tea syrup – or throw herbs or tea leaves into simple syrup and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two. The flavours will infuse into the syrup.” No matter what cocktail you’re making, Carleton offers an easy formula for success: “Ice the glass fully, include an acidic component and only incorporate natural, fresh ingredients.”

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This article was published 15/9/2021 (291 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Cottage life is the good life – so why not kick up your feet, breathe in the fresh lake air and indulge in your favourite beverage of choice?
For some, they might sip a glass of vino, cool down with a chilled brew or enjoy a non-alcoholic bevvie. Others might prefer mixing cottage cocktails to showcase their creativity and tempt their tastebuds.
Acclaimed local mixologist Joel Carleton offers insights on must-have ingredients to create refreshing cabin cocktails.
"All cocktails require balance between sweet and sour or bitter," said Carleton, a national bar and spirits judge, as well as a gardening and foraging enthusiast. "Lemons or limes are necessary to be juiced."
Carleton suggests keeping white sugar on hand to make simple syrups, as well as maple syrup or honey for unique sweeteners.
"Simple syrup is sugar and water mixed in equal parts," Carleton said. "It lends neutral sweetness to drinks, which is required to provide structure to the cocktail."
To make a simple syrup, Carleton recommends adding equal quantities of sugar and water to a blender and mixing well.
"If you don’t have a blender, heat the water and mix the two in a bowl. Do not heat them together in a pot," he said. "Shelf life is three weeks in the fridge. Your first batch can be one cup water, one cup sugar and start from there. Refrain from making too much."
To take your simple syrup to the next level, try adding some herbs or a handful of berries to the blender. The herbs and berries can be local or leftovers to reduce waste.
"Store the pulpy syrup in the fridge for one day to infuse, then strain for a berry syrup," Carleton said.
"You can also sub the water in the simple syrup recipe for juice or tea to create a flavoured or tea syrup – or throw herbs or tea leaves into simple syrup and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two. The flavours will infuse into the syrup."
No matter what cocktail you’re making, Carleton offers an easy formula for success: "Ice the glass fully, include an acidic component and only incorporate natural, fresh ingredients."

Cottage life is the good life – so why not kick up your feet, breathe in the fresh lake air and indulge in your favourite beverage of choice?

Foraged blueberries pop in this Crown Royal Cobbler.

BOND FREYER

Foraged blueberries pop in this Crown Royal Cobbler.

For some, they might sip a glass of vino, cool down with a chilled brew or enjoy a non-alcoholic bevvie. Others might prefer mixing cottage cocktails to showcase their creativity and tempt their tastebuds.

Acclaimed local mixologist Joel Carleton offers insights on must-have ingredients to create refreshing cabin cocktails.

"All cocktails require balance between sweet and sour or bitter," said Carleton, a national bar and spirits judge, as well as a gardening and foraging enthusiast. "Lemons or limes are necessary to be juiced."

Mixologist Joel Carleton
torches a rosemary sprig
to garnish a drink.

JEREMY DUECK

Mixologist Joel Carleton torches a rosemary sprig to garnish a drink.

Carleton suggests keeping white sugar on hand to make simple syrups, as well as maple syrup or honey for unique sweeteners.

"Simple syrup is sugar and water mixed in equal parts," Carleton said. "It lends neutral sweetness to drinks, which is required to provide structure to the cocktail."

To make a simple syrup, Carleton recommends adding equal quantities of sugar and water to a blender and mixing well.

Dehydrated blood oranges are striking in these variations of Joel’s Cabin Soda.

BOND FREYER

Dehydrated blood oranges are striking in these variations of Joel’s Cabin Soda.

"If you don’t have a blender, heat the water and mix the two in a bowl. Do not heat them together in a pot," he said. "Shelf life is three weeks in the fridge. Your first batch can be one cup water, one cup sugar and start from there. Refrain from making too much."

To take your simple syrup to the next level, try adding some herbs or a handful of berries to the blender. The herbs and berries can be local or leftovers to reduce waste.

"Store the pulpy syrup in the fridge for one day to infuse, then strain for a berry syrup," Carleton said.

"You can also sub the water in the simple syrup recipe for juice or tea to create a flavoured or tea syrup – or throw herbs or tea leaves into simple syrup and let it sit in the fridge for a day or two. The flavours will infuse into the syrup."

No matter what cocktail you’re making, Carleton offers an easy formula for success: "Ice the glass fully, include an acidic component and only incorporate natural, fresh ingredients."

A fresh-picked pansy tops Joel’s Cabin Soda.

JEREMY DUECK

A fresh-picked pansy tops Joel’s Cabin Soda.