Get ready, the LCBO has some new drinks this summer!

We’ve finally had a couple of sunny weekends and lounging on patios and BBQ parties are returning! I can’t wait, it’s the perfect time of the year to be in Canada; where the weather is hot but not so stifling that you can’t stay outdoors. Of course, safety precautions are in order: sunscreen to avoid getting burnt and plenty of drinks to stay hydrated.

Luckily, the LCBO has you covered with new drinks hitting the shelves this summer. Over May, I had the opportunity to attend two launch events to try the ready-made-drinks before it arrived in stores.

For those who know me, aside from wine, my go-to drink is a vodka water with lime – it’s not fancy but is refreshing and seems like a smart choice to consume water with alcohol. Truth be told, it may have something to do with too many sugary Mike’s Hard Lemonades in high school or the better but still sweet Pure Source and Vex of first year university. I’ve grown tired of downing all that sugar and the awful hangovers it leaves you with the next day.

So, when I heard about SoCIAL LITE, a sugar-free sparkling vodka drink, I was intrigued. Started by Dan and Kevin, two friends who wanted a healthier alternative to pre-mixed drinks, they began mixing up concoctions in their own kitchens and using friends and family as focus groups to perfect the recipe. Eventually they came up with two flavours using natural ingredients: lime ginger and lemon cucumber mint.

Having tried both they were very easy drinking despite using no sugars or sweeteners, which means each can is only 80 calories! The lime ginger is the closest to my go-to vodka water with the ginger adding a calming property to the drink. But, I could easily switch to the lemon cucumber mint if the LCBO ever stocks it (for now they will only be carrying to lime ginger for $9.95 for a four pack) as it’s extremely refreshing and makes me feel like I’m drinking at a spa. The only danger is its taste – the can kept emptying so easily!

Mill Street Brewery’s Hard Root Beer (

Being a hard root beer, this drink is of course sweet, so I don’t see myself having more than two at a time. But, this product is perfect for those days that I’m craving a really satisfying drink, something you just sip and enjoy.

Already growing in popularity in the U.S., Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery is making their own hard soda combining root beer with their Vanilla Porter bierschnaps. The resulting drink is reminiscent of root beer but not quite as sweet and has a stronger more adult flavour than a typical A&W: there’s an earthiness to the drink with hints of cinnamon and licorice peeking through.

Available at the LCBO for $14.85 per 6 pack, the hard root beer even comes in the iconic glass bottles. These would be great for parties and likely make some interesting root beer floats!

Congratulations to Canada’s drink industry for coming out with some fantastic new products. I, for one, am happy that it’s no longer all about wines and craft beers – delicious products but I love variety! Pre-mixed drinks are making a comeback and I’m glad there’s at least two wonderful additions this summer.

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