Use the basics of tried and true cocktail recipes and change up the ingredients to build something new.

WELL, I'm not one to complain about the hot weather this past week. Soon enough we'll be trying not to curse the cold but so long as we're enjoying peak summer weather I've got some great ideas to help you beat the heat with some amazing evening libations.

The summer cocktail is a great way to not only unwind and enjoy a little break after work and on the weekends but it's an amazing opportunity to put peak fresh ingredients into the mix.

Anything from fresh fruit and berries to cool and delicious vegetables can bring some smashmouth A-game to your cocktails this summer and will definitely impress your friends and family.

Balancing tastes and flavours is just as important in becoming a skilled mixologist as it is in being an amazing cook. Sweet, sour, salty, spicy and savoury working in harmony in pairs or all together are what building a great summer cocktail is all about.

One of the best ways to get started on your journey in becoming a master mixer is to use the bones of great tried and true cocktail recipes and flirt with a little mixology excitement and change up the ingredients to build something new.

A mojito could grow to become an green apple mojito by adding some delicious apple syrup and some green apple slices, a caesar can be transformed into a barbeque caesar by stirring in a couple tablespoons of your favourite barbecue sauce and a cosmopolitan can miraculously become a white raspberry cosmo by using white cranberry juice and a splash of raspberry concentrate.

Whatever you build there is sure to be some serious tastitude in your down time.

So spend a little time mixing it up with the rest of your summer and you're sure to keep cool and keep everyone's taste buds happy doing it! Here's a favourite to get you started:

Green Apple Mojito

3 ounces club soda

1/2 oz. lime juice

10 mint leaves muddled with 1/4 tsp. sugar

2 1/2 oz. light rum

2 1/2 ounces apple juice reduction

Make juice reduction by simmering 1 1/2 cups of apple juice in a small saucepan until it has reduced to 1/2 cup.

Set aside to cool.

Muddle mint with sugar in the bottom of a double highball glass. Add juice reduction, rum, and lime juice. Stir. Add ice. Add club soda and stir gently.

Garnish with apple peel or slice, fresh mint, and a lime wedge.

Richard Moorey (aka Chef House) is the executive chef at the DaVinci Centre and can be reached or on his Facebook group Evolution Tastitude. You can follow him on Twitter @House_74.

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