8 Canadian Drinks to keep cool this Summer

Amongst Canadians, there are a handful of drinks that we love to call our own. We all remember ‘Joe’ from the “I am Canadian” commercials. What’s funny is that this pride for beverages extends beyond beer. It’s quite easy to spot these popular drinks all over Canada. Some alcoholic, others virgin in nature. But each thoroughly enjoyed year round, but particular in the short, albeit beautiful summer months of Canada.

Edit (Dec 2014): If you’re more of a beer drinker, check out my post on 16 Canadian Craft Beers.

Paralyzer Drink

The Paralyzer

One of my personal favourites, it’s like a drunken visit to the coffee shop. Known in the U.S of A as a Colorado Bulldog, up here in Canada we go by Paralyzer, on account of how easy it is to forget you’re even drinking anything alcoholic at all. A few of these on a warm summers evening will be one of the highlights of the night.
Ingredients :
  • 1.0 oz  Coffee Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz  Cola
  • 3.5 oz  Milk
  • 1.0 oz  Vodka
Step 1. Fill a chilled highball glass with ice
Step 2. Pour in Vodka and Kahlua (or Coffee Liqueur if you must)
Step 3. Pour in Cola first, then top with cold milk.
Important – Always pour milk in last or risk curdling the drink

Canada Cooler 2 Litre

The Canada Cooler

One of Canada’s cheapest alcoholic beverages, Canada Cooler is plain and simple a 2L bottle of  sparkling Wine Cooler found in several different flavours. With an average cost of $8.50, it’s not likely going to break your bank, however it may break your liver. The Canada Cooler can be relied upon for those trying to stretch their dollars (cough Backpackers cough), or can be used to simply provide an alternative when your routine summer drinks begin to bore you. This drink is typically consumed by underage teenage drinkers, whereupon after a few too many encounters with it, they avoid it like the plague.

Bud Lite Lime


Ahhh beer, the safest choice. You can never go wrong with picking up a case (orcube, or flat, depending on where you are in Canada) of beer on a hot summers day. Canada is a country that prides itself on it’s ability to consume beers that are more alcoholic than the beers found in the United States of America. Alcoholic content (and bragging) aside, there are hundreds upon hundreds of different beers to try. Take your pick at one of 10 beers you need to try while in Canada.

Tim Hortons Ice cap

Ice cap

Although a virgin drink by nature, the ice cap can be loved both with or without alcohol. Found primarily at Tim Horton’s (although Robin’s Donuts & many others carry them as well), they’ll typically cost about $3.50 for the largest size. Home-made versions can be mixed right in your kitchen with the correct ingredients and a blender. Check the nearest grocery store for the proper mix or head to Timmys for one of the best frozen caffeinated drinks. Ever!

Clam & beer (aka the Chelada, aka Red Beer)

Easily one of the quirkiest beverages up here in Canada. If you can put away your purist “nothing goes in my beer” attitude for a while, you might find this is a great tweak on an already perfect drink for a hot summer day. You’ll want to make sure you’re using an ale or a lager for this concoction. Also ensure you’re using Motts Clamato Original (or try the Extra Spicy for more of a punch). For those of you who are unfamiliar with Clamato Juice, it’s a blend of Tomato juice and clam broth. Yes, you may think this sounds disgusting, you’re not alone, but I assure you they’re all sorts of tasty.


Step 1. Poor beer into large pint glass
Step 2. Leave enough room for Clamato.
Step 3. Poor 2-3 shots of Motts Clamato Juice into beer (Slowly, or risk clam/beer frothing over and making you look like a Rube)

The Caesar

The Caesar is one of Canada’s most popular local drinks, and is gaining some momentum to become Canada’s National Drink. This cocktail was first mixed by a bartender by the name of Walter Chell at the Owl’s Nest Bar in the Calgary Inn. This triumphant occasion occured in the rockin’ year of 1969. Other names for this drink include: The Bloody Caesar, Salted Caesar, and Clamdigger. Pre-mixed bottles can also be bought at your local liquor store (However they’re never quite as good). There are several variations to this drink, they’re all pretty amazing. Did I mention that Caesars are an amazing hangover cure? Oh, well they are.


  • 6 oz. Clamato Juice
  • 1½ oz. Vodka
  • 2 Dashes Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • Celery salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Lime/Lemon wedge
  • 1 Crisp Celery Stalk


Step 1. Rim highball glass with lemon or lime, salt, and pepper.
Step 2. Toss some ice in the glass
Step 3. Add vodka, Clamato, and a dash or two of peper
Step 4. Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce and a drop or two of Tabasco Sauce
Step 5. Stir and garnish with a crisp celery stick

Iced Tea Canada

Iced tea

If you order Iced Tea in Canada, do not expect a cooled down version of your favourite hot beverage, however those can be found if you look real hard. Iced Tea in Canada is, and forever will be a sweetened iced tea, usually flavoured with lemon or some other citric fruit. The most popular brands of Iced Tea in Canada are Liptons and Nestea, however there are several more. Iced Tea is treated by most Canadians as just another flavour of Pop/Soda/Soft drink, except it doesn’t have the carbonation. Canadian Iced Tea can also be made at home using a couple tablespoons of pure iced tea powder. Regardless of whether this is what you’re used it, it’s a fantastic alternative to ordering a coke with your meal, and a great choice during the summer.

Ice Wine

Ice wine

Ice wine is a wine typically set aside for deserts. One of the few places it’s grown is right here in Canada (Ontario particularly). Ice wine is made from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. This causes the wine to be extra sweet, and extra awesome. Serve ice wine chilled to enjoy it to its fullest potential, perfect for a hot summer evenings.

Have I missed any notable Canadian summer drinks? What are you sipping on this August?

Edit (Dec 2014): If you’re more of a beer drinker, check out my post on 16 Canadian Craft Beers.

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