Bottoms Up! Classic Summertime Cocktails Made with Local Spirits

August is one of the hottest months of the year and it’s the perfect time to head out and to explore everything the Island has to offer. Whether you’re heading for an outdoor adventure, walking through charming towns, visiting breweries and dining out, booking tours or seeing attractions – there are many ways to make incredible memories here! With so much to do and see, it’s easy to fill every day with adventures but it’s also important to slow down, relax and enjoy the pace of Island life. When it’s time to kick back and have a relaxing summer day there’s no better accompaniment to one of the stunning EMR properties in Central Vancouver Island than a summery cocktail made with local ingredients! We’ve rounded up perfect pairings to help beat the August heat when you’re staying on this gorgeous Island! 

Comox Valley

Summertime in the Comox Valley is gorgeous – with soaring temperatures, pristine natural beauty and charming little town centres to explore, there’s no doubt that you’ll have an excellent summer here – and when you’re ready to mix up the perfect summery cocktail, we’ve got just the thing! Wayward Distillery creates incredible honey-based, craft spirits including gin, vodka, rum, brandy and various liqueurs right in the Comox Valley using locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients. If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail to enjoy in the sun, you can’t go wrong with these signature Valley cocktails! 



2oz Unruly Vodka

1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1oz honey syrup

1.5oz Stonehouse Teas Campbell River Signature Blend (Iced) or your favourite local tea blend 

Shake vodka, lemon juice, and honey syrup with ice and strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. To create a layered look, carefully pour the iced tea to the top. Garnish with lemon wheel and a sprig of fresh mint! Yummy!



2oz Unruly Vodka

.75oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

.75oz honey syrup

5 fresh raspberries

Muddle the raspberries and honey syrup in a shaker tin and to the mixture add the vodka, and lemon juice and top with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass (double strain if you want to avoid the raspberry seeds in the drink). Pop in a couple of raspberries for garnish and you’ll have a stunning pink cocktail that tastes like summer in a glass!

Parksville & Qualicum Beach

There’s no end to the amount of activities you can do in Parksville and Qualicum! There are award winning golf courses, restaurants, hiking and cycling trails, adventure parks and breathtaking beaches to explore. When you’re ready to take it easy and one of EMR’s stunning oceanside properties in the area, there’s no better way than to with the perfect summer vacation cocktail! At Bespoke Spirits House you can get a bottle of their handcrafted gin or vodka and make your own favourite highball or if you’re a gin drinker and want to do something a little more festive, you can shake up a frothy, refreshing gin fizz! 



2 ounces Jezebel Gin

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

3/4 ounce of simple syrup

1 small or medium egg white, optional

2 ounces soda water, or to taste

Lemon peel, for garnish

Pour the gin, lemon or lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake it up for at least 15 seconds to ensure the egg white is mixed well and frothy. If you want an extra frothy drink, scoop out the ice and dry shake for a few more seconds. Strain into a chilled highball glass over fresh ice cubes. Top with soda and garnish with a lemon or lime peel. Enjoy!


Known as The Harbour City, Nanaimo in the summer is a lively and beautiful place to visit. There are farmers markets, patios full of people, gorgeous city walks and nature hikes that you won’t want to miss out on. But if you’re staying at one of the lovely EMR Nanaimo vacation homes you’ll definitely want to spend a day or two relaxing! Swing by Arbutus Distillery, try a cocktail, have a look at the unique collection of spirits offered and get a bottle or two to take with you! If you’re having a hard time choosing, the friendly staff will be more than happy to help! When it comes to the right cocktail for this distillery, it’s an easy choice – they make such unique and interesting types of gin, it’s gotta be a classic G&T! 



2oz Arbutus Distillery Gin of choice


Roadside tonic from Arbutus Distillery

Lime wedge or cucumber slice 

Fill a low ball glass with ice and pour gin over ice. Fill it to the top with tonic and garnish with lime wedge or cucumber slice. Cheers!


The Cowichan Valley is an ideal place to book your stay on Vancouver Island! Here, you can bask in the peace and quiet of the countryside and still enjoy day trips to Vancouver Island’s largest cities, Victoria and Nanaimo. No matter which EMR Cowichan Valley rental you choose, whether it’s beachside, lakeside or countryside, you’ll need a great cocktail to celebrate the sunny weather! At Stillhead Distillery, just south of Duncan, you can find small batch, craft whiskey, gin and vodka ideal for sipping alone or mixing into a delicious and refreshing cocktail! For all you rum and coke lovers out there, if you’re looking for something a little different, visit Merridale Cidery & Distillery and grab a bottle of their Cowichan Rhumb for a twist on the classic rum and coke! 



2oz Stillhead Barrel Aged Gin

Juice from 1/2 Lime

1/3 Cup of Pomegranate Juice

1-2 Jalapeño Slices

Fever-Tree or Phillips Ginger Beer

Pomegranate seeds and fresh mint for garnish

Combine gin, lime juice, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice and jalapeños in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake for at least 30 seconds, strain into a low ball glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with some fresh mint and pomegranate seeds! 



2.3oz Stillhead Potent Port-ables Whiskey

3 Strawberries, Tops Removed

0.75oz Fresh Lime Juice

1.5oz Simple Syrup


Combine whiskey, strawberries, lime juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and muddle.

Fill with ice and shake for 20 seconds until well chilled. Double strain into a glass and garnish with a strawberry slice.



2oz Merridale Rhumb

Phillips classic cola


Lime wedge

Fill low ball glass with ice and pour rhumb over ice, fill glass with Phillips classic cola and garnish with wedge of lime! Cheers!