Trending now at LCBO: 'Spirited' summer cocktails are all about bold flavours

This is the third of LCBO'’s four-part series on this summer’'s trends in beverage alcohol - what people are drinking, and why. Other releases this week include: Tuesday - Coolers and ready-to-drink, Wednesday - Ontario cider and craft beer, Friday - Crisper, lighter summer wines.

TORONTO, July 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Unique, bold flavours and artisanal products are this summer's trend in spirits at LCBO as recent arrivals bring a new dimension to frozen cocktails and time-honoured summer classics.

Tequila, gin and flavoured vodkas traditionally see increased sales through the summer months and these categories have been refreshed with new products like cinnamon tequila, coconut vodka, and rum-based liqueurs. Nearly half of all gin and tequila sales happen in summer because of their versatility in premium cocktails, popular for summer entertaining.  Rum is also a perpetual favourite in summer because of its approachable flavour profile. This summer, LCBO is pleased to offer rum from the world's newest rum region, Maui, Hawaii.

International and domestic craft spirits, as well as locally-produced artisanal products, are increasing in popularity and a summer surge in American whiskey sales is expected. This is driven, in part, by millennials who are showing a preference for whiskies.  LCBO began carrying products from Ontario craft distillers in 2012 and there are currently 10 such products in select stores, which are understandably in limited supply. LCBO total spirit sales in fiscal 2013-14 reached $2 billion. Ontario craft spirits are a small part of this business; however, customer preferences toward locally-produced, artisanal and small-batch products is growing and the trend is expected to continue.

Nearly 30 per cent of spirits sales happen in the summer months and the category is less affected by changes in weather than beer, ready-to-drink products or wine. White spirits sales can be influenced by the amount of rain the province sees during summer, whereas brown spirits sales are not affected either by swings in temperature or precipitation.

Remember to be a responsible host this summer:

  • Don't plan physical activities when you're serving alcohol. People are more prone to accidents and injury when drinking.
  • Provide low-alcohol and alcohol-free drinks for all guests, such as Mocktails, non-alcoholic punch, pop, water, tea and coffee.
  • Have food available to avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Avoid serving salty, sweet or greasy snack foods. High-starch and protein foods such as meats, veggies, cheeses, dips and breads are good choices.
  • Promote the use of designated drivers and keep cash and phone numbers on hand for taxis. Be prepared for overnight guests.
  • Please bring a reusable bag when shopping at the LCBO and take your empty beverage alcohol containers (large and small glass bottles, PET plastic, Tetra Pak cartons, bag-in-box and cans) to The Beer Store for a full deposit refund.


"In the spirits category, our goal is to deliver new and improved choice in traditionally popular products while offering the hottest new flavours for customers who want to create exciting, trendy cocktails for their guests," said Stacee Roth, LCBO Category Manager, White Spirits. "Summer is the perfect time to try something different, and with so many new and sought-after products, there is something for every budget and taste." 

Image with caption: "Summer cocktails are all about bold flavours (CNW Group/LCBO)". Image available at:

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For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Murray, Senior Communications Consultant, Tel: 416 864-6875; Cell: 647 339-5428; E-mail:


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