After fresh ideas for meals that are healthy but still pack a flavour punch? We've got salads and vegetable-packed bowls to soups and light desserts.
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What will you be drinking to beat the heat? We asked some of the nation's top barkeeps, chefs and sommeliers that very question and here's the result: your ultimate guide to summer refreshment.
Adam D'Sylva, chef, Coda, Melbourne
I'll be drinking a Paloma, a refreshing, slightly intoxicating mix of tequila and sparkling grapefruit juice.
Damien Pignolet, chef, The Bellevue Dining Room,
I'll be drinking Campari mixed with equal parts fresh lime juice and lots of smashed ice. Believe me, this wakes you up after a hard day.
Mike Enright, group bars manager, Merivale, Sydney
This summer I'm going to make the most of stone fruits and make some Stoned Cobblers using peaches, plums, apricots and cherries. The apricot will be mixed with shiraz, apricot brandy and Grand Marnier, stirred with crushed ice in a tumbler and garnished with fresh apricot, lemon wedges and a mint sprig.
Hajime Horiguchi, chef, Wasabi, Noosa
I'll be drinking the Yuzu Chu we made last year with the last of the season's yuzu citrus. It's been sitting in the cellar maturing so it'll be perfect in time for summer. It's a mix of fresh yuzu, shochu and local honey left to macerate and then age for six months. Shaken with ice and a sprig of Japanese menthol from our garden, it's just what I need after a long hot summer service.
Flavio Carnevale, maître d' & owner, Popolo,
I'll be drinking a cocktail created by Adam Kane, our head barman, Limone di Amalfi: two freshly squeezed lemons, crushed ice, elderflower and Hendrick's gin topped with San Pellegrino Limonata and fresh mint.
Ben Shewry, chef, Attica, Melbourne
I'll be drinking whiskey with sugar and crushed tansy leaf. Just as Jack once did.
David Swain, chef, Fino, Willunga, SA
I'll be drinking a Gillet: Lillet, gin, fresh lime and Fever-Tree ginger ale with lots of ice.
Alejandro Cancino, chef, Urbane, Brisbane
The drink for me has to be Fernet-Branca with coke - a very typical Argentine summer refreshment.
Matt Swieboda, sommelier & proprietor, Love, Tilly
I'll be drinking 2010 Albert Boxler Riesling with its ridiculous minerality and freshness from my favourite Alsace producer, as well as 2011 L'Anglore "Terre d'Ombre", which is a perfect summer red - a grenache blend that's light and aromatic with great acidity.
Tim Philips, proprietor, Bulletin Place, Sydney
I'll be drinking Tanqueray-injected Pavlova Slurpees from 7-Eleven while watching the cricket. Yes, they are really doing a Pavlova Slurpee. No, they don't really have pavlovas in them. Yes, the pavlova is from Australia, not New Zealand.
Craig Will, chef, Stillwater, Launceston
I have a lime tree in my backyard as well as a pot of mint. Two key ingredients in a Mojito.
Dave Kerr, barkeep, The Beaufort, Melbourne
Shaky Pete's Ginger Brew - a slamming combo of fresh ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice and a shot of gin, all shaken, strained and topped with Lord Nelson's Three Sheets Ale. Served up in a handle or dimple mug. We stole the drink from an old mate of the bar, Pete Jeary, from the Hawksmoor in London. Perfect to batch, get a crew round, climb on the roof and talk sh** until sundown.
Kerby Craig, chef, Ume, Sydney
This summer I've got my hands on a really nice Japanese rice lager, Echigo. It uses koshihikari, a really high-grade rice that's usually reserved for eating.
Hamish Ingham, chef, Bar H, Sydney
I'll be drinking Dr Loosen riesling from the Mosel Valley.
James Parry & Daniel Puskas, chefs, Sixpenny,
We'll be drinking beer from Young Henrys brewery in Newtown. Anything they have is delicious, but the Natural Lager and this year's Summer Ale are our favourites. Mali Williams, our restaurant manager, also got us onto Dark and Stormys - except we change the dark rum for white rum and we now make our own ginger beer.
Sven Almenning, proprietor, The Roosevelt, Sydney
This summer I'll be drinking semi-tricked-out G & Ts using homemade and spiced-up tonic water that the teams at Eau de Vie and The Roosevelt are working on, with a few drops of bitters (grapefruit bitters in a Tanqueray No. Ten and tonic, oh yes). I'm sure we'll also find room for a bit of Pimm's Cup action and Margaritas by the pool. Bring on summer.
Nick Holloway, chef, Nu Nu, Palm Cove, QLD
Not much beats a Negroni in the afternoon in the tropics. If you feel like something a bit less boozy, I'm a big fan of a jug of Pimm's and Dry with all the trimmings.
Chui Lee Luk & Ben Sears, chefs, Claude's,
Given our mutual obsession with Chinese dried medicinal herbs, how about a syrup of liquorice root, Chinese angelica, ginger root and rehmannia root sweetened with purple Fanta? Non-alcoholic and vaguely liver-cleansing.
Richard Hargreave, sommelier, Momofuku Seiobo,
I'll be drinking Romorantin, and lots of it. It's a delicious alternative to sauvignon blanc found in the Loire Valley, best when handled a little oxidatively. Julien Courtois's Autochtone from Sologne is my favourite example at the moment.
Ben Russell, chef, Aria Brisbane
I'll be drinking occasionally before midday (yes, I know, but it's strangely satisfying in the same way jaywalking is). It's only been a few years since Hendrick's gin graced our shores but it's hard to imagine summer without it. Oh, and beer in cans.
Ben Williamson, chef, Gerard's Bistro, Brisbane
I'll be drinking Lambic beers for sure. Hits the spot like nothing else. When the mood grips I'll be into Thorogoods Billy B's Dark Apple Beer - so complex yet so refreshing. Admittedly rich for a summer quaffer, but just blows me away. Loving it.
Kiren Mainwaring, chef, Dear Friends, Perth
On a hot summer's day, Mann Cygne Blanc hits the spot. Swan Valley sparkling at its best.
Jason Williams, group bars manager, Keystone Group,
I'll be drinking some fancy gin. In any way, shape or form, really, but definitely with some tonic. Perhaps an Australian gin with local botanicals. The West Winds gin from Western Australia is a great example.
Bonnie Shearston, proprietor, Public, Brisbane
I will be drinking Public's version of a Pickleback: a nip of Bulleit rye whiskey followed by a shot of pickle brine infused with gunpowder and guindillas.
Stuart Knox, proprietor, Fix St James, Sydney
This summer I'll be drinking riesling.
Matthew Bax, proprietor, Der Raum, Melbourne
I'll be home in Adelaide for Christmas, so I'll be dusting off some old Rockford Basket Press, if my old man hasn't drunk it already. What do you call that kind of evaporation? "Cheeky old bastard's share"?
Hadleigh Troy, chef, Restaurant Amusé, Perth
I'll be drinking tonic with a decent splash of Great Southern Gin from Albany, Western Australia.
Neil Perry, chef, Rockpool, Sydney
I'll be drinking lots of cold sparkling Burgundy from Joe Grilli when I fire up the barbie, and a lot of Americanos on the terrace of Rosetta.
Lennox Hastie, chef, Sydney
I'll be drinking Stone Beer from Byron brewers Stone & Wood - so named for the woodfired stones added to intensify the flavours of the brew.
Anton Forte & Jason Scott, proprietors, Shady Pines
We'll be drinking icy cold tinnies of XXXX Gold at our builder's property in Far North Queensland - well deserved after a hard day of crabbing.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - MORE DRINKS
Dan Hunter, chef, Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Vic
Maidenni, a vermouth made by the guys from Gin Palace using Sutton Grange shiraz grapes, over plenty of ice with soda.
David Moyle, chef, The Stackings, Woodbridge, Tas
Sparkling or a dry riesling.
Shannon Bennett, chef, Vue de Monde, Melbourne
The Vaucluse cocktail - a drink I discovered in the late summer in the Luberon. This elegant cocktail is a perfectly perfumed and refreshing summer beverage.
Vince LaMontagna, chef, Vincenzo's Cucina Vera,
Aperol classics and a little Sardinian mirto.
Jowett Yu, chef, Mr Wong, Sydney
I'll be drinking dry-style apple cider on ice.
Zac Ronayne, chef, Petaluma's Bridgewater Mill,
This summer I'll be drinking Campari, Choya and Knappstein lager.
Blake Coote, bar manager, Alfred and Constance,
A festive drink, super cool, really refreshing and easy to make for summer entertaining: watermelon and Champagne cocktail.
Luke Burgess, chef, Garagistes, Hobart
I'll be drinking sparkling grillo.
Jock Zonfrillo, chef, Penfolds Magill Estate, Magill,
Mostly Champagne, as well as the new 2012 Cellar Reserve Adelaide Hills Semillon from Penfolds.
Nick Bennett, chef, Trocadero, Melbourne
My wine of the moment is François Chidaine Montlouis Les Tuffeaux, 2008 (chenin blanc). But summer drinks for me are always Pimm's and Negronis, and I love real Japanese beer.
Sean Connolly, chef, The Morrison, Sydney
I'll be drinking pear cider and an Italian sparkling red dessert wine from Bologna called Brachetto d'Aqui.
Joel Valvasori-Pereza, chef, Lalla-Rookh, Perth
I'll be drinking Chalmers vermentino: a great example of a locally produced Italian varietal from Heathcote, Victoria. Served chilled, it goes great with dishes like scampi buzara or even a simple fritto misto di pesce.
Pablo Tordesillas, chef, Ortiga, Brisbane
I'll be drinking Navazos Niepoort '09. This is something new that is based on something old like Sherry. It's fun and refreshing.
Barry McDonald, chef, Fratelli Fresh, Sydney
I'll be drinking Bellini: white peach purée and Prosecco.
Fabio Dore, co-owner, Popolo, Sydney
I'll be drinking a mirto Mojito made with crushed ice, fresh lime, white rum, mirto rosso liqueur and mint leaf.
Philip Johnson, chef, Bistro One Eleven, Brisbane
I'll be drinking an Aperol spritzer. Also a great, refreshing way to use up the leftover Prosecco or sparkling from the night before.
Robert Marchetti, chef, Gowings Bar and Grill,
I'll probably be drinking lots of rosé as my mates from Ross Hill just made a big kegged batch for our restaurants and it's awesome.
Orazio D'Elia, chef, Popolo, Sydney
Favourite summer drink? It's hard to go past the good old fashioned Negroni.
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