As things are heating up for the summer, try cooling down with these refreshing cocktails that are perfect for a warm day. These summer cocktails pair perfectly with the beaches, pools, and BBQs. Please drink responsibly while you sip, swim, and splash.
Strawberry Balsamic Smash
The combination of cucumber, balsamic vinegar, and strawberry gives this cocktail a unique blend of refreshing and tangy flavor. Strawberry balsamic salads are in high demand over the summer, so pairing these ingredients together makes for the perfect summer cocktail.
- 2 lime wedges
- 2 cucumber slices
- 1 fresh-hulled strawberry
- 1 tbsp simple syrup
- ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 oz gin
Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash the lime wedges, cucumber slices, strawberry, simple syrup, and balsamic vinegar in a 16-oz mixing glass or a cocktail shaker 4–5 times to release juices and oils. Add gin. Transfer to a rocks glass. Fill halfway with crushed ice, stir, then mound more crushed ice on top. Garnish with a cucumber round.
Lemon Champagne Smash
The tart flavors of lemon and rosé pair deliciously well with the freshness of the champagne and mint. Nothing says summer like crisp, fruity flavors!
- 3 oz St. George Gin
- 1.5 oz Lillet Rosé
- Mint sprigs
- Lemon slice
In a shaker, muddle the lemon with a couple sprigs of mint. Add ice, gin and Lillet Rosé. Shake for 15 seconds. Fill highball glass with ice and strain shaker contents into glass. Top with champagne. Garnish with mint and lemon.
Berry-Licious Iced Ted Red Sangria
Sangria is the soul mate for all summers. This Sangria-Iced Tea fusion cocktail pleases the palette with its delicious summer favorite ingredients.
- 18.5 oz Sweet Tea, chilled
- 1 (750 mL) bottle Red Moscato or other sweet red wine, chilled
- 2 cups berry juice, chilled
- 2 lbs. strawberries (hulled and sliced), blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries
In a large pitcher, combine tea, wine, and juice. Chill to blend flavors, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, add fruit to pitcher or divide among glasses. Pour sangria over the fruit. The sangria may be served over ice if desired.
Jalapeño-Spiked Bourbon Julep
This spicy summer concoction pairs perfectly with brunch. Its fiery flavors give your palette the kick it needs to start your morning!
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- 1 oz Jalapeño Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
- Crushed Ice
- 2.5 oz bourbon
- Club Soda
- 1 thinly sliced jalapeño round
Jalapeño Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 jalapeño peppers
For the simple syrup: in a small saucepan over high heat, combine water, sugar, and jalapeños. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes. Strain syrup; discard jalapeños, and cool syrup. Simple syrup can be refrigerated, in an airtight container, for up to 6 months.
For the cocktail: in a julep cup, pour Jalapeño Simple Syrup and add mint; gently bruise leaves with a muddler or wooden spoon. Add enough crushed ice to fill two-thirds of the cup. Add bourbon and stir gently; then add a bit more crushed ice. Top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with mint sprig and jalapeño.
Melon Berry Diablo Poptail
Who said popsicles are only for kids? Make an adult version of these summer treats with these “poptails” (more recipes can be found here)
- Half of a large honeydew
- 2.5 oz tequila
- 2.5 oz ginger beer
- 5 oz raspberrries (about 26 regular-size raspberries)
- 1.5 oz cassis
Place honeydew and tequila into a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Transfer mixture into a pitcher. Add ginger beer and stir until combined. Place raspberry and cassis in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Pour the two mixtures, alternating, into Popsicle mold, making 3-5 layers. With a Popsicle stick or small spoon swirl mixtures together in an up-and-down motion. Cover Popsicle mold with foil. Cut a tiny hole in the center of each well. Insert Popsicle stick through the hole. Place in freezer until frozen. To release popsicles, run hot water over outside of mold for 2-3 seconds.
Summer Shandy Beer Cocktail
This beer cocktail pairs perfectly with a hangover.
- 12 oz. bottle Bud Light or any pale lager
- 1.5 cups lemonade
- ½ lemon
- Cayenne pepper and salt to garnish
Rim a rocks glass with squeezed lemon and a bit of cayenne pepper and salt. Fill the glass halfway with lager, then fill to the top with lemonade. Gently stir. Garnish with a slice of lemon.