Sipping on Summer: Fresh Cocktail Recipes

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

Strawberry Summer Cocktail









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

Lemon Summer Cocktail












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
  • Champagne
  • Mint sprigs
  • Lemon slice
  • Ice

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

Berry Iced Tea Red Sangria Cocktail Recipe












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

Jalapeño-Spiked Bourbon Julep Summer Cocktail










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

Melon poptail cocktail recipe











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

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.

6 Summer Seasonings to Take your Dishes To New Heights

Adding herbs and spices to our food is a bit like making music. There’s a harmony that can be found amongst the seemingly simple flavors of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Finding the right balance between these flavors will create a dish that is both complex and delicious; producing a “wow” effect that will set your taste buds on fire.

How To Spice Up Your Summertime

Just as fruits and vegetables have seasons, so do herbs and spices. In the summertime, it is possible to add extra flavor to your favorite foods and drinks while also gaining surprising health benefits. In fact, many of these spices can fight inflammation, improve digestion, or jump-start your metabolism. Interesting in learning more? Check out the following 6 summer spices to experience the best that the summer has to offer:

  • Mint: This is one of the best summer herbs because of its cleansing and cooling properties. Mint also relieves tons of common health problems like cramps, hiccups, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Mint is a versatile herb that is easy to add into many summer meals that include meats, jellies, drinks, desserts, and veggies.
  • Cumin: Cumin is a detoxifying herb that has a soothing and cooling effect on the body. It also helps with bloating, gas, and it can even help you with your weight loss goals. Add this spice to your soups, vegetables, and grains for a spicy kick that will help you keep your svelte figure this summer.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is usually associated with the winter season and favorite treats like egg nog or spiced cider but, it can be a perfect summer spice as well. It can be used to promote weight loss, lower blood sugar and can help the body use sugar effectively. Use this delicious spice with crisp in-season apples and an iced summer drink for a refreshing change of pace.
  • Saffron: Saffron is a beautiful flower but, when used has a spice, offers tons of health benefits. For example, it helps with digestion by improving circulation to the digestive organs and also coats the stomach and colon to help relieve acidity and gas. There are even some studies that show saffron may contain anticancer and antidepressant properties.
  • Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds are a great digestion aid and they help to relieve bloating, gas, and cramps. It can also help relieve bad breath and promote good oral hygiene. When used to flavor drinks, fennel seeds can help suppress your appetite and promote weight loss; especially if the drink is taken before meals.
  • Coriander: Coriander tastes great, contains 30% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C, has a cooling effect on the body, and contains many antioxidant properties that are great for the liver. These benefits make it one of the healthiest herbs that you can eat.

The Bottom Line

There’s no excuse to serve bland food this summer; especially with the many health benefits that seasoning can offer. There are endless flavor combinations that can be achieved with herbs and spices. However, it is important to taste your food during every stage of preparation to make certain that your dish is seasoned properly and has the right balance of flavors.

Start the Summer Off Right With New, Exciting Drinks for Your Bar

Are you looking for a simple way to spice things up in your bar? Then add these two summer drink necessities to your menu: the beer cocktail and the infused vodka cocktail.

Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary with a Beer Cocktail

The beer cocktail, also known as the beertail, offers an interesting mix of complex flavors that titillate the senses. “With a little bit of beer knowledge you can learn to group beers by their flavor characteristics,” says Matt Brynildson, Brew Master at Firestone Walker Brewing Co., in Paso Robles, California.

The flavor characteristics of beer fall under one of three designations; ‘sour’, ‘sweet’, or ‘bitter.’ If you look at them as separate components and blend them with those categories in mind, you can create a variety of delicious beertails. For example:

  • Beer blends: Two or more different beers are blended together
  • Beer plus another element: Add spirits, fruits, or a combination of the two to a beer
  • Beer as a flavoring ingredient in a traditionally styled cocktail

Here are a few beertail recipes:

Black Velvet

What You Need:

  • Guinness Beer
  • Champagne (or sparkling wine)

What to Do:

Fill a tall glass halfway with beer. Pouring over a spoon into the glass, fill to the top with champagne (or sparkling wine).

Strawberrry Beer Lemonade 

What You Need:

  • 1 large 6oz bottle of beer (any Blond Ale or an American Pale Ale with notes of citrus)
  • 2 cups of strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries (about 5 strawberries)*
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

What to Do:

Add the berries, sugar, and lemon juice to a pitcher. Let the ingredients stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve. Add the beer and frozen strawberries. Stir to combine.

*Frozen strawberries are used in place of ice so that the drink does not become watered down.


Vodka Infused Recipes Are Simple, Easy, and Delicious

Another great addition for your summer drink menu is the vodka infused cocktail. This is a very refreshing cocktail that your customers will love. To help you get started, here are a couple of recipes to inspire you:

Pineapple and Lime Infused Vodka

What You Need:

  • 4 cups Vodka
  • 1 1/2 cups Pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup Lime Slices

What to Do:

Combine the ingredients in an air tight container. Seal the container tightly and refrigerate for at least three days, but not more than a week. Remove the lime and pineapple pieces and serve over ice with sparkling water.

Jalapeno Infused Vodka

What You Need:

  • 4 cups Vodka
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, sliced

What to Do:

Combine the ingredients in an air tight container. Seal the container tightly and refrigerate for at least three days, but not more than a week. Remove the jalapeno peppers and serve over ice with mango juice.

Summer sipping! Cocktails and more drink pairings for your barbecue

Jon Taffer, star of Spike TV show “Bar Rescue,” serves up some drink pairings to go with our summer barbecue favorites — because everyone knows the best part of going to a barbecue is the drinking!