by Jason Lowder July 13, 2023 5 min read
There's no better way to enjoy the sunny, warm days of summer than with a cool, refreshing cocktail in hand. Whether you're poolside, picnicking in the park, or simply enjoying a lazy afternoon at home, the right cocktail can set the mood for a perfect summer day.
Here are the 20 best summer cocktails you can make at home, sure to add some extra sizzle to your season.
Perfect for a hot day, this classic cocktail balances the sharp tang of lime, the sweet taste of orange liqueur, and the punch of tequila, all rimmed with salt for an irresistible savory touch.
Shake all ingredients together with ice. Rim the glass with salt, pour in the margarita, and garnish with a lime wheel.
Hailing from Cuba, this minty cocktail is a perfect blend of fresh, sweet, and citrus flavors. The refreshing mint, combined with zesty lime and the kick of rum, makes it the ultimate summer drink.
2 ounces white rum, 1 ounce lime juice, 2 teaspoons sugar, fresh mint, soda water.
Muddle mint leaves with sugar and lime juice. Add rum and top with soda water. Garnished with a mint sprig.
Nothing says 'tropical summer' like a Pina Colada. This creamy concoction of coconut milk, pineapple juice, and rum transports you to a sandy beach with every sip.
2 ounces rum, 2 ounces pineapple juice, 1.5 ounces coconut milk, ice, and pineapple for garnish.
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.
An Italian classic, the Aperol Spritz is a bubbly, bittersweet symphony of flavors. It's perfect for those late summer afternoons spent lounging in the garden.
2 ounces Aperol, 3 ounces Prosecco, splash of soda water, and an orange slice for garnish.
Fill a glass with ice, pour in the Aperol, followed by the Prosecco, and a splash of soda water. Garnish with a slice of orange.
This simple yet sophisticated cocktail is a quintessential summer staple. The blend of bitter tonic and juniper-heavy gin makes a crisp, refreshing beverage.
2 ounces gin, 4-5 ounces tonic water, and a lime or lemon wheel for garnish.
Fill a highball glass with ice, add the gin, top with tonic water, and garnish with a lime or lemon wheel.
A fruity delight, Sangria is a mix of wine, fresh summer fruits, and a touch of brandy. This Spanish concoction is perfect for sharing at summer get-togethers.
1 bottle of red wine, 2 ounces of brandy, various chopped fruits (like oranges, lemons, and apples), 2 tablespoons of sugar, and soda water.
Mix wine, brandy, fruit, and sugar in a pitcher. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, then top with soda water before serving.
This non-alcoholic, sweet-tart cocktail gets a sophisticated twist with the addition of fresh basil. It's a refreshing, flavorful, and visually stunning summer beverage.
1 cup of strawberries, juice of 6 lemons, 1/2 cup of sugar, 4-6 basil leaves, and soda water.
Blend strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and basil until smooth. Strain into a pitcher, add soda water, stir and serve over ice.
The Paloma is a thirst-quenching Mexican cocktail that gives the margarita a run for its money. Tequila mixed with grapefruit soda creates a refreshing and slightly tart cocktail.
2 ounces of tequila, juice of half a lime, salt for rimming, and grapefruit soda.
Rim the glass with salt, add ice, tequila, and lime juice, then top with grapefruit soda.
With its sweet, light flavor, watermelon makes a perfect ingredient for a summertime martini. It's a fun, fruity take on the classic cocktail.
1.5 ounces vodka, 1 ounce watermelon juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup, and a slice of watermelon for garnish.
Shake vodka, watermelon juice, and simple syrup with ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of watermelon.
A southern classic, the Mint Julep is a refreshing cocktail with a heavy hit of mint and the warmth of bourbon.
2.5 ounces bourbon, 6-8 mint leaves, 1/2 ounce simple syrup, crushed ice.
Muddle mint in the simple syrup, add bourbon. Fill glass with crushed ice and stir until the glass becomes frosty.
A fresh, vibrant cocktail that's as beautiful as it is delicious. Blackberry liqueur and gin come together to create a fruity, slightly tart summer sipper.
2 ounces gin, 1 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce blackberry liqueur, blackberries for garnish.
Shake gin and lemon juice with ice. Strain into a glass, drizzle blackberry liqueur over top, garnish with fresh blackberries.
A traditional British summer cocktail, the Pimm's Cup is a fruity, spicy, and slightly sweet cocktail. It's an ideal choice for a garden party or picnic.
2 ounces Pimm's No. 1, 3 ounces lemonade, various fruits and mint for garnish.
Mix Pimm's and lemonade over ice in a tall glass, garnish with mint sprigs, strawberries, cucumber, and orange slices.
As beautiful as a summer sunrise, this cocktail blends sweet, citrus, and a little sour, creating a layered, multi-flavor experience.
2 ounces tequila, 4 ounces orange juice, 1 ounce grenadine, and a slice of orange for garnish.
Pour tequila and orange juice into a glass over ice. Add grenadine, which will sink to the bottom to create a sunrise effect. Stir before drinking.
Brazil's national cocktail, the Caipirinha is a tart and sweet cocktail with a nice kick from the cachaça (a spirit similar to rum).
2 ounces cachaça, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 lime cut into wedges.
Muddle lime and sugar in a glass. Fill the glass with ice and add cachaça. Stir well.
A refreshing and revitalizing cocktail, the cucumber cooler is a vodka-based drink that's perfect for a hot summer day.
2 ounces vodka, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 1 ounce simple syrup, 3 slices of cucumber, and a slice of cucumber for garnish.
Muddle cucumber slices, lime juice, and simple syrup. Add vodka and ice, shake well. Strain into a glass over ice and garnish with cucumber slice.
So, there you have it - 15 of the best cocktails to create and enjoy in the comfort of your own home this summer. Each of these refreshing drinks brings its own unique blend of flavors and aesthetics, certain to suit any occasion and any palate.
Whether you're hosting a summer barbecue, lounging by the pool, or simply relaxing on a sunny afternoon, these cocktails are the perfect addition to your summer days.
Remember, the key to a perfect cocktail is quality ingredients and a bit of love, so pour generously, stir gently, and sip slowly to savor every last drop of these summer refreshments. Cheers to a beautiful, sunny season!
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