When the weather outside starts to heat up it only means it’s time for some delicious summer cocktails.
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The summertime is all about fun in the sun while enjoying that rare cool breeze across your skin that feels like everything on a hot day. And summer cocktails encapsulate this feeling with ice-cold drinks that have fun and light flavors that transports you to your favorite beach destination.
Some good mixed drinks can really take a hot, sweaty day and turn it into a refreshing time spent outdoors.
The summer drinks on this list range in flavors too so you’ll have everything from fruity to savory and everything in between.
You don’t have to have these good drinks over ice either, some of them are frozen to really cool you down on a hot day.
As the sun shines brighter and the days get warmer, you may find yourself craving a refreshing drink to cool down and unwind. Summer cocktails are the perfect way to quench your thirst and elevate your social gatherings, offering a delightful fusion of flavors and creative presentations. These delicious concoctions embrace the season’s best fruits, herbs, and spirits, ensuring your taste buds are treated to a true summer experience.
You don’t have to be a mixologist to create mouthwatering summer cocktails. With a little inspiration and a few basic skills, you can whip up incredible drinks for your friends and family in no time. From poolside parties to backyard barbecues, these tantalizing beverages are sure to impress your guests and become the highlight of any warm weather gathering.
So when you’re looking for some cool drinks to take away the heat, lean on this list of 36 good cocktails that work anytime during the summer.
You’ll find classic summer alcoholic drinks like a mojito and margarita but you’ll also find lesser known refreshing drinks like a southside fizz or limoncello.
Make note of your favorite fun drinks below so that way, when it starts getting hot, you have some recipes you can try immediately.
Enjoy the best summer cocktails below and if you really want a fun summer go ahead and try them all!
Mezcal is a smoky version of tequila and this fizz is a great summer recipe.
It will give you dessert vibes while sitting on your patio but it will also cool you down, so it’s the perfect mix.
The mojito is one of the most refreshing cocktails you could try when it’s hot outside.
It’s made with mint, lime, and rum which makes it a nice combination of flavors.
Mojitos can be made quickly so if you’re thirsty for a cold drink, try making a few of these bad boys to cool off!
There couldn’t be a drink on this list easier to make than a rum and ginger ale cocktail.
You can make these all night long and it won’t take you much time at all.
Use some high-quality ginger ale to make this drink really stand out.
The Aperol spritz is one of the best refreshing summer cocktails because it’s made with a splash of club soda and some prosecco.
The Aperol is a low alcohol content drink that gives this cocktail a nice fruity flavor and a lot of refreshing taste.
Top it off with an orange peel for added flavor and aroma but make sure to bend the peel in half and get some of the zest on top of the drink first.
The grehound is great for summer because it’s made with grapefruit juice.
And it comes in a tall glass that is perfect for holding more ice cubes, which is important when you want something cool that doesn’t get watered down fast.
You’ll love the taste of this one because it’s sweet and tart all at once and can definitely give your hangover a punch.
6. Piña Colada
Want to try one of the best summer drink recipes around?
The pina colada has been satisfying people for generations because its frozen consistency makes it one of the most refreshing hot weather drinks.
The pina colada is made with coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum.
A southside fizz is made with gin so it’s another classic cocktail that is perfect for summertime patio nights.
It’s even better when you have fresh ingredients on hand, especially fresh herbs like basil or mint just to give it an extra kick of flavor.
You can’t go wrong with a classic margarita recipe.
It’s a simple drink that is easy to make with some lime juice and some simple syrup and it packs a huge punch too.
The key to making this recipe taste great is by using fresh ingredients and squeezing the limes yourself for maximum flavor.
A Moscow mule has been around for a long time and it’s perfect for the summer months because not only does it taste refreshing but it also comes in a copper mug.
This drink doesn’t take long to make at all so feel free to bust this one out when you have some guests over.
10. Vodka Spritzer
A spritzer basically means the drink has bubbles, like sparkling water, which means it’s extremely refreshing on a hot day.
It also means this drink is lower in alcohol content…perfect for the hot weather!
You can make one easily by diluting some vodka with club soda and then adding a twist of lemon for flavor.
The berry vodka smash is made from fresh berries so it’s better to use when they are in season.
You can freeze these types of drinks but they are best served cold right after mixing the ingredients together.
If you want to switch things up, mix up the berries with strawberries, blueberries, or blackberries for a different flavor entirely.
12. Red Sangria
Sangria might not seem like the perfect hot weather drink because it has a lot of wine but when you add in some lemonade and fruit, you’ve got a great, refreshing summer drink.
If you’re looking for good sangria recipes to choose from then you can find one here.
I recommend this recipe because it’s easy to make but it also packs in major flavor with the brandy and ginger ale.
When you want a little more refreshing flavor in your margarita, try adding in some strawberry.
Fresh strawberries are going to be your best friend with this recipe because they make a great-looking garnish.
You’ll find that this works well into any margarita recipe you are already making by just adding it in at the very end of the process.
14. Tequila Sunrise
The tequila sunrise is made with tequila, grenadine, and orange juice which gives it a very refreshing fruity flavor.
It’s a more festive drink so I usually reserve this recipe for the weekend when I have more time to make it up.
The advantage of making this drink is that you can use any tequila you like but during the summer, I recommend using fresh-squeezed orange juice instead of the fake stuff.
15. Classic Daiquiri
The daiquiri is better known in exotic locations when you want a tropical drink that can cool you down.
This classic version doesn’t come frozen though and is the type of drink you sip on throughout the day.
The refreshing flavors are great for hot weather but this one takes a bit longer to make than some others on the list.
16. Vodka Tonic
The gin and tonic is one of the all-time classic summer cocktail recipes but if you don’t like gin, try this vodka tonic version instead!
The vodka tonic is made with some fresh lime juice and tonic water, but you can make homemade tonic water, which uses a lot less sugar than the store-bought stuff.
This drink is so easy to make you can whip up a couple of them in a matter of minutes.
17. Frozen Sangria
Sangria is one of the perfect hot day recipes because it goes over ice and has a ton of refreshing flavors.
But when you freeze it, there are few drinks better made for hot weather.
This Sangria tastes just like wine punch and you won’t be able to get enough once you let all the ingredients sit overnight.
18. Rosé Spritzer
When you want your spritzer to have a little more class, try this rosé spritzer recipe.
The rosé in the drink will give it a little more sophistication than using straight-up club soda, so you can serve it to guests when they come over for drinks during the summer.
This is one of those summer mixed drinks you can find in fancy restaurants but I prefer to make mine at home with less expensive wine.
Limoncello is a lemon liquor so it goes perfectly in a summertime drink.
It’s best to use limoncello spritz when you have some fresh lemons on hand or you can stick to regular ole’ vodka with just a splash of lemon juice if that is what you have on hand.
You can also use this recipe as an excuse to use your leftover poolside lemonade and turn it into a grown-up drink by adding in some limoncello.
20. Gin Basil Smash
This beautifully flavored cocktail for hot weather involves gin and fresh basil so it’s very aromatic when you drink it.
Because herbs are in season during the summer months, this drink isn’t just tasty, it’s relevant for the time too.
It’s a cheap drink too, once you get the liquor and it doesn’t take a ton of time to make.
21. Paloma Cocktail
The paloma is a grapefruit cocktail so it goes well when the heat is beating down and you want something that can help you cool off.
It’s a great one to try if you’re tired of having the same old margaritas time and time again during the summer months.
You’ll end up making a couple of these so you might as well make a big batch and stick it in the fridge for later.
22. Lillet Spritz
Lillet is a French aperitif that has been around for centuries.
It’s made from Bordeaux wines and flavored with citrus fruits and herbs like rosemary, citrus peel, and thyme.
You can make this summer cocktail by mixing lillet with some red wine and fruit juice like orange juice. It’s an easy drink to mix up and it has a distinctive, savory flavor.
23. Madras Cocktail
The madras cocktail is a tart drink made with cranberry juice, orange juice, and lime.
This cocktail was created to go with curry dishes in India but you can use it all summer long by adding this simple recipe below.
You’ll love the taste of the Indian herbs when mixed with a sweet fruit juice like orange or pineapple.
You can’t go wrong with this sweet, frozen drink because it has one of the best summer fruits in it – strawberries!
The strawberry daiquiri is made with strawberries, lime juice, and rum, which makes it very refreshing.
Some people like to make their drinks stronger than others so you can adjust this according to your own taste.
Basil goes well in any drink during the summer because it adds an herbal taste that is really refreshing.
This gimlet recipe uses basil to help balance out the strong flavors of vodka and lime juice.
Most people don’t know that you can grow basil in your garden or even indoors on a sunny windowsill so there is no excuse for not having fresh herbs to use every day.
You know it’s the summer time when you start tasting watermelon flavor in your drinks.
This watermelon martini recipe is perfect for summer because it’s refreshing and will cool you down on a hot day.
This recipe is based on the classic martini drink but instead of using vermouth, you will use pureed watermelon.
The St Germain spritz is another great hot day cocktail because it uses light ingredients that make it more refreshing.
You’ll love the way this drink makes you feel after downing one or two.
St Germain is one of the best mixers on the market and you can’t go wrong by mixing it with some bubbly or sparkling water and then adding in some lemon and grapefruit juice.
28. Whiskey Highball
A highball is when you mix liquor and a non-alcoholic beverage like juice or club soda.
This drink is perfect for summer because it’s light and very easy to make.
I like to use brown liquor in highballs but you can also try this drink with bourbon, gin, or rum. You can even add fruit slices into the glass if that’s your cup of tea!
29. Salty Dog
A salty dog is a popular summer cocktail because of the way it looks. It’s a lot like a Greyhound but uses grapefruit juice instead of cranberry.
Since this is a classic drink, you will be able to find a recipe for a salty dog in almost any drink book.
A bay breeze is a drink that is similar to a Cape Cod and it’s perfect for summer because it uses grapefruit juice.
There are some bartenders who like to add creme de cassis (black currant liqueur), but you don’t have to in this recipe since the fruity juice already has such a distinct flavor.
The bay breeze is a quintessential summer drink because not only does it taste refreshing but it looks like a summer day too.
31. Frozen Margarita
Margaritas are a classic summer cocktail but when you have it over ice the drink melts pretty quickly in the heat.
Turning it into a frozen marg will make it stay cooler longer and you’ll be able to drink it all afternoon long.
32. Gin Rickey
You make a gin rickey by mixing gin, lime juice, and club soda.
You can add a little extra sugar when making this drink so it has a touch of sweetness too. The key is that you don’t mix in the sweetener until right before you serve the drink because it will start to settle at the bottom if left for too long.
This cocktail takes less than five minutes to make and it’s always a good idea to have some on hand in the fridge when you want a light drink.
33. Sea Breeze
The sea breeze is a cousin of the bay breeze and has a similar flavor that is a little more tropical.
You can also add some cranberry juice or orange juice to make your favorite kind of summer cocktail.
The Americano is an old drink that was actually the inspiration behind the classic negroni.
This cocktail is also known as Milano-Torino because you mix Campari (from Milan) and sweet vermouth (from Turin). It’s very easy to make and you will never miss out on making this drink when you have the chance.
35. Ranch Water
This classic drink was made a long time ago when ranchers made their own concoctions while out on the range.
It goes best with some Texas Topo Chico to add some bubbly mixer to lighten this up.
36. Best Frose
The rose is the best kind of wine to have on a summer day because it’s light and it almost has a flowery taste.
Instead of having a liquid on a cold day, why not freeze your rose to create a delicious summer cocktail called a frose.
This drink will keep you cool no matter the temperature and you can even make some big batches and stick them in the freezer for when a guest needs seconds.
Our 40+ BEST Easy Summer Cocktails (+Summer Mojito)
- 2 oz white rum
- 1½-2 tbsp juiced lime
- 1½ tbsp simple syrup
- 5 mint leaves
- Club soda
- Muddle lime juice and mint in cocktail shaker.
- Add ice, rum, and simple syrup.
- Cover and shake 25 seconds.
- Strain in ice-filled tall glass.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish: Mint leaves and lime wedges
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.