11 Cocktail Recipes Perfect for Summer
Whether you’re partying poolside, kicking back on the patio, or heating up the summer nights, we’ve got the recipes – and the goods – to celebrate summer right. What’s the official drink of summer 2016? Try them all and decide for yourself.
1. Big Batch Whiskey Punch
Image By: Bobbi Lin/Food52
Forget all that muddling, shaking, and pouring when it’s 90 degrees outside. Stir up a shareable bowl of punch for your next al fresco party and let guests help themselves. This whiskey punch recipe from Food52 calls for lemonade, club soda, whiskey, and honey simple syrup. Don’t forget party cups for easy-peasy clean-up.
2. Orange Dreamsicle Floatini
Image By: wineandglue.com
What better time than summer to reminisce about our childhoods… until we realize how much better it is to be a grown-up. Whip up a boozy version of your fave kiddo treat that’s better than the original. This Dreamsicle-inspired cocktail combines orange soda, cake-flavored vodka, and vanilla ice cream. Go back for seconds, stay up late – heck, even jump on the bed. We’re not telling on you.
3. No-Recipe Sangria
Image By: James Ransom
Reasons to love sangria: A) It works with whatever you have on hand (like that two-dollar bottle of white and leftover melon), B) You can mix up a batch the day before a bash for less stress during party time, C) Wine + summer fruits + a little fizz = heaven in a glass, D) All of the above.
4. Cucumber Lime Gin Mini Pops
Image By: CEDRIC ANGELES
This one goes out to all the cocktail haters. Who can say no to a cold popsicle on a hot day? Especially a boozy, bite-sized version with cucumber, mint, lime, and gin. This recipe from Food & Wine uses paper cups and wooden skewers to make easy-to-serve frozen treats.
5. Sparkling Shandy
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The perfect cocktail for beer lovers couldn’t be easier to make – just mix beer and lemonade in whatever proportions suit your taste. Lighter beers like lagers and pale ales work best. Shandy is super refreshing and light enough to drink all day. If you’re feeling fancy, take things up a notch with homemade sparkling lemonade.
6. Peruvian Pisco Sour
Image By: Vicky Wasik
Smooth, light, and delightfully frothy, the iconic South American drink should be a staple on your summer cocktail menu (if it isn’t already). Just whip up fresh egg whites along with pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and bitters for a totally addictive refreshment.
7. Spiked Sweet Tea
Image By: foodnetwork.com
Summer’s favorite beverage gets party-ready with a kick of bourbon, golden rum, fruit infusions – the sky’s the limit. Food Network’s recipe calls for black tea, sugar, lemon, and Southern Comfort. Serve it up with equally sweet drink accessories.
8. Melon Ball
Image By: thekitchn.com
Made with vodka, melon liqueur (like Midori), and pineapple juice, this classic cocktail is the perfect way to honor the sweet fruits of summer (psst… it makes a tasty shot, too!). This recipe from The Kitchn suggests garnishing with a skewer of frozen honeydew melon balls.
9. Peach Lemon Drop Shooter
Image By: Hiram Walker
This is one shot you’ll actually want to take. Combine equal parts orange vodka and peach schnapps and top with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve in a shot glass made of ice for a lip-smackingly sweet shooter chill enough for those steamy summer nights.
10. Grilled Citrus Margarita
Image By: DANIEL KRIEGER
Day or night, you can’t go wrong with margs. The secret to perfection? Fresh-squeezed juice. Trust us – it’s worth it. Add tequila, triple sec, and ice, and you’re summer-ready in a snap. But why stop there? Mix things up with pomegranate, blueberry, mango, or spicy peppers. Food & Wine has a marg idea for every day of the week. We love this one that uses smoky grilled lemons and limes.
11. Watermelon Bloody Mary
Image By: marthastewart.com
A little spicy, a little savory, and super satisfying – if you need an excuse for a cocktail before 3pm, look no further than the Bloody Mary. For a summery spin on the brunch classic, Martha Stewart suggests adding fresh watermelon. Or, try a Bloody Orange Maria with a splash of orange juice and tequila instead of vodka. And for garnishes? Go big or go home.