The best summer cocktail recipes are those that are cool, refreshing, colorful, and strong.
You’ll want them to taste good and give you a nice buzz without having to drink too many.
The specific flavor of each cocktail depends entirely on who’s drinking it. Some people, like me, enjoy light, fruity cocktails in the summer.
Summer Cocktails & Drink Recipes
Some like them super sweet and totally decadent. Others prefer their summer cocktails strong, simple, and understated.
Whatever type of summer drink you enjoy, this round-up has something in it for you.
Sweet, sour, bitter, or spicy – there’s a drink on this list to fit into every category.
The hardest part will be picking which one you want to try first.
When it’s summertime and hot outside, all you’ll really want is something icy cold that’ll help cool you down.
This frozen mudslide will do that and so much more.
The vanilla ice cream, ice cubes, and whipped cream will keep you cool, and the vodka, Kahlua, and Baileys Irish Cream will get you tipsy fairly quickly.
The chocolate syrup and sprinkles are purely for decadence’s sake, but hey, that’s okay, too!
Ingredients: vodka, vanilla ice cream, Bailey’s, Kahlua, chocolate syrup, whipped cream & sprinkles
If you’re looking for a classic, slushy margarita, you probably head to your local Mexican restaurant. Most of the time, they do make great ones.
However, believe it or not, Texas Roadhouse also makes a phenomenal strawberry margarita.
With this six-ingredient copycat recipe, now you’ll be able to make them, too.
Ingredients: tequila, triple sec, strawberries, limeade concentrate, sugar, salt
I love classic mojitos just as they are, so I’m always hesitant to try a fruity variety.
However, this recipe for strawberry mojitos has never disappointed me.
It has the same wonderful minty flavor that makes mojitos so amazing, and the strawberries and strawberry syrup complement the mint rather than overwhelm it.
Simply put, I love these drinks.
Ingredients: rum, strawberries, mint, lime, mint simple syrup, club soda, ice
I feel the same way about watermelon mojitos, but I have to go much heavier on the mint leaves in this one.
Otherwise, the watermelon can mask the minty taste, and that’s what makes a mojito so tasty!
Ingredients: rum, mint, watermelon, simple syrup, lime
For some people, summer just isn’t summer without a tropical cocktail filled with coconut, rum, and pineapple juice.
This one has all of that, plus lemon juice, guava syrup, and orange blossom water.
Whether you enjoy it for its tropical flavor or its floral aroma, one thing’s for sure: You will enjoy it.
Ingredients: white rum, coconut cream, lemon juice, guava syrup, pineapple juice, orange blossom water
If multiple fruit juices are more your style, you’ll love the summer sunset vodka cocktail.
It has lemonade, orange juice, cranberry juice, and peach schnapps. Plus the vodka, of course.
It’s a lovely peachy-orange color and tastes like a fruity paradise. It’s the ideal drink for sitting by the pool, enjoying the sunshine on your face.
Ingredients: vodka, peach schnapps, lemonade, orange juice, cranberry juice, ice
Despite its deep, dark, & spooky hue, this drink’s tart and tangy flavor will make you crave it all year.
There’s also a distinct mint flavor in the drink and even a light sweetness from the honey.
It’s a bold, complex cocktail that looks good, tastes great, and will have you buzzed in no time.
Ingredients: vodka, blueberries, mint, lime juice, seltzer water, lime twist
This minty green cocktail is rich, creamy, and dessert-quality sweet.
It’s simple to make, requiring only five ingredients – pineapple juice, lime juice, whipped cream vodka, Rum Chata cream liqueur, and green food coloring.
With a shaker and some ice cubes, you can have it ready in no time.
I also suggest topping it with a generous helping of whipped cream and graham cracker crumbs.
And don’t forget to “salt” the rim with the crumbs as well.
Ingredients: whipped cream vodka, RumChata liqueur, pineapple juice, lime juice, green food coloring
9. Boozy Frosé
If you haven’t heard of it yet, frosé is lightly sweetened and frozen rosé wine.
In this case, you’ll sweeten the frozen wine with strawberry simple syrup.
Then you’ll add a fourth cup of vodka and enjoy this lovely pink, cold, and slushy delight.
Ingredients: rose wine, vodka, strawberry simple syrup
10. Mint Julep
A classic mint julep is just sweetened bourbon with ice or water.
This version adds a couple of additional ingredients – lemon juice and fresh mint – and uses mint simple syrup instead of sugar.
It gives it a slightly sweeter, fresher taste overall, and it’s ideal as an after-dinner summer drink.
Ingredients: bourbon, minty simple syrup, lemon juice, mint, ice
According to my friend from Alabama, a sweet tea sangria combines two of the south’s favorite things, sweet tea, and wine.
All you’ll need to make it is sweet tea, white wine, raspberries, peaches, and mint for a garnish.
The drink gives you all the sweetness of those two southern favorites, plus an added fruitiness that’s hard not to love.
Ingredients: white wine, sweet tea, raspberries, peaches, mint
If you’re looking for a festive drink that’ll liven up your table, check out this recipe for a raspberry gin rickey.
It’s a beautiful drink. It’s mostly clear, but there are splashes of red and green from the lime and raspberries.
It’s also great for people who enjoy tart and tangy drinks instead of overly sweet ones. Finally, it’s cool, bubbly, and smooth going down.
Ingredients: gin, raspberries, sugar, lime, soda water, ice
Speaking of festive drinks, this red, white, & blue sangria is ideal for celebrating Independence Day.
It’s a blend of dry & sparkling white wines, brandy, apples, and fresh blueberries, raspberries, & strawberries.
It tastes fine, but the real excitement in this drink comes from its appearance.
The bottom is not actually white, but it’s clear, and then there’s a layer of red berries and a layer of blueberries. Gorgeous!
Ingredients: dry & sparkling white wines, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, brandy, apples, ice
This 5-minute cocktail will add a touch of simple elegance to any breakfast or brunch spread.
It contains peach juice, sparkling wine, raspberry liqueur, and sliced raspberries and peaches.
It’s fruity, tart, and has just enough alcohol to give you that friendly brunch buzz.
Pro-tip: garnish your mimosa with fresh basil leaves for a touch of sweet, minty, and peppery flavors.
Ingredients: sparkling wine, raspberry liqueur, peach juice, raspberries & peaches
15. Sex on the Beach
Sex on the beach is probably one of the most oft-ordered cocktails ever, but you’ll be surprised how few people actually know how to make it at home.
If you’re one of those people – as was I until a year or so ago – you’re in luck.
This classic cocktail is super simple. All you’ll need is vodka, peach schnapps, grapefruit (or orange) juice, and cranberry juice.
I also like to add the optional dash of lemon juice to give mine a little kick.
Ingredients: vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice
16. Planters Punch
Thanks to its lovely sunrise appearance and the two ounces of dark rum, this cool and invigorating drink will make you feel all warm and sunny inside.
It’s tangy and tropical, with just a hint of intentional bitterness to it.
If you’re looking for the best beach drink possible, this one should be on your list.
Ingredients: dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, sparkling water, grenadine
17. Dark and Stormy
This three-ingredient drink takes 2 minutes to whip up, and you won’t need pro skills to make it.
Just pour the ingredients, squeeze in some lime juice, and stir.
It’s a rich, earthy drink, but the lime juice gives it a zesty kick that livens it up a bit.
Ingredients: dark rum, ginger beer, lime twist, ice
Don’t worry; this is one lime and coconut drink that won’t give you a bellyache, and making it won’t give you a headache, either.
Simply dump all the ingredients – the cream of coconut, lime juice, coconut rum, and ice – into a blender and blend them until smooth & creamy. Easy peasy!
The drink is terrifically tropical and also pretty tart. You can also garnish it with basil leaves if you like yours with a hint of sweet & minty taste.
Ingredients: coconut rum, coconut cream, lime juice, ice
If you’re looking for quick, easy cocktails that you can whip up with a few simple ingredients, bellinis are just the thing for you.
All you’ll need are peaches and a bottle of Prosecco.
Puree the peaches, and chill the wine. Then combine them in a nice glass, and be sure to add more prosecco on top for that fizzy, bubbly look.
Ingredients: prosecco, peaches
I don’t know what it is precisely about this drink that makes me think Captain Jack Sparrow would love it.
It has plenty of rum, of course, but it’s more than that.
There’s just something very Captain Jack-esque about it.
Maybe it’s the addition of the spicy, slightly bitter ginger beer, or perhaps it’s all the tropical ingredients – pineapple juice and rings, lime juice, etc.
Whatever it is, I’ll be willing to bet this drink was served on the Black Pearl at least once or twice.
Ingredients: white rum, Campari, pineapple rings & juice, grenadine, lime juice, ginger beer
It may sound like an odd combination, but don’t hate on the cucumber margarita until you’ve tried it.
They’re salty and tart, but there’s also a delightful freshness to them that comes entirely from the cucumbers.
Plus, you can make an entire pitcher in about 5 minutes, so that’s always a good thing.
Ingredients: silver tequila, triple sec, cucumber, lime, salt, ice
22. Lemon Gin Fizz
If you love sour, citrusy drinks that are so fizzy they’ll tickle your tongue, the lemon gin fizz is the drink for you.
It’s lemony and minty. I add plenty of mint leaves to the drink, not just a few as a garnish, and it pretty much tastes like summer in a glass.
It’s also much more potent than you’d think.
Ingredients: gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, club soda, mint, lime twist, ice
23. Rum Swizzle
I know, I know! Yet another tropical-themed, rum-filled drink! I just can’t help myself. They’re so delicious, no matter how many you have.
This one is slightly sweeter than some of the others on the list, but there’s still that little kick of intentional bitterness from the rum and the grenadine.
Ingredients: dark & white rum, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine, Angostura bitters
24. Aperol Spritz
Aperol spritz is bitter but not too bitter, bubbly but not too bubbly, and orange but not too orange.
Okay, there’s a lot of orange flavor in this one, but there’s also a slight hint of vanilla.
Aperol’s natural bitterness helps tone down the orange taste, as well.
Not many people have tried Aperol spritz, so it could be an excellent option for your next get-together. It’s always fun to try something new.
Ingredients: Aperol, dry Prosecco, club soda, orange slice, ice
It doesn’t get much simpler than this three-ingredient pina colada. It covers all the essentials – coconut, rum, and pineapple chunks.
It’s the quintessential summer beach drink, and it takes only 3 minutes to make.
Ingredients: white rum, coconut milk, pineapple
26. Vodka Spritzer
This drink is fun, bubbly, and full of fruity yumminess, but don’t let the bright colors and fruit garnishes fool you; this isn’t a sickeningly sweet drink.
In fact, the vodka spritz is pretty tart, thanks to the 100% cranberry juice. It’s a crisp, fruity, and super refreshing drink.
Plus, it looks fantastic, and there are plenty of strawberries to eat when you’re done.
Ingredients: vodka, strawberries, lemon, simple syrup, cranberry juice, soda water, ice
27. Tequila Sunrise
To require only three ingredients and 5 minutes to make, tequila sunrises are almost unbelievably tasty and strong.
I have no idea how something so simple to make can taste so good and give you such a powerful kick of alcohol.
(Actually, the last part is probably thanks to the 1.5 ounces of tequila.)
Beyond that, all you’ll need is orange juice and grenadine syrup.
You can also add some orange slices and maraschino cherries for garnishes and to “pretty it up” if you like.
Ingredients: tequila, orange juice, grenadine
Looking for something light, sweet, & bubbly? Rose wine spritz it is.
Simply mix your rose wine with some Sprite over ice and stir. Voila! It’s a 2-minute drink that tastes like happiness.
Ingredients: rose wine, Sprite, ice
This recipe is for a traditional Tom Collins with a strawberry twist.
It’s a sweetly tart drink with plenty of strawberries and a lovely reddish-orange color.
In reality, it tastes a bit like strawberry lemonade, only with a little gin thrown in for good measure.
Ingredients: gin, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, soda water, ice
30. Bikini Martini
The bikini martini takes the traditional pina colada, adds a splash of grenadine for color, and then kicks the whole thing up a notch by adding vodka, as well.
It has a rich, tropical, slightly bitter flavor, and it’s deceptively strong.
It tastes so good; the alcohol will creep up on you without you realizing it. So be sure you pace yourself with these.
Ingredients: vodka, coconut rum, pineapple juice, grenadine
Frozen strawberry daiquiri blends frozen strawberries and ice into the classic cocktail to create a smooth & creamy slushie.
The combination of strawberries, sugar, and lime produces a perfect balance of sweet and tart.
The icy blend of this strawberry daiquiri also makes it ideal for hot summer days.
But don’t be fooled! While it looks innocent, this cocktail packs a punch, thanks to strong rum.
Ingredients: white rum, strawberries, lime juice, sugar syrup
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