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.
Others like them super sweet and totally decadent. There are even those who prefer their summer cocktails to be strong, simple, and understated.
Whatever type of summer drink you enjoy, this list has something on 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!
If you’re looking for a slushy, cold 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.
I love 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.
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!
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.
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.
The deep reddish-black color of this drink may look more appropriate for Halloween than summer, but one sip of its tart and tangy flavor will make you crave it year-round.
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.
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.
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.
10. Mint Julep
A mint julep is really 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.
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.
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.
Speaking of festive drinks, this red, white, and blue sangria is ideal for celebrating Independence Day.
You’ll make this sweet and tangy drink with dry white wine, brandy, sparkling white wine, Granny Smith apples, and fresh blueberries, raspberries, and 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.
You can also cut some whitish-yellow stars from the center of the apple slices. It’s a gorgeous drink.
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.
You won’t get drunk, and you shouldn’t have a hangover or any other ill effects.
It’s also glamorous enough to serve for more formal occasions, such as bridal showers, wedding receptions, etc.
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.
They’re 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.
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.
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.
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 – in a blender and blend them until they make one smooth, creamy drink. Easy peasy!
The drink is terrifically tropical and also pretty tart. You can add some simple syrup if you want to sweeten it up a bit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. It’s yummy.
24. Aperol Spritz
This tantalizing drink 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, and the Aperol’s natural bitterness helps tone down the orange taste, as well.
This drink isn’t one a lot of people have tried, so it could be an excellent option for your next get-together. It’s always fun to try something new.
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.
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, it’s 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.
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.
If you’re looking for something light, sweet, and bubbly, this is the drink for you.
Simply mix your rose wine with some Sprite over ice and stir. Voila! It’s a 2-minute drink that tastes like happiness.
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.
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.
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