10 Best BBQ Cocktails for a Sunny Summer Cookout

Published February 17, 2022
couple bbq and cocktail

When summer days are rich in sunshine and a cool breeze, there is no better time for a BBQ. A barbecue calls for cold drinks, so consider a few summer BBQ cocktails for you and your friends. Whether you're grilling up some burgers or ribs, consider these to be some of the best cocktails for your BBQ.

BBQ Cocktails for a Crowd

If you're planning a backyard hangout, don't spend the entire BBQ behind a cocktail shaker. Instead, mix up these crowd pleasing drinks in a pitcher so your guests can pour their own cocktails.

Summer Sangria

Serve up a few grapefruit-forward glasses of refreshing sangria. This recipe makes about ten servings.

pouring wine for Sangria

Ingredients

  • 750mL pinot grigio
  • 12 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 6 ounces elderflower liqueur
  • 4 ounces orange liqueur
  • 3 grapefruits, cut into slices
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add ice, pinot grigio, grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, orange liqueur, and grapefruit slices.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Serve in glasses over fresh ice.

BBQ Rum Punch

There's nothing better than a glass of rum punch on a day worthy of bbq. Serves 4.

rum punch for bbq

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces light rum
  • 3 ounces dark rum
  • 8 ounces pineapple juice
  • 4 ounce orange juice
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces cherry liqueur
  • Ice
  • Cherries and orange slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a punchbowl, combine light and dark rums with pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, and cherry liqueur. Stir well.
  2. Add ice and float cherries and orange slices on top.

Pimm's Cup

A light and easy cocktail, you can add a splash of coconut rum or lemon vodka to add a little kick to yours. Makes 4 servings.

fresh Pimms cup cocktail cucumber strawberry

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Pimm's
  • 2 ounces passion fruit juice
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger ale to top off
  • Cucumber wheel, strawberry slice, and orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a pitcher, add ice, Pimm's, passion fruit juice, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with ginger ale.
  4. Garnish each glass with a cucumber wheel, strawberry slice, and orange wheel.

Best Summer BBQ Cocktails to Beat the Heat

Chill out with these delicious summer sippers that make the perfect complement for BBQs smoky flavors.

Mojito

Few drinks are more reinvigorating than the crisp, minty flavor of a mojito in the summertime.

mojito cocktails on wood table

Ingredients

  • 5-7 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Mint leaves and lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves with a splash of simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, rum, lime juice, and remaining simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks or highball glass over fresh ice.
  5. Top off with club soda.
  6. Garnish with mint leaves and lime wedge.

Frozen Margarita

Take your summer bbq to the next level with a frozen cocktail. And what's more classic than a frozen margarita in the sunshine?

frozen margarita

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1½ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce agave
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 cup ice
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In a blender, add ice, tequila, lime juice, agave, and orange liqueur.
  4. Blend until smooth or desired consistency.
  5. Pour into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wheel.

Shady Lemonade

The only thing shady about this lemonade is the tree you're sitting under while you sip this cocktail.

shady lemonade cocktail

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces lemonade
  • 2 ounces orange vodka
  • 1 ounce honey liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, lemonade, orange vodka, and honey liqueur.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Spiced Mint Julep

You might most closely associate the mint julep with the Kentucky Derby, but it makes the perfect summer-long cocktail, especially when you're the one grilling. However, this riff calls for a splash of ginger to liven things up.

Spiced mint julep cocktail

Ingredients

  • 6-8 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce ginger liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves with a splash of simple syrup.
  2. Add bourbon, ginger liqueur, and remaining simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass or julep cup over crushed ice.
  5. Garnish with mint sprig.

Watermelon Splash

Maybe you don't have a pool to go with your bbq--no worries. The watermelon splash takes care of that.

watermelon splash cocktail

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces watermelon vodka
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • Ice
  • Watermelon wedge and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, watermelon juice, watermelon vodka, lemon juice, and elderflower liqueur.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with watermelon wedge and mint sprig.

Smokey Paloma

Maximize your smokey bbq flavors by using mezcal instead of silver tequila in this updated paloma.

smokey paloma cocktail grapefruit wedge garnish

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces mezcal
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit soda to top off
  • Grapefruit wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, mezcal, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Top off with grapefruit soda.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

Backyard Colada

Make your piña colada stand out with flavored pineapple rum.

backyard colada cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces pineapple rum
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce almond liqueur
  • Ice
  • Pineapple leaf for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, pineapple rum, cream of coconut, pineapple juice, lime juice, and almond liqueur.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball or hurricane glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple leaf.

Easy, Breezy Summer BBQ Cocktails

Skip the beer cooler in favor of a refreshing and buzzworthy cocktail for your bbq. Whether you go for a classic riff or put a spin on a favorite cocktail, there's no reason not to complete your bbq with a beautiful and tasty cocktail.

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10 Best BBQ Cocktails for a Sunny Summer Cookout