31 Best Summer Alcoholic Drinks for a Refreshing Time

Updated January 4, 2022
Woman having summer drinks

The perfect summer alcoholic drink is refreshing, colorful, and packed with flavor. Summertime's bounty of fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables provides plenty of opportunities to create easy warm-weather cocktails that are not only tasty but colorful and fun. Use fresh, bright ingredients and garnishes to create fun alcoholic drinks representing summer in a glass.

Sweet Summer Watermelon Vodka Cocktail

Watermelon comes into season in early to mid-summer, so it makes sense to turn it into a refreshing summer cocktail. You can vary the mix with cucumber, mint, lime, and blueberries.

watermelon vodka cocktail

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle lime wedge and watermelon.
  2. Add ice, vodka, simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into highball glass over crushed ice.
  5. Top off with club soda.
  6. Garnish with a watermelon wedge

Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

One of the true pleasures of summer is sticking a bunch of fruits and booze in a blender with some ice and making an icy, tasty blender drink.

Frozen Strawberry Margarita Mocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 1½ ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice
  • Mint sprig and strawberry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add ice, strawberries, white rum, lime juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Blend until desired consistency.
  3. Pour into cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig and strawberry.

Blue Hawaii

Enjoy a taste of the islands where it's summer year-round with a tropical cocktail.

Blue Hawaii Cocktail Punch

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce white rum
  • ¾ ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce blue curaçao
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, white rum, vodka, blue curaçao, and pineapple juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherry.

Smooth Berry-Banana Daiquiri

This daiquiri is best when berries are in season. You can also make your own variations by using other fruits like raspberries and lime or strawberries and melon.

strawberry banana daiquiri

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rum
  • ½ ounce raspberry liqueur
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 ounces fresh strawberries
  • 2-inch section of banana, diced
  • Strawberries and lime slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add rum, raspberry liqueur, simple syrup, lime juice, strawberries, and bananas.
  2. Pour into a cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with strawberries and lime slices.

Summertime Sangria

Sangria is a classic summer punch, and there are plenty of ways to make it your own. Whether you prefer white wine sangria or a classic red sangria, it's a delicious fruity combination of wine, spirits, and fruit juice that's perfect for sipping on lazy summer afternoons.

Sangria cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 orange sliced
  • 1 lime sliced
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1¼ cups rum
  • 750 mL bottle Rioja
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. In a large pitcher, add fruit slices and rum.
  2. Chill for two to four hours, or overnight.
  3. Add ice and Rioja.
  4. Stir to mix.

Refreshing Mint Julep

Fresh mint is another ingredient that's abundant in the summer, and it is bracing and refreshing, making it perfect for many summertime drinks.

Two cocktails Mint Julep

Ingredients

  • 6-7 fresh mint leaves
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, muddle mint leaves with simple syrup.
  2. Add crushed ice and bourbon.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig.

Dark and Stormy

Sometimes even the sunniest of summer days take a break when a dark storm rolls in. The dark and stormy comes from the Caribbean, and it represents the storms that blow in from the ocean on an otherwise perfect summer day.

Dark and Stormy Rum Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer to top off
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add dark rum, and lime juice.
  2. Top off with ginger beer, pouring slowly.
  3. Garnish with lime wedge.

Zesty Summer Margarita

Nothing says summer quite like sipping a chilly margarita poolside. Opt for a classic margarita or add interesting flavors to create unique summer margaritas.

Margarita On Table

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and salt for garnish
  • 2 ounces pineapple tequila
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce agave
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge 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 cocktail shaker, add ice, pineapple tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, and agave.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge.

Coconut Rum Sunrise

If you're longing for tropical breezes to cool hot summer days, but there's not a wisp of wind in sight, you can always have a cocktail that evokes a refreshing breeze instead. Classic tropical drinks and tiki drinks are just the ticket to cool down those hot, stagnant summer nights.

 Coconut sunrise cocktail on the beach

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces coconut tequila
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce grenadine
  • Ice
  • Orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, coconut tequila, orange juice, and pineapple juice.
  2. Add ice and shake to chill.
  3. Strain into hurricane or highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Slowly pour in grenadine, allowing it to sink to the bottom.
  5. Garnish with orange wheel.

Frozen Piña Colada

Of course, you can't discount any classic frozen summer cocktail. Whether it's a piña colada or an bracing classic frozen daiquiri, icy frozen drinks are perfect for beating the summertime heat.

Pina colada cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup frozen pineapple
  • 1 ounce cream of coconut
  • 3 ounces white rum
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add ice, frozen pineapple, cream of coconut, and white rum.
  2. Blend until desired consistency.
  3. Pour into cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge.

Refreshing and Delicious Hurricane

Summertime is hurricane season, and this is one hurricane everyone can agree is a good thing. It's refreshing, boozy, and delicious.

hurricanes cocktails

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce pineapple juice
  • Splash of grenadine
  • Lime wedge
  • Orange wedge and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a hurricane glass in the order given for a colorful presentation. Finish with a squeeze of lime.
  2. Garnish with the orange wedge and cherry.

Ocean Shore

Blue curaçao, a vivid blue-colored, orange-flavored liqueur, brings to mind two of the most beautiful sights of summer: the bright blue sky and the ocean. Enjoy blue Curaçao cocktails such as the Hawaii-5-0 and the Blue Dolphin.

Fresh cocktail with blue curacao liquer

Ingredients

  • 2 ounce white rum
  • 2 ounces blue curaçao
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, white rum, blue curaçao, lime juice, simple syrup, and pineapple juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice. Top with club soda.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig.

Creamy Malibu Martini

Does anything evoke summer more than a whiff of coconut?

Coconut Martini

Ingredients

  • Lemon wedge and shredded coconut for rim
  • 2 ounces Malibu rum
  • ¾ ounce cream of coconut
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lemon wedge.
  2. With the shredded coconut on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the shredded coconut to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Malibu rum, cream of coconut, and lemon juice.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.

Flavorful Blackberry Mule

August is the perfect time for picking fresh blackberries, which bring delicious flavors to a classic Moscow Mule.

Blackberry Moscow Mule summer cocktail

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh blackberries
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1½ ounces blackberry vodka
  • Crushed ice
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wedges and blackberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle blackberries and lime wedge.
  2. Add ice and vodka.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into a rocks glass or mule cup with crushed ice.
  5. Add ginger beer
  6. Stir to mix.
  7. Garnish with blackberries and lime wedge.

Festive Firecracker Cocktail

Celebrate summer's biggest party, the 4th of July, in style with red, white, and blue firecracker cocktails. These festive cocktails are sure to get your summer started with a bang.

Festive Firecracker Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce grenadine
  • 1½ ounces blue curaçao
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a collins glass, add grenadine.
  2. Fill with crushed ice.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Slowly pour down the back of a spoon, layering on top of the grenadine.
  6. Slowly add blue curaçao, pouring down the back of a spoon, allowing it to layer.
  7. Garnish with cherry.

Herbal Spritz

You can make any cocktail more special with the addition of fresh fruits and herbs.

Vodka infused cocktails

Ingredients

  • 2-3 citrus slices or ¼ cup fresh fruit
  • 1-2 herb leaves or sprigs
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Fresh herbs for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle fruit with juice and herbs.
  2. Add ice, simple syrup, and vodka.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks over fresh ice.
  5. Top off with the club soda.
  6. Garnish with herbs.

Types of Fruits and Herbs to Try

  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Melon (honeydew, cantaloupe)
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Nectarine
  • Ginger root
  • Berries
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Jalapeño
  • Cilantro

Strawberry Lemonade

A delicious summer cocktail is as simple as mixing up some lemonade and adding a little extra spirit.

Strawberry lemonade

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounce strawberry liqueur
  • ¼ ounce vanilla schnapps
  • Ice
  • Lemonade to top off
  • Lemon slice and basil sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add vodka, strawberry liqueur, and vanilla schnapps.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with lemonade.
  5. Garnish with lemon slice and basil sprig.

Fruit Spritzer

Wine spritzers are one of the quintessential summer cocktails; their refreshing light flavors best pair with sunshine and a book.

Fruit and wine spritzer

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces sauvignon blanc
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Lime and orange slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add sauvignon blanc, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with club soda.
  4. Garnish with lime and orange slices.

Summer Thyme

This tart and herbaceous cocktail is a refreshing spin on the traditional Cape Cod.

Summer Thyme Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces white grape juice
  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Thyme sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, cranberry juice, white grape juice, vodka, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with thyme sprig.

June's Gin and Tonic

Gin and tonics don't need to be average. This recipe loads the classic up with refreshing flavors.

June's Gin and Tonics

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce grapefruit liqueur
  • Ice
  • Tonic water to top off
  • Rosemary sprig and grapefruit wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice, gin, and grapefruit liqueur.
  2. Top off with tonic.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with rosemary sprig and grapefruit wedge.

A Great Pear

Few things make a better pair than whiskey and sunshine.

Refreshing pear cocktail with tonic, cinnamon and fresh rosemary on olive wooden board

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce pear liqueur
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes cinnamon bitters
  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Rosemary sprig, pear slice, and charred cinnamon stick for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add bourbon, pear liqueur, simple syrup, and bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over king cube.
  4. Garnish with rosemary sprig, pear slice, and charred cinnamon stick.

Rosé All Day

It's a well-known fact that rosé is the wine of summer, and this fizzy cocktail dresses the wine up for the best afternoon cocktail.

Pink fruit spritzer with bubbles, and a lemon wedge

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces rosé wine
  • ¾ ounce lemon vodka
  • ¼ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Lemon slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a wine glass, add ice, rosé wine, lemon vodka, and elderflower liqueur.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with club soda.
  4. Garnish with lemon slice.

Summer of '75

This spin on the French 75 uses peach flavors with some bubbles to deliver a new twist on an old favorite.

Summer of '75 Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce peach vodka
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Small peach wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a Champagne flute or coupe.
  2. In chilled glass, add peach vodka, lemon juice, and prosecco.
  3. Garnish with peach wedge.

Hidden Herb Garden

No one will suspect that this gimlet has notes of basil hiding just below the surface.

Cocktails with lime slices and ice cubes

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce basil simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, lime juice, and basil simple syrup.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with club soda.
  5. Garnish with lime wheel.

Making a Rum for Summer

White rum is a versatile spirit and isn't just for those tropical flavors.

Rum with lime

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces white rum
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Tonic water to top off
  • Mint sprig and lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, white rum, lime juice, and orange liqueur.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with tonic water.
  5. Garnish with mint sprig and lime wheel.

Strawberry Fields

This juicy and fruit-forward drink can be enjoyed as a martini or on the rocks.

Strawberry cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce strawberry liqueur
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Strawberry slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, bourbon, strawberry liqueur, and lemon juice.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with strawberry slices.

Peachy Keen Cocktail

There's nothing better than a ripe peach on a hot summer day, and this drink delivers the flavor without the mess.

Peach cocktail lemonade

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces peach vodka
  • 1 ounce white cran-peach juice
  • ¾ ounce almond liqueur
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Ice
  • Peach slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, peach vodka, cran-peach juice, almond liqueur, lemon juice, and orange juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with peach slices.

Pear Old-Fashioned

The old-fashioned isn't just for hearthside enjoyment, it's also for fireside enjoyment while you watch the sunset.

Pear Old-Fashioned

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce pear liqueur
  • ¼ ounce vanilla schnapps
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Pear slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add ice, bourbon, pear liqueur, vanilla schnapps, and bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pear slice.

Good Neighbor Lemonade

Good fences make good neighbors, and spiked lemonade makes for even better neighbors.

Glass of homemade lemonade on marble surface

Ingredients

  • Lemon wedge and sugar for rim
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce honey liqueur
  • Ice
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the rocks glass with the lemon wedge.
  2. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, lemon juice, simple syrup, and honey liqueur.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Strain into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with mint sprig.

The Coconut Grove

Take a trip to the coconut grove, where the internet is spotty, and no one can reach you. Or at least have a drink that tastes like a vacation.

Coconut Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces coconut rum
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • ¾ ounce banana liqueur
  • ¾ ounce pineapple juice
  • Ice
  • Pineapple wedge and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, coconut rum, cream of coconut rum, banana liqueur, and pineapple juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with pineapple wedge and cherry.

Bourbon Iced Tea

Sometimes you want iced tea that isn't as boozy as that other famous cocktail.

Bourbon iced mint tea

Ingredients

  • 1¾ ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce lemon simple syrup
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • Ice
  • Iced tea to top off
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, bourbon, lemon simple syrup, and orange liqueur.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with iced tea.
  5. Garnish with mint sprig.

The Lazy, Boozy Days of Summer

Done with dinner? No worries...cool down with an alcoholic ice pop or boozy grown up snow cone to finish off your supper. Summer cocktails offer you a refreshing way to cool off and enjoy the bounty of fresh produce available during the season. The addition of bright colors, delicious aromas, and fun garnishes will give your drinks a new world of sensory appeal. So whether you want beachy cocktails or fruity favorites, your seasonal cocktail recipes will give you an authentic taste of summer.

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