Best Summer Alcoholic Drinks

Karen Frazier
Sparkling 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 ingredients and garnishes to create fun alcoholic drinks that represent summer in a glass.

1. Sweet Summer Watermelon Vodka Cocktail

Watermelon comes into season in early to mid-summer, making this a refreshing alcoholic summer cocktail.

watermelon vodka cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2-inch slice of lime peel, not including white pith
  • 4 to 5 cubes of seeded watermelon
  • Seltzer water
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • Crushed ice
  • Watermelon wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. Muddle the lime peel and watermelon in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the vodka and the simple syrup, along with ice. Give it a quick shake.
  3. Strain into a highball glass half-filled with ice and top with seltzer water.
  4. Garnish with a watermelon wedge

You can vary the mix with cucumber, mint, and lime, or blueberries, mint, and lime.

2. Summer in a Glass: Frozen Alcoholic Blender Drinks

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. Try 11 different frozen blender drinks to enjoy the taste of summer.

3. Refreshing Hawaiian Cocktails

Enjoy a taste of the islands where it's summer year-round with a whole host of Hawaiian cocktails. Try a classic mai tai or another blue favorite, the Blue Hawaii.

4. Smooth Strawberry-Banana Daiquiri

This daiquiri is best when strawberries are in season; usually in the month of June.

strawberry banana daiquiri

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rum
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons simple syrup
  • Juice from half a lime
  • 2 ounces fresh strawberries
  • 2-inch section of banana, diced
  • Strawberries and lime slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and puree until well mixed.
  2. Pour into a cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with strawberries and lime slices.

You can also make your own variations by using other fruits such as raspberries and lime or strawberries and melon.

5. 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.

6. Refreshing Mint Summer Alcoholic Drinks

Fresh mint is another ingredient that's abundant in the summer, and it's bracing and refreshing, making it perfect for a number of summertime drinks. Try a refreshing mint cocktail to make the most of summer's bounty.

7. Summertime Break: The Dark and Stormy

Sometimes even the sunniest of summers 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

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • Lime wedge
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour the rum into a rocks glass with ice.
  2. Add a squeeze of lime and top with ginger beer.
  3. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Note that the drink calls for ginger beer and not ginger ale. Ginger beer has a fuller flavor with a bite that you may appreciate. Combined with the smoothness of the dark rum, it provides a refreshing way to spend a sultry, summer night.

8. Zesty Summer Margaritas

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

9. A Taste of the Tropics

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.

10. Sweet and Boozy Basil Julep

Basil comes into its full glory in the summer months, so this is the perfect fresh tasting summer twist on the classic mint julep.

Mint julep in traditional metal cup

Ingredients

  • 10 sprigs of basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • Crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • Seltzer
  • Basil leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass or julep cup, muddle the mint with the powdered sugar.
  2. Fill the glass half full with crushed ice. Add the bourbon and the seltzer and stir. Garnish with basil leaves.

11. Frozen Alcoholic Drinks for Summer

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

12. 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

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.

13. Vivid Blue Curaçao Cocktails

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.

14. Coconutty Malibu Rum Drinks

Does anything evoke summer more than a whiff of coconut? These simple Malibu rum drinks give you more than a whiff; they are filled with sweet, coconutty goodness.

15. 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
  • 1 1/2 ounces blackberry vodka
  • Crushed ice
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime wedges and blackberries for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries and lime wedge.
  2. Add the vodka and crushed ice and shake to blend.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass or mule cup half filled with crushed ice.
  4. Add the ginger beer and stir.
  5. Garnish with blackberries and a lime wedge.

16. Festive Firecracker Cocktails

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.

17. Make Your Own Vodka, Fruit, and Herb Cocktails

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

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fresh fruit of your choice

  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 10 leaves of fresh herbs of your choice

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 2 ounces vodka

  • Ice

  • Soda water

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the fresh fruit with the lime juice and fresh herbs.
  2. Add ice, simple syrup, and vodka. Shake to chill and combine.
  3. Strain into a rocks or highball glass half filled with ice. Top off with the soda water.
  4. Garnish with a few pieces of fresh fruit and a sprig of herbs.

Types of Fruits and Herbs to Try

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

The Best Cocktails Summer Has to Offer

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. Your seasonal cocktail recipes will give you a true taste of summer.

Best Summer Alcoholic Drinks