23 Recipes For The Most Refreshing Summer Cocktails And Treats

For the pool party or simply lounging in the shade, these drinks and dishes will be a hit with everyone.

By now, you have probably already booked your big summer vacation—or perhaps a series of quick beach getaways. Either way, your calendar is set, and your travel budget is probably all used up, with a little set aside in a coffee can for when your friends inevitably call about the annual golf escape. There's only one thing that's left to figure out: How on Earth do you spend the rest of your weekends and free days this summer?

If your answer is as simple as mine, you'll be lounging poolside. Heck, you probably already are and that's fantastic. I tip my lifeguard hat to you and raise a delicious tropical cocktail in your general direction. Don't have one? You're covered with this list of simple, refreshing drinks for those lazy days when your only concern is having enough sunscreen and a playlist that'll never end.

And the first one comes from The Surf Lodge in The Hamptons, which is the perfect choice for finding summer inspiration.

The Coco Blanco

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Casamigos Blanco
  • 4 oz of Vita Coco Coconut Water
  • 0.25 oz Agave syrup
  • Lime

How to Make It:

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously with ice to chill. Strain and serve over low ice. Garnish with a lime.

Mayan Summer

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Cenote Tequila Blanco
  • 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz Elderflower liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Pineapple juice
  • 2 Sage leaves

How to Make It:

Add all ingredients into a shaker and shake it or for about 5 seconds. Serve in a cocktail glass with a sage leaf for garnish.

Oaxacan Hemmingway

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Gracias a Dios Mezcal Espadin Joven
  • 1 oz Grapefruit juice
  • 0.25 oz Maraschino liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Simple syrup
  • 2 Slices fresh jalapeno

How to Make It:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake to combine and chill. Double strain into highball glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice.

Overdrive Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Engine Gin
  • 0.5 oz Chinola Passion Fruit
  • 0.25 oz Lemon juice
  • 3 oz Mediterranean Tonic Fever Tree
  • Lemon peel

How to Make It:

Build in a glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

Motor Beezneez

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Engine Gin
  • 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz Honey syrup (1:1 honey and hot water)
  • 2 Sage leaves
  • Mist absinthe

How to Make It:

Shake all the ingredients, double strain into a Nick and Nora glass, and garnish with a sage leaf.

Sorel Americano

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Campari
  • 1.5 oz Sorel Liqueur
  • 1-2 oz Soda water, to taste

How to Make it:

Combines ingredients, pour over ice, and add a lemon or orange slice—or twist—for garnish.

Sorel Sling

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 oz Gin
  • 0.75 oz Sorel
  • 0.25 oz Cointreau
  • 0.5 oz Lime juice
  • 1 oz Pineapple juice
  • Dash angostura bitters
  • Club soda
  • Orange slice
  • Cherry

How to Make it:

Combine all ingredients, top with club soda, garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.

Sorel Sea Breeze

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Sorel liqueur
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Coconut water
  • 1 oz Pomegranate juice
  • Club soda
  • Sprig of mint
  • Lime wedge

How to Make It:

Combine all ingredients and serve over ice, top with club soda, garnish with sprig of mint and a lime wedge.

Owl Smash

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz The Wiseman Bourbon
  • 1 oz Lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz Simple syrup
  • 6-8 Mint leaves

How to make It:

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake well for one minute. Double fine strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Minke Gin Sour

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Minke Irish Gin
  • 1 oz Lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz Sugar syrup
  • 1 oz Egg white
  • Lemon wedge for decoration

How to Make It:

Add all ingredients with ice to a shaker. Shake hard. Double strain into a glass. Garnish with shaved lemon and serve.

Sweet Summer Heat

Ingredients:

  • Straight bourbon Clyde May's Whiskey
  • Sweet vermouth by @thestarlino
  • Smoked maple syrup
  • Habanero pepper extract

How to Make It:

Combine everything in a mixing glass with ice and stir well for 20 seconds. Strain over new ice and express an orange twist. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sweet summer heat.

Disaronno Velvet Batida

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Disaronno Velvet
  • 2 oz Coconut water
  • Garnish: Coconut flakes

How to Make It:

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with crushed ice. Grate coconut on top and serve with a straw.

Bayou Airmail

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Bayou White Rum
  • 0.5 oz Honey syrup
  • 0.5 oz Lime juice
  • 0.5 oz Sparkling wine

How to Make It:

Shake the first three ingredients over ice and strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with lime.

Ballotin Bourbon Highball

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Ballotin Bourbon Ball Whiskey
  • 3 oz Club soda

How to Make It:

Pour Ballotin into a Collins glass over ice. Fill with Club Soda.

Knickerbocker

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Dos Maderas 5+3 Rum
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • 0.75 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz (2:1) Raspberry Syrup

How to Make It:

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake. Double strain, using a fine mesh strainer to remove excess pulp and ice shards, into your chilled glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a half lime shell filled with fresh raspberries and serve with a reusable straw.

Bribón Breeze

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 oz Bribón Blanco Tequila
  • 0.5 oz Bauchant Orange Liqueur
  • 1 oz Cranberry juice
  • 2 oz Pineapple juice
  • 0.25 oz Lime (half a lime squeezed and dropped in)

How to Make It:

Combine all ingredients in shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with lime wedge.

Gran Centenario Frozen Melon Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Gran Centenario Añejo Tequila
  • 0.75 oz Orange liqueur
  • 1 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 0.75 oz Simple syrup
  • 0.5 cup Cantaloupe (diced)
  • 1 cup Ice
  • Garnish: Cantaloupe cube and mint sprig

How to Make It:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Pulse blend 3-5 times in 3 second intervals, while checking for consistency. Pour into a rocks glass and add garnish.

Sipsmith’s Summertime Spritz

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 part Sipsmith London Dry Gin
  • 1 part Lime juice
  • 2.5 parts Pineapple juice
  • 1 Passion fruit
  • Prosecco, to top
  • Garnish: Wedge of pineapple

How to Make It:

Add the first three ingredients in an ice filled wine glass with the insides of half of the passion fruit. Stir a couple of times. Top with prosecco. Garnish with the other half of passion fruit or a pineapple wedge, or both!

Maestro Dobel Rosa Mexicana

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Maestro Dobel Diamante
  • 0.5 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 0.75 oz Liquid Alchemist prickly pear syrup
  • 1 oz Lime juice
  • 1 Egg white or sub aquafaba, instafoam bitters

How to Make It:

Double shake and strain served up in a cocktail coupe. Garnish with an edible pansy.

Naturally Colored Blue Hawaiian

Ingredients:

  • Pinch of blue spirulina
  • Barspoon of hot water
  • 3 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz Kōloa Kaua'i Coconut Rum
  • 0.5 oz orange liqueur
  • 0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Starfruit slice or pineapple wedge for garnish

How to Make It:

In a cocktail shaker, dissolve the blue spirulina in a dash of hot water and stir well. Add the pineapple juice, rum, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, then shake well with ice. Strain into a tiki glass filled with ice, then garnish abundantly with tropical fruit and flowers.

Pink Pineapple Fizz

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz pineapple juice
  • 1-2 tsp pink pitaya powder
  • 1.5 oz Kōloa Kaua'i White Rum
  • Dash of soda water
  • Pineapple wedge for garnish

How to Make It:

In a cocktail shaker, dissolve the pink pitaya powder in the pineapple juice by stirring vigorously. Add the rum and ice, then shake well. Double strain into a tall, narrow serving glass filled with ice, making sure to remove any pink pitaya clumps. Top with a dash of soda water and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Brown Sugar Spice Rum Grilled Pineapple

Ingredients:

  • Whole fresh pineapple
  • 4 oz Kōloa Kaua'i Spice Rum
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 0.25 tsp vanilla
  • Oil of choice for grilling
  • Vanilla or caramel ice cream for serving

How to Make It:

Cut the top and bottom from the pineapple, then stand it upright and cut off the rind. Lay the pineapple back down and cut it into half-inch thick rounds. In a small saucepan on the grill (or on the stovetop, or in the microwave), heat the spice rum until warm. Stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves, then stir in the vanilla. Oil the bottom rack of the grill (or, conversely, an indoor grill pan) thoroughly; this is critical for ensuring the pineapple doesn't stick.

Brush the pineapple slices with the rum, sugar, and vanilla marinade. Grill the pineapple slices over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side until caramelized but not charred, then flip and grill the opposite side. Continue to brush the pineapple slices with the rum marinade as they cook.

Serve while still warm, topped with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle any remaining rum marinade over the ice cream.

Mojito-Infused Frozen Watermelon

Ingredients:

  • Few handfuls of fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 1.5 c Kōloa Kaua'i White Rum
  • 0.25 c fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 12 watermelon wedges with rinds
  • 12 popsicle sticks

How to Make It:

Combine the mint and sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle gently. Add the rum and lime juice, then shake well to mix. Lay the watermelon slices on a sheet tray with a rim or in several large containers. Drizzle the mojito mixture over the watermelon. Let the watermelon slices sit in the mojito mixture for at least 30 minutes or for up to several hours (if the latter, place them in the refrigerator). Flip the slices occasionally so that they all have contact with the cocktail.

Carefully cut a small slice into the center of each watermelon rind, then insert a popsicle stick into the watermelon wedge, pushing it through about half-way. Lay the slices flat on a large sheet tray (or several trays) and freeze overnight. Make sure they are not touching, otherwise they will freeze together. Use any additional mojito mixture for cocktails, adding some soda water and/or watermelon juice to taste.

Enjoy the watermelon slices frozen on a hot summer evening or at a holiday BBQ!