Cool Summer Cocktails

Trade your signature drink for a refreshing summer sipper. Don't forget the tiny umbrella!

  • Mai Tai
    Photo: Nina Choi

    Mai Tai

    This classic rum-based cocktail recipe, infused with the citrus flavors of orange curaçao, orange juice, and lime juice, is the perfect drink to enjoy at the beach–or when you're dreaming of being there.

  • Kane's Peppery Bloody Mary
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Rose Nguyen

    Kane's Peppery Bloody Mary

    It's hard to beat the spicy bite of a good bloody mary on warm summer mornings. Seasoned with fresh basil, cilantro, and chives, this drink received the highest rating from Southern Living's test kitchen.

  • Garden Cocktail
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Heather Chadduck

    Garden Cocktail

    This fresh summer cocktail is a fun spin on the classic Bloody Mary.
  • <p>Watermelon-Lime Soda</p>

    Watermelon-Lime Soda

    Watermelon and lime pair beautifully in this exceptionally cool cocktail. Zingy ginger is the secret ingredient that will make people ask, "What tastes SO good in here?"
  • <p>How to Make Pisco Sour</p>

    Pisco Sour

    This creamy, frothy cocktail is best served poolside—and by the pitcher.

  • Sparkling Sangria
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Sparkling Sangria

    Flavor this cava-and-brandy-based sangria with blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, nectarine, and apricot nectar for a sweet summer cocktail that tastes as good as it looks.
  • <p>Mojito Cooler</p>

    Mojito Cooler

    Five ingredients are just a few minutes of prep time are all that stand between you and this refreshing classic cocktail.
  • <p>Blackberry Pisco Sours</p>

    Blackberry Pisco Sours

    Pisco is a South American grape brandy popular in Peru and Chile. If you can't find it in your area, feel free to substitute white tequila, grappa, or vodka. Don't be alarmed by the strength of this new classic; it's a cocktail that's meant to be sipped and savored.

  • Fritz's Sonoran Sunset
    Thomas J. Story

    Fritz's Sonoran Sunset

    Prickly pear syrup adds a sweet note to the grapefruit and tequila mixture. If your local store doesn't carry prickly pear syrup, you can order it online or substitute grenadine.
  • Pomegranate-Key Lime Vodka Cocktails
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro; Leigh Ann Ross

    Pomegranate-Key Lime Vodka Cocktails

    Marry the flavors of pomegranate and Key lime for a light, fizzy cocktail that not only looks beautiful, but also tastes delicious.
  • Ultimate Rum Punch
    Howard L. Puckett

    Ultimate Rum Punch

    Bring the flavor of the Caribbean to your backyard barbecue with this festive concoction. Golden rum and coconut rum combine with apricot brandy and the juices of pineapples, oranges, and grapefruits. Garnish this summer-in-a-glass cocktail with lime wedges.
  • Planter's Punch
    Randy Mayor; Jan Gautro

    Planter's Punch

    Welcome guests with the traditional greeting drink of the Caribbean. Use fresh juices, and let guests garnish according to their preferences–sliced pineapple, cinnamon sticks, cherries, and a sprinkle of nutmeg are a few of our favorite toppers.
  • Blackberry Cocktail
    Photo: Jim Franco; Styling: Scott Martin

    Blackberry Cocktail

    Combine fresh blackberries, cucumber slices, lime juice, gin, club soda, sugar, and fresh mint for an ultra-summery, fruity escape.
  • Honeydew Mimosas

    Honeydew Mimosas

    Use a traditional breakfast fruit as the base for this frosty sipper. Blend the melon with ice and sugar, then mix with a bottle of sparkling wine for a refreshing summer combo.
  • Tequila Mojitos

    Tequila Mojitos

    Spiff up the classic mojito by substituting tequila for rum in this guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Our online reviewers had one unanimous note: Double the recipe!
  • Blueberry Thrill
    Photo: Anna Williams; Styling: Pam Morris

    Blueberry Thrill

    Sweet blueberries infuse spicy gin for summer's most refreshing cocktail sipper. For a fizzy cocktail, pour gin, cardamom syrup, and lemon juice over crushed ice in a glass; top with chilled club soda.

  • How to Make Pimm's Cup

    Pimm's Cup

    This thirst-quenching cocktail is best suited for a summer afternoon spent poolside.

  • <p>Lemon-Mint Sparklers</p>

    Lemon-Mint Sparklers

    This refreshing summer drink is great with or without bourbon. Make a non-alcoholic batch for the kids, then use leftover simple syrup to whip up a boozy version for the adults in your crowd.
  • Basil Tonics
    Photo: Buff Strickland; Styling: Olga Naiman

    Basil Tonics

    Vodka, fresh basil, simple syrup, and tonic water are all you need for these refreshingly easy cocktails. They're also a wonderful way to use basil leaves from an herb garden.
  • Mint Julep Sweet Tea
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

    Mint Julep Sweet Tea

    This iced cocktail features combines the best of two classic Southern drinks: the mint julep and sweet tea.
  • Seaside Sunrise
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Stylist: Linda Hirst

    Seaside Sunrise

    Take it to the beach! Blend bright juices and passion fruit rum, and then top with bubbly for a tropical twist on a mimosa.
  • Limoncello Mojito
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Stylist: Linda Hirst

    Limoncello Mojito

    Combine lemon juice, mint, and Limoncello (lemon liqueur) to create this fresh summer mojito.
  • Watermelon-Jalapeno Margarita
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Stylist: Linda Hirst

    Watermelon-Jalapeño Margarita

    For a spicy garnish, combine salt and chili powder in a saucer. Dip rims of glasses in lime juice or water, and dip in salt mixture to coat.
  • Ginger Pineapple Punch (Lebouroudjee)
    Photo: Peden & Munk; Styling: Amy Wilson

    Ginger Pineapple Punch (Lebouroudjee)

    This intensely flavored punch is nonalcoholic but great as a cocktail; just add sparkling water and rum.
  • Pink-a-Colada
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Stylist: Linda Hirst


    Brighten up a refreshing cocktail with fresh fruit and edible flowers.
  • Cucumber-Mint Tequila Tonic
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Cucumber-Mint Tequila Tonic

    Cucumber-Mint Tequila Tonic is the perfect warm weather cocktail. Made with fresh mint and cilantro leaves and chopped cucumber, it's refreshing and fabulous.
  • <p>Citrus-Honey Beer Shandy</p>

    Citrus-Honey Beer Shandy

    This ultra-refreshing beer cocktail is perfect for sipping poolside, especially if you can find those mini paper umbrellas. Cheers!
  • <p>Bourbon-Peach Limeade</p>
    Photo: Dana Gallagher; Food Styling: Joyce Sangirardi; Prop Styling: Alistair Turnbull

    Bourbon-Peach Limeade

    Freeze fresh peach and lime slices on a parchment-lined pan, and drop a few into your drink for a frosty garnish.
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