32 Summer Cocktails Perfect for July Fourth
Cherry Berry Cocktail
This vodka cocktail is berry bliss. Garnish with a handful of your favorite berries skewered on a cocktail pick or straw.
The Salty Dog
Say goodbye to screwdrivers, you've just found your new favorite brunch cocktail. It doesn't get much better than this perfect blend of vodka and grapefruit juice.
Sweet and tart meet vodka in this refreshing holiday cocktail.
If fresh strawberries aren’t quite at their peak in your market, go ahead and substitute thawed frozen berries. Muddling thoroughly is essential here: The more the berries break down, the more color and flavor they’ll release into the drink. If you’re not a gin fan, vodka or bourbon will work, but we like the subtle fragrance of juniper and other aromatics that gin introduces to the mix. Rickeys are often served alcohol free, and are every bit as refreshing, so omit the gin entirely, if you like.
Perfect for any spring or summer gathering, this bubbly, refreshing rosé sangria is as easy to make as it is to sip. The fruity base of berry puree and vodka could easily be prepped ahead of time and chilled so that all that’s left to do is pour in your sparkling water and rosé right before serving. You could even prepare the sangria in single portions for more of a custom cocktail feel, having a small amount of puree, vodka, and fresh fruit ready to go in glasses when guests arrive; then, simply top each off with bubbly as needed. To switch things up, you could also substitute fresh peaches and/or raspberries in place of the strawberries used to create the puree. Try freezing some of the fresh fruits you plan to include (such as grapes and berries) beforehand in order to keep the beverage cool.
Boozy Lavender Lemonade
Refreshing lemonade gets a delightful floral twist with lavender-infused vodka. Use your Magical Butter Machine to create this simple flavored booze in just an hour, making this recipe perfect for last-minute parties. It serves a crowd, so be prepared to share. Outside of the context of the big-batch, fizzy lemonade cocktail we've made here, the lavender-infused vodka also makes for an excellent homemade gift.
Big-Batch Bloody Marys
Making bloody Marys for a big crowd doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole brunch or tailgate playing bartender for everyone. Our big-batch recipe makes enough for 10 people and frees you up to enjoy the party. Set out these Big-Batch Bloody Marys in a large punch bowl or glass dispenser with your choice of garnishes next to glasses and a bucket of ice and let everyone help themselves. Even better, you can make this cocktail ahead. You can prepare the mixture up to two days in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; reserve the vodka and stir it in before serving.
This effervescent, nonalcoholic mocktail refresher offers the perfect balance of floral, tangy, and sweet flavors. If you’d like to turn it into a tipple, try adding a splash of gin or vodka. While we call for dried lavender, if you have access to fresh, steep a few sprigs of it in place of the dried herb—and garnish each drink with a fresh sprig, too, for a lovely, fragrant touch. You can make the syrup and cucumber-lime mixture up to a day ahead; stir in club soda just before serving.
Fruit juices and vodka are all you'll need for this beachy cocktail. Now all you need is a tropical island!
Cherry-Basil Lemonade Spritzers
Instead of the fluorescent cocktail-cherry garnish, fresh cherries take center stage in this refreshing lemon-and-vodka sipper. Macerating the cherries in sugar helps to soften their thick skins and release their juices, which become gorgeously syrupy in the pan.
Rocket Booster Cocktail
This slushy drink blends vodka with Campari and Tang to create a delicious balance of bitter and sweet in a single sip. So refreshing, it's just what you need to keep cool on sun-kissed, summer afternoons.
Lemon Drop Shot
These delicious shooters go down a little too easy, so make sure to pace yourself!
Basic Jello Shots
You may be tempted to use straight vodka, but don't! By using flavored vodka instead of regular, you can create delicious flavors that actually make Jello Shots taste good! Imagine that.
Suggested flavor pairings:
Strawberry-lemonade: Strawberry gelatin with lemon-flavored vodka
Very Berry: Cherry gelatin with berry-flavored vodka
Limeade: Lime gelatin with watermelon-flavored vodka
Lemon Berry Blue: Berry blue gelatin with lemon-flavored vodka
Looking for more inspiration? Check out 20 Cheap Drinks to Make at Home next.
Strawberry Hibiscus Cooler
With or without the vodka, this sweet-tart drink deserves a spot at brunch.
Easy Margaritas for a Crowd
Look no further than these large-batch margaritas when you're hosting your next big fiesta and can't spend hours juicing limes. This margarita recipe is a revelation--the secret ingredient is a can of frozen limeade concentrate which, once emptied, doubles as a measuring cup for the remaining ingredients. These margaritas are strong, slightly (but not overly) sweet, and have the perfect note of orange flavor. Oh, and did we mention there's beer involved? We prefer to serve in a large glass drink dispenser with plenty of limes on the side.
Break out the punch bowl for a sparkly, citrusy, pineapple punch fun for crowds of all ages. This also makes a great spiked punch; simply subsitute seltzer chilled vodka.
This fruity beer cocktail falls somewhere between a shandy, a margarita, and a radler. Serve with citrus slices and a half-salted rim, if you'd like, or omit the salt for a straight-up refreshing sipper.
Summer Melon Rosé Sangria
For a playful presentation, use a melon baller to scoop the fruit into bobbing orbs.
Cucumber-Lime Infused Gin and Tonic
Make the gin mixture ahead or let stand at room temp 3 hours.
Raspberries and strawberries really brighten up the flavors in one this berry cocktail. Serve it up at a party for a perfectly summery and refreshing sip.
Sugars 18g (est. added sugars 17g)
Marionberries, an exceptionally juicy, slightly tart blackberry variety developed by Oregon State University, are perfect for this fizzy summer refresher. You can also use regular blackberries.
Try a new twist on a classic margarita with watermelon and mint flavors.
Sparkling Elderflower Lemonade
Elderflower liqueur is sweet, delicate, and floral, like nectar from a spring bouquet.
Sweet Heat Arnold Palmer
The trick to layering beverages is to add liquids to the glass in order of most to least dense. We put most of the sugar into the lemonade (the denser liquid), so be sure to swirl before swigging.
Grapefruit Elderflower Cocktail
Elderflower is the hidden treasure in this rum-spiked take on the traditional Salty Dog.
Strawberry and Watermelon Punch with Lime and Tarragon
You can buy strawberry puree or make it yourself: Blend 16 ounces thawed frozen strawberries in a food processor. Strain through a fine sieve; discard seeds. Serve this refreshing punch with or without alcohol.
Boozy Cherry-Basil Lemonade Spritzers
Instead of the fluorescent red cocktail garnish, fresh cherries take center stage in this refreshing sipper. Macerating the cherries in sugar first helps to soften their thick skins and release their juices, which become gorgeously syrupy in the pan. Make the basil and ginger-infused syrup up to a week ahead and refrigerate. Leave out the vodka for a virgin beverage, or try a floral gin if you’re not a vodka fan. If fresh cherries are unavailable, try frozen sweet cherries. For a little more flair in each glass, garnish with a lemon wedge and some extra fresh cherries in addition to the basil sprigs.
Cherry-Basil Lemonade Spritzers
This recipe originally appeared on Cookinglight.com.
Jungle Juice Mimosas Are Frat House Fancy
You might know Jungle Juice by one of its many other colorful aliases—Trashcan Punch, Hairy Buffalo, Hunch Punch—but you understand the gist. It's usually made in large batches in either a cooler or a (hopefully clean) trash can, involves the cheapest available booze, and is most commonly found at college parties. It's basically a method to get a large crowd of people quite drunk very quickly, one that might not hold as much of an appeal once you don't go for the sugariest or cheapest drink on the menu. Indeed the very smell of Everclear mixed with fruit-punchy Kool-Aid powder might send you right back to your freshman year. But here is something you may not have considered: Jungle Juice makes a greatmimosa.
Our recipe here is an amalgam of our pieced-together college memories, but this would probably work with any kind of frat elixir that you could come up with. We opted for a mix of peach schnapps, Everclear, Budweiser, and both Tang (because breakfast) and Kool-Aid mix, plus a smattering of fresh cut fruit, soaked overnight in true college dirtbag style. Then you take your Solo cup, or stemware, or mason jar, or coffee mug, fill it about a third full of Jungle Juice and top with cheap sparkling wine so it's suddenly transmogrified into a semi-respectable brunch beverage. As our associate editor Maxine put it, "I'm mad at how much I like this."
It's way better than it deserves to be, but beware: it's also pretty lethal. You can always dilute it somewhat by actually making Kool-aid rather than adding the mix directly to the alcohol. But where's the fun in that?
Jungle Juice Mimosa
White Peach Sangria
Instead of a traditional red sangria, make a refreshing summer version with white wine and fresh peaches.
There's nothing more indulgent (and, we hate to say it, practical) than a big, boozy bowl of punch for a brunch! Punch is always a fancy to-do; moreover, it can quench the thirstiest crew. Sure, you could blow the bank on organic fresh-pressed guava nectar and a bottle of Dom, but our Paradise Punch is simple and still seriously tasty!
The original version of this cocktail hails from Harry's Bar in Venice. Our rendition substitutes strawberries for the traditional peaches. You can prepare the strawberry base up to one day ahead. Make sure to give it another spin in the blender just before mixing the cocktails.
The Pop Rocket
Add a little pop, twist, and fizz to your Independence Day celebration with this sweet and sour cocktail. The Pop Rocks rim is like a firework show in your mouth, and it's guaranteed to make your guests smile. Reach for this red, white, and blue raspberry cocktail to keep you refreshed and satisfied all Fourth of July long.