It’s summertime…and the sippin’s easy. As the temps climb, so does the need for an icy drink.
While I’m all for a tall glass of water or lemonade, sometimes downtime calls for a boozy beverage. That’s why I rounded up seven of my favorite simple summer cocktails to keep you cool all season long.
So, pick your poison, then check out my curated collection of crowd-pleasing concoctions… Because a cool drink is a necessary summer accessory.
I was seeking a metaphor. Failing to find one, I chose a cocktail.
– Rose Norris Correia
Cucumber Lemonade (Gin)
- 2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
- 4.5 oz. cucumber purée
- cucumber slice as garnish
Start by making cucumber purée. Blend 3 inches of cucumber with 1 oz. of fresh lemon juice and 1 oz. of sugar syrup. Sugar syrup is made by combining one cup of hot water with one cup of sugar. Stir to dissolve. Let cool and decant into a small bottle. You can use this syrup for up to one month.
To make the cocktail, mix all ingredients together, shake well, and serve over ice. Add the cucumber slice garnish to suit.
Shark Infested Water (Rum)
- 2 (12-ounce) cans seltzer
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1/2 cup white rum
- 1/4 cup blue curacao
- Lemon rounds, for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine seltzer, lemonade, rum, and blue curacao. Fill glasses with prepared ice cubes, pour over punch, and garnish with a lemon round.
The Third Man (Bourbon)
- 1 1/2 ounces Blanton’s bourbon
- 1 ounce of grapefruit juice
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce Campari
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice until chilled. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass; garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Blackberry Sage Splash (Tequila)
- 2 ounces Don Julio tequila
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)
- 3 large blackberries
- 8 sage leaves
- 2 cane sugar cubes
In a large cocktail shaker, muddle blackberry, sage, and sugar. Add tequila, grapefruit juice, and crushed ice. Shake well, then pour everything into 12-ounce rocks glass, julep cup, or mason jar. Garnish with sage and serve. Or, if you prefer a cleaner drink, strain into a glass over crushed ice.
French Martini (Vodka)
- 2 ounces Tito’s vodka
- 3/4 ounce of pineapple juice
- 1/2 ounce Chambord
Add all ingredients to a shaker tin and shake with ice. Double strain with a strainer and a fine strainer into a chilled coupe glass.
The Summer Sage (Rye Whiskey)
- 6 slices red plum, as ripe and juicy as possible
- 4 to 5 sage leaves, stems removed
- 1/4 to 1/2 ounce simple syrup (more for a sweeter drink, less for a more pronounced whiskey taste.)
- Splash (about 1/8 ounce) fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ounces Bulleit Rye Whiskey
Add the plums, sage, and simple syrup to the bottom of a shaker, and muddle (or smoosh vigorously with the back of a spoon) until the plums form a nice mush. Fill the shaker with ice and add the lemon juice and whiskey. Shake and then double strain into a cocktail glass.
- 8 ounces of tequila
- 24 ounces of a Mexican Beer – Corona, Modelo, or Dos Equis
- 12 ounce can of frozen limeade
- ice cubes
- slices of limes as garnish
- salt for rimming glasses
Fill pitcher with ice and pour in the frozen limeade, tequila, and light beer. Toss in a couple sliced limes as a garnish and stir it up. Pour into a salt-rimmed mason jar.
And, a must-have BONUS cocktail, because I’m a Champagne Snob…
Watermelon Sparkler Punch (Champagne)
- 24 ounces of gin
- 24 ounces watermelon juice
- 12 ounces lemon juice
- 12 ounces agave nectar
- 1/4 of watermelon in small melon balls for garnish
Mix gin, juices, and nectar in a large pitcher stirring well to combine and ensure agave liquifies with other contents. Refrigerate the juice mixture at least 3 hours to chill. Fill Champagne flutes half-way with juice and then top with Veuve Clicquot Champagne.