Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Summer

11 Essential Cocktails to Try in July

Fruity, refreshing and fun.

London Lemonade
London Lemonade Image: / Tim Nusog

Midsummer drinking is a special sort. You’re looking for fruity and refreshing cocktails to help you beat the heat. These 11 cocktails will provide inspiration for your summer sipping, spanning from drinks to mentally sweep you off to a tropical island to ones as easy as stirring together two ingredients in a glass. From a classic Banana Daiquiri to a sparkling punch served in a mini watermelon, these cocktails will quench your thirst all month long.

  • Banana Daiquiri

    Banana Daiquiri / Tim Nusog

    Take a mini trip to the tropics with this sweet spin on the Daiquiri. Unlike the icy blender drink of cliche beach bars, this take hews closely to the classic shaken form of the cocktail, adding crème de banane liqueur to the traditional formula of rum, fresh lime juice and simple syrup. The true beauty of this recipe lies in its versatility. We recommend testing it with different kinds of rum until you find the one that speaks to you.

    Get the recipe.

  • New New York Sour

    New New York Sour / Tim Nusog

    This twist on a New York Sour is going to become your new go-to. Instead of floating red wine on top of a sour like in the traditional recipe, this gets a similar rich-tart flavor and beautiful color from a mix of gin, Combier, sour cherry cordial and lemon juice. The combination is given a quick shake, then topped with a dash of club soda for a dash of lightness and fizz.

    Get the recipe.

  • Rum Punch

    Rum Punch / Tim Nusog

    If you’re looking for something you can make once and not worry about for the rest of the night, try out this scalable punch recipe. Light and dark rum add a double hit of tropical boozy flavor to pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice and grenadine. Make enough for a single drink or a batch big enough to last the evening—the choice is up to you.

    Get the recipe.

  • Whiskey Smash

    Whiskey Smash / Tim Nusog 

    If you like Mint Juleps, you’ll love the Whiskey Smash. Even those who say they don’t like whiskey won’t be able to resist this refreshing blend of bourbon, lemon, mint and simple syrup. Serve over ice, garnished with a mint sprig for maximum enjoyment.

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • El Chapo

    El Chapo cocktail

    Ben Clemons

    Homemade strawberry-infused Aperol is the ingredient you never knew you needed. Once you’ve made a batch, you can easily combine it with gin and grapefruit beer whenever you’re in the mood to sip one of these sweet-tart concoctions. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh strawberry slices for an extra punch of color and flavor.

    Get the recipe.

  • St-Germain Cocktail

    St-Germain cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This tall sipper is a perfectly breezy and unique way to make good use of that bottle of St-Germain you have hanging around your bar cart. The floral notes of the spirit combine well with your choice of white or sparkling wine, while a club soda topper and a lemon wheel help to keep everything light enough to enjoy with brunch or in the afternoon sun.

    Get the recipe.

  • Rhubarb Fix

    Rhubarb Fix

    Looking for something summery and ultra-refreshing? Mix up one of these. The combination of gin, manzanilla sherry, homemade rhubarb syrup and lemon juice walks the sweet-sour balance beam, while a mint sprig provides the perfect herbaceous garnish.

    Get the recipe.

  • Lava Flow

    Lava Flow cocktail / Tim Nusog

    What’s a July party without a tropical-vacation-inspired concoction? Just as fun to prepare as it is to sip, this cocktail is actually two drinks in one. First, two kinds of rum are blended with strawberries, and then banana is separately blended with coconut cream and pineapple juice. The two mixes are layered together to create one delicious glass of lava. 

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Beet Rose

    Beet Rose cocktail
    J. Bespoke

    If you’re looking for a way to sneak farm-fresh veggies into your booze, look no further. Grab some beets at your local farmers market (they’re in season) and shake the juice with vodka, lemon juice, mint and ice. Strain it all, then top with prosecco for a drink that will let you take your vitamins in a refreshing yet boozy manner. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Sparkling Watermelon Punch

    Sparkling Watermelon Punch / Tim Nusog

    What’s better than a cool slice of watermelon on a hot July day? A glass of this refreshing punch. A hollowed-out mini watermelon is a festive vessel for pureed watermelon and mint, vodka and lime juice. Top it all with sparkling wine for a little extra fizz and flavor. To serve, just stick a straw straight into the watermelon.

    Get the recipe.

  • London Lemonade

    London Lemonade / Tim Nusog

    Summer and lemonade are a classic pairing, so it’d be a shame to not work the sweet-and-sour drink into your summertime cocktail rotation. Kick back and relax with this simple and delicious recipe that takes your childhood favorite and adds a special twist. It really couldn’t be easier—just stir gin and fresh lemonade with ice and garnish with a lemon wheel. 

    Get the recipe.