Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Summer

11 Essential Cocktails to Try in June

These are the cocktails you want to be drinking under the sun.

Aquavit Buck
Aquavit Buck Image: / Tim Nusog 

Summer is here, and it’s time to celebrate the arrival of long sunny days with a good cocktail or two—ideally light, refreshing and maybe even sessionable, allowing for drinking through the afternoon well past sundown. From fruity new favorites to time-honored classics and fun takes thereon, we’ve rounded up 11 drinks for imbibers of every taste to enjoy outside in the season’s warm weather.

  • Grilled Pineapple Mojito

    Grilled Pineapple Mojito

    Jimmy at the James

    Give your Mojito even more of a summery flair with this fruity variation. If you find yourself grilling this month, throw some pineapple chunks on along with your meats and veg. The fruit will bring the classic combo of rum, fresh lime juice and mint to a whole new level when added to the mix.

    Get the recipe.

  • Nui Nui

    Don the Beachcomber's Nui Nui

    Jeff "Beachbum" Berry

    Prep cinnamon-infused and vanilla-infused simple syrups ahead of time so you can make this beachy drink whenever the mood strikes. They bring a hint of sweetness and spice to lime juice, orange juice, rum, allspice dram and bitters to make an irresistibly complex tropical cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • Spring Fever

    Spring Fever

    Motel Morris

    If you still haven’t gotten the last of your spring fever out, make a batch of these. Rosé wine shines when shaken with elderflower syrup, fresh lemon juice, strawberries and rhubarb bitters. Serve in a wine glass garnished with a lemon wheel, preferably outside on a sunny day.

    Get the recipe.

  • Aperol Spritz

    Aperol Spritz / Tim Nusog

    This classic took over the cocktail world (and Instagram) a few summers ago, and it’s back for your warm weather enjoyment this year. The simple mix of prosecco, Aperol and soda water is easy to throw together at a moment’s notice. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Canchánchara

    Canchanchara / Tim Nusog

    Rumored to be the oldest cocktail from Cuba, this little-known refresher is about to be your new favorite. White rum, fresh lime juice and honey are shaken together, then poured over ice and topped with soda water. For authentic presentation, be sure to serve it in a clay mug.

    Get the recipe.

  • Re:Birth

    re:birth cocktail

     Reilly Drew

    Tartaric acid solution isn’t a common ingredient in bars or at home, but one sip of this cocktail will make the case for adding it to your regular rotation. When mixed with blackberry sage tea syrup, brandy, sake and chamomile liqueur, you’ll get a herbaceous and perfectly balanced drink.

    Get the recipe.

  • Lounge Chair Afternoon

    Lounge Chair Afternoon / Tim Nusog

    Pink port’s natural sweetness is highlighted in this sessionable cocktail. Mix the port with añejo tequila, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and tarragon simple syrup for a drink to sip while lounging under the sun.

    Get the recipe.

  • Paloma

    Paloma / Tim Nusog

    Not quite in the mood for a Margarita, but still want something that’s sweet, sour and full of tequila? We’ve got you. This classic mix of tequila, lime juice, salt and grapefruit soda is just what you’re looking for.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Elixir Bloody Mary

    Elixir Bloody Mary

    H. Joseph Ehrmann

    Step up your brunch game with this ultimate Bloody Mary. The combination of vodka, spices, hot sauce, lemon and tomato juice isn’t much different from other recipes, but a dash of Elixir Juice (a mixture of olive brine, dill pickle brine and various other pickle brines) helps to solidify this drink’s spot on your table.

    Get the recipe.

  • Spicy Margarita

    Spicy Margarita / Tim Nusog

    Nothing screams “summer” quite like a Spicy Margarita. And with this recipe, you’ll be drinking one in no time. Just muddle some jalapeño and then shake it with blanco tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur and agave syrup, then strain over ice into a salt-rimmed glass. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Aquavit Buck

    Aquavit Buck / Tim Nusog 

    If you have a bottle of aquavit laying around, try it in this herbaceous take on a Gin Buck. The spirit melds beautifully with lime juice, ginger syrup and homemade carrot cordial, and it’s finished with a dash of club soda for a touch of lightness.

    Get the recipe.