Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Summer

11 Essential Cocktails for Your June Parties

Summer’s here, and these are the drinks you want right now.

Lagerita / Tim Nusog 

As the weather heats up, now’s the perfect time for some cooling and super-refreshing cocktails. There’s a summery drink for everyone. If you like Old Fashioneds but want a new twist for this month, try the lightly fruity yet still spirit-forward Peach Me. More of a beer fan? The Lagerita’s lime and lager flavors are calling your name. No matter what kinds of drinks you prefer, you’re sure to find a new favorite on this list.

  • Breakfast Martini

    Breakfast Martini / Tim Nusog

    Even if you’re not a morning drinker, you can still enjoy this cocktail by London bartender Salvatore Calabrese; it’s great at any time of day. Gin and orange liqueur combine with lemon juice for fresh and fruity flavors. The real twist is a barspoon of orange marmalade, which adds a rich sweetness and tartness to the cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • Vodka Gimlet

    Vodka Gimlet / Tim Nusog

    Gimlets date back to the late 18th century, when British sailors turned to limes to help keep scurvy at bay. To make their tart juice more palatable, the sailors mixed in liquor, and the Gimlet has been here to stay ever since. This popular variation swaps vodka in for the drink’s traditional gin, while keeping the usual lime juice and simple syrup, for a cleaner-flavored approach to the classic cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • Yerba Buena

    Yerba Buena cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Mojitos are a natural fit for warmer months of the year. After all, it’s hard to beat the refreshing mix of rum, club soda and lime. This spin modernizes the drink with a few key twists. First, reposado tequila is swapped in for the rum. Second, ginger beer steps in for club soda, giving the whole mix a spicy-sweet kick that’s a perfect match for the traditional mint and lime.

    Get the recipe.

  • Leeward Negroni

    Leeward Negroni at PCH in San Francisco

    Pacific Cocktail Haven

    The Negroni heads into summer with the unusual mix of flavors found in this variation from Kevin Diedrich of San Francisco’s Pacific Cocktail Haven. Gin, coconut-oil-washed Campari and pandan cordial meet in a glass rinsed with Tiki bitters, making for a tropical spin on the classic cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • London Mule

    London Mule cocktail / Tim Nusog 

    The classic Moscow Mule, a refreshing mix of vodka, lime and ginger beer, dates back to the middle of the 20th century and experienced a surge of popularity in the early 2000s. Now, variations abound, including this spin. In this recipe, the vodka is replaced by gin, mixing with the ginger beer and lime for a more botanical version of the drink.

    Get the recipe.

  • John Daly

    John Daly cocktail / Tim Nusog

    You’ll find a bit of a golfer pun hidden in the name of this drink. Most people are familiar with the Arnold Palmer, an alcohol-free combination of iced tea and lemonade. If you add vodka to that mix, you wind up with this cocktail, named for a golfer known just as much for his tendency to indulge as for his success on the golf course.

    Get the recipe.

  • Chrysanthemum

    Chrysanthemum cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Summer often calls for fruity, shaken cocktails, but plenty of options still exist for the stirred-drink crowd. This century-old classic gives dry vermouth the spotlight alongside Benedictine and a touch of absinthe. The resulting cocktail is delicate, delicious and worthy of even the most refined garden parties. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Bicicletta

    Bicicletta cocktail / Tim Nusog

    A glass of white wine often seems like the perfect summer-evening drink, and it’s perfect as the base of an aperitivo cocktail, too. Just add Campari and club soda, and you’ll have a cocktail that proves that two of Italy’s top tipples are even better when they ride together.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Bay Breeze

    Bay Breeze / Tim Nusog

    In the same family of cocktails as the Cape Codder and Sea Breeze, this combination of vodka and cranberry and pineapple juices is a summer staple, as refreshing as the breeze that blows on a seaside veranda.

    Get the recipe.

  • Peach Me

    Peach Me cocktail / Tim Nusog

    In this summery variation on an Old Fashioned, the typical bourbon-and-bitters pairing gets enhanced with peach schnapps, adding a fruity sweetness to the stirred drink. A cherry and an orange slice, muddled a la the Wisconsin Old Fashioned, add even more fruit flavor.

    Get the recipe.

  • Lagerita

    Lagerita / Tim Nusog 

    Sometimes you just want a cold beer. But you also want a Margarita. This cocktail brings together both drinks in one glass, combining the Margarita’s tequila, Cointreau and lime with a chilled Mexican pilsner for the ideal genre-bridging summer sip—salted rim optional.

    Get the recipe.