Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Summer

25 Cocktails to Make This Summer

Cool down with poolside sippers, tropical favorites, and more.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade / Tim Nusog

Warmer and longer days call for fruity tropical cocktails, poolside sippers, and recipes that make the most of seasonal produce like peaches, watermelons, and even tomatoes. These are the drinks you’ll want to sip throughout the summer.

  • Sweet Tea Smash

    Sweet Tea Smash / Tim Nusog

    Sweet tea is a summertime staple. This boozy take on the classic from New York City’s Please Don’t Tell combines unsweetened iced tea with Tennessee whiskey, the Italian liqueur Strega, sugar, lemon, and mint. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Miami Vice

    Miami Vice cocktail / Tim Nusog

    What happens when two of the world’s most popular frozen cocktails join each other in the same hurricane glass? This fruity, delicious rum drink, which layers together a Piña Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri

    Get the recipe.

  • Mojito

    Mojito cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Cuba’s classic cocktail is a favorite at beach bars around the world, and it’s easy to see why: The refreshing mix of white rum, muddled mint leaves and sugar, lime juice, and club soda is a foolproof way to beat the heat.

    Get the recipe.

  • Boat House Punch

    Boat House Punch / Tim Nusog 

    Make this bubbly big-batch cocktail ahead of time for your summer gatherings. Julie Reiner, the owner of Brooklyn’s Clover Club, combines an oleo saccharum made from lemon peels and sugar with gin, Aperol, St-Germain liqueur, fresh citrus juices, and sparkling rosé.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • Absinthe Frappé

    Absinthe Frappe cocktail garnished with mint sprig / Tim Nusog

    You don’t have to be a tortured artist to enjoy absinthe: The anise-flavored spirit is easy to throw back when combined with simple syrup, anisette, and soda water in this cooling cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • White Sangria

    White Sangria / Tim Nusog

    This bright and bubbly punch includes dry white wine, Lillet blanc, peaches, apples, lemons, mint leaves, and club soda. Like all Sangrias, it’s riffable based on your ingredients.

    Get the recipe.

  • Averna Limonata

    Averna Limonata cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Two-ingredient cocktails are perfect for no-fuss summer sipping. This low-ABV drink is slightly more complex than your poolside Vodka Tonic, thanks to the Italian amaro Averna and a high-quality lemon soda such as San Pellegrino. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Piña Verde

    Pina Verde cocktail with mint sprig garnish / Tim Nusog

    Bar pro Erick Castro created this herbaceous Piña Colada riff at his San Diego bar Polite Provisions in the early 2010s. The combination of cream of coconut, pineapple and lime juices, and green Chartreuse has since become a modern classic.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 25 below.
  • Cheeky Peach

    Cheeky Peach cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Peach season calls for this fruity mix of vodka, peach schnapps, pineapple juice, simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters, mint, and club soda. Served over crushed ice and garnished with mint leaves, it’s the ultimate summer sipper. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Lemon Shandy

    Lemon Shandy cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Instead of cracking a cold one, mix up a tasty beer cocktail. Popularized in Europe in the early twentieth century, this equal-parts combination of lemonade and lager beer is practically made for warm-weather drinking. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Tequila Mockingbird

    Tequila Mockingbird / Tim Nusog

    Heat up and cool down at the same time: This Spicy Margarita twist from New York City bartender Greg Seider combines muddled jalapeño and watermelon, silver tequila, lime juice, and agave syrup.

    Get the recipe.

  • Reggae Rum Punch

    Reggae Rum Punch cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Ian Burrell, also known as the Rum Ambassador, created this Rum Punch riff with a funky Jamaican overproof white rum, strawberry syrup, and a blend of fruit juices. Like the classic, it’s the perfect summer party drink.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 13 of 25 below.
  • Bicicletta

    Bicicletta cocktail / Tim Nusog

    If you’re an Aperol Spritz fan, consider another beloved Italian aperitivo. This simple three-part drink combines the slightly more bitter Campari, dry white wine, and sparkling water.

    Get the recipe.

  • Tomato Spritz

    Tomato Spritz / Tim Nusog

    Make the most of tomato season with this slightly savory spritz from Katana Kitten managing partner and “director of deliciousness” Masahiro Urushido: He combines both tomato water and a cherry tomato shrub with gin, extra-dry vermouth, club soda, and prosecco. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Daiquiri

    Daiquiri cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Allegedly invented in the Cuban town of the same name in 1898 by an American engineer, the Daiquiri made its way stateside when a U.S. Navy officer brought the recipe to Washington, D.C. Although it has often fallen victim to slushy machines over the years, the original combination of light rum, lime juice, and sugar is bright, balanced, and delicious.

    Get the recipe.

  • Por Mi Amante

    Por Mi Amante cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Two dashes of Tabasco add an unexpected kick to this fruity cocktail, which also calls for strawberry-infused rum and a strawberry demerara syrup. Bonus: You can save the strawberry syrup for other summer sippers.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 17 of 25 below.
  • Mai Tai

    Mai Tai cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This famous Tiki cocktail’s name translates to “the best—out of this world,” in Tahitian, which is supposedly what the first person to try one cried out. One sip and you’ll believe the story: The combination of white and dark rums, orange curaçao, lime juice, and orgeat is irresistible.

    Get the recipe.

  • Summer Tonic

    Summer Tonic / Tim Nusog

    Think beyond your Gin and Vodka Tonics: This bittersweet rum-based cocktail combines Mount Gay rum, Bordiga Bitter Rosso amaro, lemon juice, and tonic water.

    Get the recipe.

  • Bay Breeze

    Bay Breeze cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This 1980s favorite is as easy to make as it is to drink: Build it right in the glass with vodka and pineapple and cranberry juices.

    Get the recipe.

  • Across the Pacific

    Across the Pacific cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Like its name implies, this drink from New York City bartender Meghan Dorman evokes the tropics with two dark rums, lime juice, and orgeat, with the Italian amaro Averna lending its bittersweet complexity.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 21 of 25 below.
  • Gin Buck

    Gin Buck cocktail / Tim Nusog

    The classic Buck formula includes a spirit, citrus, and either ginger ale or ginger beer, meaning you’ve tried one if you’ve ever sipped a Moscow Mule or Dark ‘n Stormy. The Gin Buck, of course, swaps vodka or rum for the botanical spirit.

    Get the recipe.

  • Cucumber, Basil & Lime Gimlet

    Cucumber Basil & Lime Gimlet / Tim Nusog

    Turn the bounty from your summer garden into a thirst-quenching drink. This Gimlet variation includes vodka, muddled cucumbers and basil leaves, lemonade, and lime juice.

    Get the recipe.

  • Island Oasis

    Island Oasis cocktail

    Tyler Zielinski

    This drink from cocktail educator and consultant Jena Ellenwood lives up to its name: A fruity mix of aged rum, coconut water, pineapple juice, and a homemade pineapple shrub will indeed transport you to the tropics.

    Get the recipe.

  • Bahama Mama

    Bahama Mama cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This mid century cocktail resembles many other tropical drinks, thanks to its blend of coconut rum, dark overproof rum, and pineapple and lemon juices. But a coffee liqueur such as Kahlúa adds unexpected depth to the mix.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 25 of 25 below.
  • Strawberry Basil Lemonade

    Strawberry Basil Lemonade / Tim Nusog

    If summer brings back memories of lemonade stands, mix up a grown-up twist on the classic. Gin, muddled strawberries and basil, lemonade, and club soda produce a drink that’s just as delightful as the original. 

    Get the recipe.