35+ Refreshing Summer Drinks
This is the cocktail recipe to serve on the hottest days of the year. Cucumber and watermelon, two of the most hydrating foods on the planet, make this homemade drink for summer the ultimate thirst-quencher. Dress up each glass of white wine sangria with a few watermelon balls, cucumber slices, and lime slices to give a hint at the flavors to come.
Grilled Peach Whiskey Smash
Here's one of our favorite DIY summer drink tricks: grill stone fruit to add to the mix. It brings out the natural sugars and gives a nod to one of the best warm weather pastimes (barbecuing!). Each serving of this basil-scented bourbon drink includes a whole small peach.
These blender beverages were inspired by Mexican restaurants in Austin that draw crowds in with their creamy, dreamy drinks. With avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime, they showcase everything you love about guacamole in a sweeter, sippable package. Rather than plain salt, rim the glasses with chile-lime salt for a fitting kick.
Strawberry Gin Slushies
Gin and juice gets a slushy spin in this icy, easy summer drink recipe. With strawberry sorbet and pureed fresh berries, the double dose of fruit eliminates the need for any additional sugar. Once you've mastered the base recipe, try the same ratio with any flavor of sorbet and chopped fruit.
If you don't own a juicer, you can whip up these healthy summer drinks in your blender. Just pour the mix through a sieve before serving so the spinach smoothies are sippable.
Tip: If the melon doesn't make it sweet enough for you, add a spoonful of honey.
Guava Lemonade Fizz
Guava, a tropical fruit that's remarkably rich in vitamin C, is the star in this refreshing summer vodka drink. Whether you make one, or multiply the recipe to serve a crowd, the sparkling water-topped spritzer is sure to get slurped up quickly. (Psst: Don't forget the cherry on top!)
It's simpler than you think to make your own sorbet. Try it as the star (well, besides the champagne) in this fat-free fruity float recipe. That way, you can tailor the sweetness level and flavor to your palate.
Spicy Tomato Gin and Tonic
That's right, you have our permission to start your day with a refreshing summer cocktail! This gin and tonic take on a bloody mary is made for boozy brunches—and for summer. Cherry tomatoes and fresh dill, along with a hint of lime, will help you keep your cool despite a splash of hot sauce.
Blend up this easy summer drink in just 10 minutes when you're in a rush to cool off. The best part? Each hydrating glass of this coconut water mocktail counts as a serving of fruit!
Raspberry or Mango Spritz-Ade Cocktails
In this lighter, modern twist on a margarita, we cut the sweetness of the lemonade with a can of club soda. Customize the refreshing summer alcoholic drink with your favorite citrus on top of—and berries mixed into—the cocktails. Serve over ice, add a stir stick to keep the beverage well-blended, and enjoy.
Ginger Beer Shandy Floats
Rather than a root beer float this summer, try a ginger and regular beer one! For an additional grown-up touch, we start these refreshing summer drinks with muddled crystallized ginger. Freeze mason jars, beer mugs, or glasses for about two hours before building the floats to keep 'em nice and frosty for as long as possible.
Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
Muddled berries (pick any that look fresh at the market) star in this health-friendly tonic. They're mixed with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice for a tasty and healthy summer drink. For even more summer spirit, garnish with fresh basil or mint.
Rosé Cucumber Cooler
Fresh cucumbers are what your sangria has been missing. This refreshing summer alcoholic drink is proof!
Tip: Stock a bottle of St. Germain elderflower liqueur in your bar all year long to perk up any flavor of sangria.
Whole strawberries combine with zesty lime juice in this lip-puckering margarita recipe. The splashes of triple sec and tequila are sure to put a zing in your step. Try a glass with chips and guac, during taco night, or solo on the patio while soaking up the summer sun.
Sparkling Rosé Blueberry Float
Your favorite childhood drink just got an upgrade. This adult version features the perfect combo of bubbly rosé wine, icy blueberry granita, and creamy coconut gelato. The sparkling wine cuts through some of the scoops' sweetness for a perfectly-balanced homemade drink for summer.
Pink Rhubarb Lemonade
These ruby red homemade drinks for summer are perfect for the entire family. Pink lemonade and lemon-lime soda will please the kiddos, while a unique rhubarb reduction will entice the adults. Instead of a stir stick, serve each glass with a stalk of rhubarb that's trimmed to be a couple inches taller than the serving vessel.
Lime and pineapple team up for a double dose of tropical goodness in one glass! Extra flavor-boosters like a cinnamon-sugar rim and orange liqueur make these island-inspired cocktails taste like a treat. For a mocktail version, try orange juice instead of Triple Sec and ginger ale in place of the tequila.
A chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc is the base for this thirst-quenching homemade drink for summer. Toss in sliced cucumber, honeydew melon, and mint leaves. Just before you're ready to say "cheers!" top off the white wine sangria with a bottle of sparkling water.
Bourbon Mint Iced Tea
These refreshing summer cocktails mash up mint juleps and sweet tea in one party-ready punch. Orange and lemon juice, along with plenty of fresh mint, brighten the flavors in this bourbon drink. Serve in a punch bowl with an ice ring (lemon-studded if you please) or in a pitcher filled with large ice cubes.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
Hydration has never tasted better. Blended watermelon (opt for seedless to cut down on prep time) combined with lime juice, sugar, and water or club soda (the latter if you're a fizz fan!) makes a refreshing summer drink kids and adults alike can sip.
Pina Colada Smoothie
No summer vacation planned? No problem. Soft banana and juicy pineapple meet in this nonalcoholic version of the pina colada that will instantly transport you to a beach. With yogurt as the base, this tropical blended drink is nutritious enough to enjoy for breakfast.
Icy-cool scoops of sherbet give this refreshing, nonalcoholic drink a sweet finish, while grenadine and OJ pair up to create its pretty coral color. Complete this DIY summer drink with plenty of fizzy ginger ale. Kids will come running for refills!
Tequila Sunrise Margarita
All you need to make this refreshing summer cocktail is some triple sec, lime juice, and of course, tequila. A red-sugared rim gives it a fiery look. This margarita recipe is perfect for parties since you can easily stir together nine servings in one pitcher and chill until guests arrive.
The best summer drinks highlight garden-fresh herbs and produce—and this shaken cocktail does both. Honeydew and basil give the sparkling wine-topped swigs their vibrant hue. Use a vegetable peeler to create elegant, thin strips of melon to line each glass.
Summer Fruit Daiquiri
Mango, watermelon, peaches, strawberries—this icy fruit daiquiri has it all. Make this refreshing summer drink nonalcoholic for all to enjoy by substituting orange juice for the light rum.
Tip: Craving a summer cocktail in the middle of winter? Follow this same daiquiri recipe using thawed, frozen fruit (then imagine your toes in the sand as you sip).
Summer Dream Sangria
Turn a bottle of rosé wine into a batch of easy summer drinks with this sunset-color sangria. Four fruits and a spoonful of rose water make this drink fit its seasonal name. Tuck a strawberry on the rim of each wine glass for a pretty garnish and sweet snack.
There's nothing better than a lip-smacking, salt-rimmed margarita. Fill the classic tequila drink recipe with freshly squeezed lime juice to add authenticity.
Tip: Instead of standard granulated sugar, stir in superfine or powdered sugar so it easily dissolves into the cocktail.
California Debutante Cocktail
Grenadine grows up beyond Shirley Temples in this gin drink. With a dash of bitters and a hint of citrus, this pretty pink drink offers complexity and classic cocktail elements all in one.
Mason Jar Bourbonade
Need to refresh? Bourbon pairs with muddled lemon in this outrageously easy pick-me-up. These summer drinks are essentially lemonade slushies for grown-ups!
A spoonful of bitter Campari liqueur tames the floral notes of rose in this poppy-orange cocktail. Sprinkle the lemon garnish with coarse sugar to balance out the tartness. This single-serving refreshing summer vodka drink is perfect for cooling off on a scorching-hot day!
Strawberry-Coconut Cream Soda
Indulge in this soda-shoppe sip at home with the help of coconut milk, club soda, sugar, and fresh strawberry slices. Serve the mocktail in chilled glasses to keep the dessert-like drink cooler longer. Serving adults only? Add a few shots of cream liqueur (such as RumChata) to the mix.
Move aside, margarita mix. You can prep these frozen margaritas in just 10 minutes and have a batch of easy summer drinks ready to go for tomorrow's party. Come serving time, just blend, pour, and freeze!
A splash of sparkling lemonade gives these refreshing summer drinks their bubbly appeal. (Lemon-lime sparkling water works well, too, if you're watching your sugar intake.) Be sure to pour the syrup in last for dramatic color in every bourbon cocktail, then pop in a few berries for garnish.