You'll want to try all of these refreshing summer cocktails at your next summer party or weekend backyard hang! Try a new drink with vodka, gin, or another favorite liquor.
While I love a nice glass of red wine or a bourbon cocktail, when I think of summer drinks, I think of chilled white wine, mojitos, gin, and margaritas. These light, refreshing flavors pair so well with in-season fruit, herbs fresh from the garden, and a hot summer day.
I prepared a roundup of some of the most delicious cocktails to try once the weather is warm. When it comes to summer cocktails, vodka and gin drinks seem to be the most popular, so I focused on these two categories and included a third list for drinks with other alcoholic beverages such as tequila, rum, and wine. Maybe you'll find your next favorite drink!
🧊 Cocktail Supplies
You'll need a few cocktail making supplies to get started making these drinks!
You'll need a cocktail shaker for all of your shaken (not stirred) drinks! Many of them come with a few accessories to get you started.
While you can muddle fruit and herbs with a spoon, the rivets on a true muddler really get in there to release the oils and juices from whatever you're muddling.
If you're just getting started and need all the supplies, a cocktail set is the way to go! With this one, you'll get a shaker, jigger, spoon, strainer, corkscrew, ice tongs, bottle spouts, and even an ice cube tray that makes large circular cubes so your ice doesn't melt fast.
If you only get one set of glasses, I'd recommend highball glasses. They're incredibly versatile and great for sipping on hot summer days.
For all of the different types of glasses—margarita glasses, martini glasses, etc—check your local thrift store! The shelves are chock full of glassware. You can get a full set of glasses without breaking the bank or mix and match if you don't need an entire set of each type of glasses. Besides, who has that kind of cabinet space?!
- You can make many of these drinks in large batches to serve a crowd! Leave the ice and garnishes on the side and add them in when serving.
- Mixing up your own cocktail creations is so much fun! If you don't have all of the ingredients for the cocktails, try coming up with your own variations.
- Have you ever made your own infused vodka (or other liquor)? You can infuse vodka with fruit, herbs, spices, and more! Get started infusing vodka with Homemade Cucumber Vodka and Hibiscus Vodka.
Listen, I'm not the biggest fan of vodka. It doesn't have a flavor and it feels like its only purpose is to add alcohol content to a flavorful drink.
However, I might change my tune after checking out these drinks! These summer cocktails with vodka are full of fruity flavor with unique additions like coconut or rambutan. If you're a vodka lover or just looking for a vodka cocktails, give one of these recipes a shot (haha, get it?)!
This cucumber mint mojito is made with homemade cucumber-infused vodka, fresh mint leaves, and muddled lime and cucumber slices. It's a great spin on a classic mojito while letting the cucumber flavor shine.
Fresh raspberries and lime make this drink a zesty twist on a vodka soda. You can use regular vodka or raspberry vodka for extra flavor.
Grapefruit and rosemary is a match made in summer! This grapefruit vodka cocktail is muddled with fresh rosemary, which gives the blush pink drink a lovely herbal flavor.
Have you ever had rambutan? It has a spiny red exterior with a fruit inside that tastes similar to lychee or grapes. This tropical cocktail is made with rambutan, rambutan juice, and vodka.
Get a taste of the tropics with this passion fruit coconut martini! The drink is made with coconut vodka (such as Malibu), fresh passion fruit, and vanilla vodka.
You can make your own vanilla vodka the same way you'd make vanilla extract—by steeping vanilla beans, but only for a couple of days. Find the full instructions for homemade vanilla extract here and remove the beans once the vodka has a light vanilla flavor.
🍸 Gin Drinks
I love me a good gin and tonic, but gin is so much more versatile than the classic G&T. Gin pairs well with so many flavors—herbs, fruit, savory drinks (like dirty martinis), and more!
These summer cocktails with gin are so colorful and make use of fresh summer herbs.
An aviation cocktail is a classic drink made with gin, lemon, maraschino cherry juice, and crème de violette, which gives the cocktail its signature purple color and a floral taste. Despite having "crème" in the name, crème de violette contains no cream or dairy.
This thyme gin fizz is made with homemade thyme simple syrup, gin, lemon, and aquafaba for a layer of foam without the egg white. You can make it with regular simple syrup, but the herbal simple syrup gives it an extra somethin' somethin'. You can even save it for adding to cold brew coffee!
What list of summer gin cocktails would be complete without a gin and tonic? This recipe doesn't stray too far from the classic with lime wedges and a bit of fresh mint.
This gorgeous floral cocktail gets its purple color Empress 1908 gin, which is a handcrafted gin made with botanicals in British Columbia. One of the ingredients is butterfly pea flower, which has a blue tone that changes based on pH. If you add acidity to the drink, such as lemon, it changes to a violet shade.
In addition to the violet color, floral notes, and lemon, this cocktail is shaken with pear preserves.
This truly unique cocktail combines gin, sake, grapefruit, and ginger root for a combination of herbal, tart, and spicy. This drink belongs on the menu at a fine dining spot.
🥂 Other Alcohol
It's not summer without margaritas, chilled wine, and fresh fruit and herb garnishes!
Try a variation on the classic margarita, mix up some rum and passion fruit, and give one of these cocktails a try.
You can't go wrong with passion fruit and rum! This tropical daiquiri is made with both passion fruit juice and fresh fruit, and garnished with flowers.
Tamarind is my favorite margarita flavor, especially when it has a salt and chile rim made with Tajín! It's sweet, tart, salty, and earthy and makes a great margarita mix for parties.
Fresh basil is one of my favorite parts of summer and I'm always looking for new ways to use it. Basil and lemon are absolutely delicious together, which makes this limoncello drink the perfect cocktail to sip on while you spend the afternoon relaxing outside.
These wine popsicle cocktails are pure fun! Add your favorite popsicle flavor to chilled white wine, toss in some fruit and herbs, and you basically have sangria. The flavor and color of the popsicle melts into the wine as you drink it and it functions as ice.
Chilcano de maracuva, or pisco passion fruit cocktail, is a Peruvian cocktail made with passion fruit, pisco, ginger beer, and bitters. Yum! Pisco is a type of South American brandy enjoyed in Peru and Chile in mixed drinks such as this one and the pisco sour (similar to the whiskey sour).
Hopefully you've found a drink (or three!) to try from this list of refreshing summer cocktails. Happy Summer!