What are your plans for the summer? If they don’t already involve entertaining outdoors, then you’d better reevaluate. Unless, of course, soaking up the great outdoors with a refreshing cocktail and close friends doesn’t sound like your ideal way to spend a summer day.
We found some refreshing, modern summer cocktails that don’t require much time or energy to prepare, and are perfect for the warm summer months. They make entertaining easy and will be a hit with your guests.
Cucumber Lemonade + Gin
Known for its cooling capabilities, cucumber is always nice to have on hand. For this summer cocktail, all you have to do is juice a little bit of cucumber, mix in an equal amount of lemon juice, add gin and simple syrup, and top everything off with club soda. The result is a sparkling beverage that wows and cools simultaneously. For that extra aesthetic touch, press a thin slice of cucumber against the interiors of your serving glasses. Lime can be substituted for lemon, and the gin can easily be withheld for a mocktail option.
It’s not always convenient, let alone feasible, to jet off to the Caribbean. Bringing that island life to you, on the other hand, is doable with the help of Planter’s Punch. Orange, pineapple, and lime juice form the foundation of this fruity summer cocktail. A splash of grenadine and some simple syrup give it an island sweetness. Dark rum, light rum, and Grand Marnier give Planter’s Punch its alcohol-fueled kick.
Fresh lime juice, mint, white rum, club soda, and plenty of ice make the mojito a refreshing cocktail. If a classic mojito isn’t summery enough for your tastes, give it a seasonally appropriate twist with some strawberry, lemon, or watermelon. If you’re a fan of basil, another cooling summer herb, add it to your drink or substitute it for mint.
Sangria is great for beating the sweltering heat. With seemingly endless scope to tweak recipes, you could serve this chilled wine at every gathering you have this summer. Simple sangria recipes call for just red wine, Italian soda, and a bag of frozen berries. Fresh fruit, juice, and soda can be used to alter the taste and the look of a sangria. White sangria should not be overlooked, and can be made especially summery with accents of lemon, lime, and mint.
The seeds of the basil plant are packed with nutrients. They’re also said to have a cooling effect. Bring this effect to the next level by making Todd Thrasher’s Sweet Basil Cocktail, a basil-blasted drink that sips like candy and leaves you refreshed. Fresh basil leaves, ice, simple syrup, gin, and Lillet blanc are all the ingredients you need.
Lemony Spiked Sweet Tea
This lemony spiked tea recipe adds a twist to a longtime Southern classic. This particular recipe from “Emeril at the Grill” uses golden rum, but you can also spike this refreshing summer drink with bourbon or vodka. All you need are some tea bags, sugar, water, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and your liquor of choice. Serve over ice in tall glasses and garnish with mint sprigs.
The Kentucky Derby has come and gone, but we won’t tell anyone if you drink Mint Juleps all summer long. Bourbon, mint syrup, mint, and ice are all you need to make a classic variant of this fiercely refreshing drink. If you have some bitters or fresh fruit to play with, you should definitely accent your mint juleps with orange, rhubarb, or the berry of your choice.
Oprah’s favorite drink is the Moscow mule and it just might become yours too. The ingredients are simple: Vodka, lime juice, and ginger beer. But the drink is anything but boring. If you want to add a twist try adding pomegranate for a more tart taste, strawberries to sweeten it up, or rosemary to make it earthy. Any way you go, the combination of ginger beer and lime makes a refreshing drink that’s easy to make for your guests.
Entertaining in the summer is a blast. Enjoy your company and the beautiful weather to the fullest with these fairly simple recipes for your next cocktail party.
What’s your favorite summer cocktail?
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