This post is from last year but I wanted to freshen it up as here in Charleston it is porch and patio season and the cocktails are flowing. I keep referencing this post any time I have friends over, so I updated it with a few new favorites.
The inspiration behind this post was when a member (hi Jessica!) wrote into the Facebook group with a question:
“Does anyone have an easy, go-to summer drink? I’m not a big fan of beer or white wine and red doesn’t do it for me in the summer so I’m venturing into liquor (which I’ve found is usually just ok). I’ve done vodka, la croix, and lemonade and liked that so I’m looking for more drinks like that; minimal ingredients and easy to mix. I saw Simply watermelon lemonade on the grocery store website and thought about adding that to my next order. Any favorites you’d like to share?”
The comments were amazing. There were over a hundred great ideas, at least! I thought it would be fun to consolidate my favorites into a post. I bookmarked this post and refer to it all summer long when I need a little summer entertaining inspiration.
Your Favorite Summer Cocktails
Before we get into your suggestions for the best summer cocktail recipes, one of my favorite things to do is make a big pitcher of Aperol Spritzes, pictured above! The recipe is simple – lots of ice, a cup of Aperol, two cups of Prosecco, and three cups of seltzer! EASY and delicious (and yes, I usually use orange slices not lemons but I didn’t have any oranges on hand. I actually find the lemon was nice – it cuts the sweetness a bit!). An Aperol spritz makes for such a refreshing summer cocktail. Light and refreshing and just delicious.
I don’t drink alcohol but these sound so yummy! Thanks for sharing!❤️✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
you’re welcome! A lot of these could be great sans booze!
I’ve been experimenting by making homemade simple sugar for drinks. It’s one part water, one part sugar and just boil it until you get the thickness you want. I’ve also been adding some fruit slices (whatever I have in the house) and juice while it boils to give it some flavor. I make a bunch at once and keep it in the fridge in a mason jar. Then I just add my liquor and plain sparkling water. Easy and delicious!
Ah I love that and I do that too! I made a ginger simple syrup the other day for my ginger margaritas and it was so good. These spritzers sound amazing!
YAY I can’t wait for all the summer cocktails to come x
Lisa | lisaautumn.com
Apparently you are supposed to put an olive in your Aperol Spritz! A friend told me that and I looked it up…and it’s true!
What!? I’ve never heard of that, and I used to work with the brand!!!
I do this not with Aperol Spritzes, but with my favourite- Amaro Spritzes! Replace the aperol with an amaro (such as Montenegro) and combine with sparkling water and sparkling wine (I prefer cava because it’s a bit more dry). Garnish with a good olive and a lemon rind. So good!
Ooh that sounds delicious!
wait, younger’s instagram did an IGTV with Diana and she mentions the olive! Also just a great video. https://www.instagram.com/p/B_2jLABDYlk/
So wild! I cant imagine it tasting good but I’m intrigued!
Yum! These are great suggestions. My cocktail of choice lately has been:
2 oz. Ketel One Grapefruit Rose vodka
4 oz. ginger ale
12 oz. can of grapefruit seltzer (don’t pour it all in at once, just top off as needed to make the drink last longer, lol)
Big squeeze of lime
Oooh that sounds so yummy! Thanks for the rec!
Ranch water is a super Texan thing IMO 🙂 My husband lives for Topo Chico and that cocktail is definitely a go to for summer or really anytime. This list is super creative and has so many liquors and mixers I’ve never even heard of – bookmarking it for the next virtual happy hour!
I love it! I am definitely planning to make it this summer.
I discovered Ranch Water in Dallas in January and we were all cracking up at the table at the name. So good and a great drink!
So it sounds like a Texas thing for sure. I’m excited to try making it – I love the name and think it will be funny to serve on my Brooklyn patio, ha ha!
Thank for posting my favorite easy cocktail—tequila, la croix, splash of OJ or pineapple! For anybody who likes a bit of acid or heat, add some Trader Joe’s chili lime seasoning to the top!
OH I love that, such a fun twist!
Great stinks, loved them.
Texas representing with the Ranch Water!
I am sooooooo curious and excited to make Ranch Water now, hahahaha
I’ve been drinking lots of John Dalys. I make sun tea with Lady Grey teabags. Fill a large glass about 3/4 of the way with the tea, add juice of a whole lemon, sugar to taste and a shot and a half of vodka. Throw in a couple of ice cubes to keep it nice and chilly!
Oh that sounds delicious, and now I want to make sun tea!!!
I love Aperol spritzers! It’s become my go-to Happy Hour drink. When I was in Venice last year I became newly addicted. I did sometimes get one served with an olive( It’s an Italian thing)At home I use whatever citrus I have on hand. Been taking care of my dad more often and he has gorgeous citrus trees! Lucky us ! I also love a whiskey sour, my own version: 3 to 4 oz lime/lemon juice, 2 oz of whiskey or bourbon ( I like Jameson, but use whatever you prefer) simple syrup to taste. Sometimes I use Torani lime. Double rocks glass filled with ice. All these sound lovely
They are so delicious!!!! Thanks for the ideas!
Also recently made the Smitten Kitchen piña colada. I had some open coconut milk so I used that and it was plenty sweet. I didn’t need the sweetened coconut milk or coco lopez. I did add lime. It’s mostly pineapple so pretty healthy as cocktails go.
Oh my gosh yum – love a pina colada!
During quarantine I discovered how easy it is to make a “smash” type cocktail. Simple syrup (I make my own and also make flavored or honey versions) + 1-2 oz tequila / rum / vodka + lime juice. Shake with ice, pour into a glass and top with seltzer, or a fizzy (alcoholic) cider.
Yum! That sounds so good.
I feel famous! Haha. Glad so many people are getting enjoyment from my post. I saved all of the ideas on a note on my iPhone and have referenced it a few times already!
Hahahaha, love it!
I love a good cocktail! Finally tried a Negroni thanks to you and will be whipping them up again soon!
My Style Vita
YES, the best!!!!!
And in the summer, I think it’s great to have a Negroni Spritz. Cuts down some of the alcohol as a Negroni is so strong.
LOVE a negroni spritz, you are so right!!!
I am so trying the Fresquila! So simply so easy!! May add some fresh lime juice to that to cute some sweetness in the Fresca!! I love this post, Grace. It is just what we need right now! Cheers!
It sounds SO good! Cheers!
Am a big fan of Lillet – rose with grapefruit seltzer or white with Limonada, it’s low in alcohol which I like for day drinking although a splash of gin, vodka or sparkling wine can easily kick it up.
I love that idea. I have no tolerance these days so LOVE a low alcohol drink or a spritz!
I just tried making a margarita, but swapping the tequila for bourbon and it was awesome! Less burn-y in the chest as it goes down.
Oh YUM! That sounds really good… kind of like a New York Sour, almost?
My go-to cocktail for the past year has been a Bee’s Knees. Super simple!
2 oz. gin
1 oz. lemon juice
3/4 oz. honey syrup (easiest way to make honey syrup is to fill a shot glass half full of honey and half full of water, then stir until it’s well mixed)
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well, strain into a glass. Done!
Oh yum, that sounds delicious!!!! THANK YOU.