Culture & Lifestyle

Recipe List: The Best Summer Cocktails

Looking for the perfect cocktail to make your summer evening super cool? Look no further than our recipe list of the best summer cocktails. These “dranks” are sure to help you beat that summer heat! 


The margarita is an easy topper for best summer cocktail. Easy to make, this is a yummy treat that really gets you going when the sun goes down. Perfect for BBQs and garden parties alike.

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt (optional)
  • 1 wedge lime
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lime juice
  • 2 heaping teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) Cointreau or other triple sec orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) reposado tequila
  •  2 cups ice cubes
  1. Spread salt on small plate. Rub lime wedge halfway around rim of 10-ounce glass (such as double old-fashioned). Dip moistened side of glass in salt to lightly coat. Set aside.
  2. In cocktail shaker, stir together lime juice and sugar until sugar partially dissolves (about 5 seconds). Add Cointreau, tequila, and 1 cup ice cubes. Shake vigorously for 25 seconds, then strain into prepared glass. Fill glass with remaining ice cubes.

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Mint Julep

This southern gem reminds one of cool summer nights watching the lightening bugs from the front porch. A favorite among whiskey lovers, this classic cocktail can’t disappoint.

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) club soda
  • 2 heaping teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 15 fresh mint leaves, plus 5 small sprigs for garnish
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) Bernheim or other high-quality whiskey
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  1. In julep cup, stir together club soda and sugar until sugar just begins to dissolve. Add mint leaves and, using glass muddler or back of large spoon, gently press leaves into sugar syrup until slightly darkened but not completely crushed. Add whiskey, then fill cup with crushed ice and, using long spoon, stir briefly. Tuck mint sprigs into top of cup and insert short straw.

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The daiquiri is a favorite among the ladies and comes in an array of tasty flavors like strawberry and passionfruit. It’s also a great pairing for those tropical themed parties. Make a real splash with this tasty tropical treat!

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lime juice
  • 2 heaping teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) white rum
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Lime wheel to garnish
  1. In cocktail shaker, stir together lime juice and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add rum and ice cubes and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into chilled Daiquiri or coupe glass and drop in lime wheel for garnish.

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While this delicacy originally hails from Spain, it’s one of the most popular summertime drinks in the world. While this recipe serves one, it can easily be edited for larger quantities, and is perfect for large parties.


  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) brandy
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) light-bodied red wine, such as Rioja
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) club soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 apple slice
  • 1 orange slice
  1. In large wine glass, stir together brandy, orange liqueur, orange juice, lemon juice, and wine. Add ice, top with club soda, and stir briefly. Taste and stir in sugar, if desired. Tuck apple and orange slices into top of glass and serve immediately.

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This gin-based drink is sure to be a hit – even among non-gin lovers. A tasty blend of the classic spirit and cherry liqueur, this cocktail is a delicious spin on the summer cocktail.

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) gin
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) Maraska maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • garnish with maraschino cherry or pitted fresh cherry
  1. In cocktail shaker, combine lemon juice, gin, maraschino liqueur, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into chilled coupe glass and drop in cherry.

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Pimm’s Cup

The Pimm’s Cup is one of our favorite cocktails on the list and is commonly referred to around Lady Vivra as the “Grown Up Caprisun”. This cocktail is bursting with fruity flavors, and drinks more like a juice than an adult beverage.

  • About 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) Pimm’s No. 1
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ginger beer or ginger ale
  • 1 cucumber slice
  • 1 sprig fresh mint (5 to 6 leaves)
  1. Fill highball glass with ice. Add Pimm’s, then top with ginger beer, garnish with cucumber slice and mint sprig, and serve.
  2. Garnish with sliced fruit of choice, such as: apple, orange and lime.

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Want more great cocktail ideas? Find your perfect summer cocktail at Epicurious.

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