Cool, Refreshing Summer Drinks
Fruit-filled, kid-friendly punches and adult-pleasing cocktails are perfect treats on hot days.
Elderflower liqueur is sweet, delicate, and floral, like nectar from a spring bouquet.
Recipe: Sparkling Elderflower Lemonade
Pisco is a South American grape brandy popular in Peru and Chile. If you can't find it in your area, feel free to substitute white tequila, grappa, or vodka. Don't be alarmed by the strength of this new classic; it's a cocktail that's meant to be sipped and savored.
Recipe: Blackberry Pisco Sours
Make the Lemon-Mint Syrup a week ahead, and keep cold. Chill the club soda, too, but mix the drink just before serving to keep it nice and fizzy. Use leftover syrup to make boozy Lemon-Mint-Bourbon Sparklers for the grown-ups in your crowd, and set up a self-serve beverage station with fresh lemon and mint leaves.
Recipe: Lemon-Mint Sparklers
Served ice cold, these refreshing cocktails keep your guests cool.
- Recipe: Frozen Peach Old Fashioned
Club soda, fresh whole strawberries, and frozen daiquiri mix set these margarita spritzers apart. Serve on sultry summer days and enjoy the fizzy sweetness of these colorful cocktails.
Recipe: Strawberry Margarita Spritzers
For a light and quick poolside drink, Cava Sangria is the way to go. Refreshing and fruity, this 5-ingredient sangria has the perfect combination of flavors from the strawberries and mint leaves. After the first sip, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation.
- Recipe: Cava Sangria
Guests will love the raspberries that sit atop this festive beverage. Garnish the mixture of beer, raspberry lemonade, and vodka with lemon and lime slices.
- Recipe: Raspberry Beer Cocktail
No summertime meal in the South is complete without good ole iced tea. Glass carafes and lemon slices make an elegant presentation of this classic.
- Recipe: Marian’s Iced Tea
This kid-friendly punch makes a special treat out of lemonade mix by mixing it with the tropical flavor of pineapple juice and the bubbly carbonation in ginger ale. Serve with paper cocktail umbrellas for a fun entertaining touch.
- Recipe: Southern Breeze
Atlanta Chef Anne Quatrano’s recipe releases the flavors of summer’s fresh mint, blackberries, and cucumber into this drink. Pour the cocktail into glasses garnished with cucumber, blackberries, lime wedges, and mint sprigs.
- Recipe: Blackberry Cocktail
Juicy summer melon is even more refreshing when blended with ginger ale, limeade, and a hint of fresh ginger. Substitute watermelon or honeydew if you like.
Recipe: Cantaloupe Cooler
Lemonade and fresh mint leaves provide a flavorful fruit twist to this classic summer drink. One reader suggested adding a tablespoon of orange-flavored vodka to a glass of the drink to add a grown-up kick.
Recipe: Lemonade Iced Tea
Add fresh summer peaches and raspberries to this Southern version of the classic wine punch. Make the sangria the day before to allow the flavors to blend.
- Recipe: Carolina Peach Sangria
This simple mixture of orange juice and lemon-lime soft drink offers the refreshing bubbles from the carbonated soda with the tang of citrus juice.
- Recipe: Homemade Orange Soda
Use leftover watermelon to make this slushy summer drink. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
- Recipe: Watermelon-Mint Margaritas
Serve this adult version of kid-favorite pink lemonade in wine glasses. Garnish with fresh cranberries and citrus slices.
- Recipe: Pink Lemonade Cocktail
You can’t go wrong with the combination of two Southern summertime favorites—sweet tea and peaches. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a lunch or afternoon snack.
- Recipe: Peach Iced Tea
A mojito traditionally uses rum; here we use tequila instead, hence the fun title. Dip rims of glasses in lime juice and a mixture of equal parts kosher salt and sugar for a twist on salt-rimmed glasses.
- Recipe: Frozen Cranberry Margaritos
Lavender and mint add a fresh herb flair to classic lemonade. This recipe is perfect for lemonade stands and backyard parties alike.
- Recipe: Cool Lavender Lemonade
If iced tea is the house wine of the South, consider this our summer sangria.
- Recipe: Sweet Tea Spritzer
You'll want to make a whole batch of this citrusy spritzer. It's perfect for outdoor gatherings and kicking back on the porch.
- Recipe: Grapefruit Tequila Fizz