In the west, Summer is in full swing, and so are cookouts on hot, sunny afternoons. No need to swig plain old beer when you can dive into the world of refreshing heat-fighters with these inventive drinks. Featuring ingredients ranging from grilled pineapple and jalapeños to IPA-spiked simple syrup, these aren’t your typical cocktails. And they’re perfect for impressing all of your friends at your get-togethers this month.
1. Frozen Daiquiri
Cool down with this twist on the classic Daiquiri. This recipe is boozy and cold but with a more balanced flavor than the usual chain-restaurant take on the drink. Instead, the classic mix of rum, fresh lime juice and simple syrup is the perfect balance of sweet and tart that gains the perfect slushy texture when it’s blended with some ice.
2. Cobra’s Fang
Break out the fassionola syrup for this blast from the past. Created by Donn Beach of Don the Beachcomber, this recipe brings the long-forgotten syrup back into modern times. When mixed with rum, Herbsaint liqueur, falernum, lime and orange juices, grenadine and Angostura bitters, it’s a cooling tropical cocktail perfect for the season.
3. El Rey del Patio
This Michelada-like beer cocktail is easy to prep in advance and makes a batch large enough to serve a small crowd. The recipe calls for tomatillos, cucumber, jalapeños, lime juice and a hefty dose of green Tabasco sauce to add to Mexican lager.
Named for a Central American bird, this fruity, tropical drink will have you dreaming of summertime. Its bright flavors mean it’s no surprise the cocktail was named the national drink of Nicaragua, but the recipe is accessible enough that you can find all the ingredients at any ordinary grocery store: Rum, simple syrup and guava, orange and lemon juices are all you need, plus an orange slice and a candied cherry for garnish.
6. Lincoln Club Cooler
Sometimes you just need something simple and quaffable. That’s where this cocktail comes in. Like a lighter and more refreshing version of a Dark ’n Stormy, this cocktail keeps it low-key with just two ingredients—St. Croix rum and ginger ale—for a sparkling summer refresher.
7. Bourbon & Root Beer
Cookouts are basically a given for hot July weekends, and this spin on the classic bourbon-and-soda mixes two barbecue favorites to great effect. Fish a couple of root beers out of the cooler, mix in some bourbon, and enjoy it with all your grilled goods.
8. Peach Beer Julep
Just because the Kentucky Derby is over doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking Juleps. This spin even adds in some beer to make it extra appropriate for summer. The first step is to make a homemade syrup from hoppy IPA-style beer. Not only will its flavor and aroma perfectly complement stone fruit like peaches, but it’ll also pair well with bourbon, coming together with crushed ice for a cocktail that’s uniquely refreshing and sure to impress all of your guests.
9. Grilled Pineapple Mojito
If you’re already firing up the grill for burgers and dogs, throw on some pineapple too, and make a batch of this spin on the classic Mojito. The summer fruit is in season this month, and charring it slightly helps to further enhance its bright sweetness with complex caramel notes and a bit of acidity. Your classic Mojito players—rum (barrel aged, in this recipe), mint and lime—bring it to perfection.
10. Happy Pill
If you’re familiar with tropical cocktails, you’ve probably heard of the Painkiller. The now-classic recipe is a twist on the Piña Colada, and this cocktail is yet another twist on that. With two rums, coconut liqueur, lime, orange and pineapple juices, and cream of coconut, it’s a vacation in a glass that will have you dreaming of white sand and turquoise waters even if you’re sipping it from the couch.
11. Smoky Limeade
Your usual lemonade gets a smoky hit in this recipe. Homemade smoked citrus juice adds a bright touch to simple syrup and club soda or tonic water. Serve it as-is for the nondrinking crowd, or add in a splash of tequila or mezcal for those looking for a hit of booze.
12. Miami Vice
The most of-the-moment way to enjoy two favorite frozen drinks is to swirl them together in one glass. PartStrawberry Daiquiri, part Piña Colada, this beachside sipper is more than the mere sum of its parts. It’s a rum-based swirl straight to boozy heaven.
Missed on some months hot cocktails?
Check out:10 Cocktails to Try this February and 8 Essential Cocktails You Have Tired In April