Summer’s hottest days deserve some of the most refreshing cocktails, and we’ve rounded up 11 of our fruity, cooling favorites. From long-beloved Tiki drinks like the Mai Tai and Painkiller to thirst-quencher classics such as the Tom Collins, a gussied-up G&T or a spicy Michelada, or new takes that’ll teach you how to use that bottle of Midori or turn scotch into a summery sip, these 11 cocktails will suit all your August drinking needs.
This recipe comes straight from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and his legendary New Orleans Tiki bar, Latitude 29, so you know it has to be good. Plus, the drink’s tropical flavors render it perfect for summer. Just shake dark Jamaican rum, Rhum Agricole, orange curaçao, orgeat, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup with ice, then garnish with a spent lime shell and mint sprig.
Spike your classic summertime lemonade with gin and bubbles in this all-time classic. Fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda serve as a sparkling lemonade stand-in, and London dry gin adds a healthy dash of booze. Top with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry.
Tame Midori’s inherent sweetness with the bite of tequila in this inventive cocktail. When shaken with cucumber syrup, pineapple juice, heavy cream, and an egg white, the spirits take on a balanced, frothy quality that’s hard to resist. Top with chilled soda water and a lime wheel, and you’ll never look at the melon liqueur the same way again.
There are times when a regular Margarita just won’t cut it. Luckily, this cocktail is here to satisfy all your devilish cravings. A traditional Margarita base of Blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup is shaken and strained, then topped with a red wine float for an extra-special twist.
Bring the British Virgin Islands to you with this Tiki classic. Rum, pineapple and orange juices and cream of coconut are all you need to conjure up visions of white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. Don’t forget to top it all off with grated nutmeg and a pineapple wedge for true tropical appeal.
The secret to a good G&T? It’s all in the garnishes. Gin and tonic serve as the classic base for a wide variety of garnishes to suit your mood. Try juniper berries, lemon, and thyme for something light and refreshing, or mix in sliced fig, lavender, and vanilla bean for a sweeter, fruitier take.
Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye is the unexpected spirit behind this refresher. The spiced spirit works incredibly well with the smoke of scotch and the bitterness of Campari, all of which are lightened with lemon juice, grenadine, and club soda. Serve over ice with a lemon twist and sip the hot summer days away.
The classic Mojito, with its blend of rum, lime juice, mint, and soda water, is perfectly refreshing on its own. Add watermelon to the mix, though, and you have a fruity seasonal spin on the Cuban cooler that’ll keep you coming back for more.
A popular summer cooler in the 1920s, this concoction deserves to come roaring back. Simply combine gin and lemon or lime juice in a Collins glass, then top with ginger ale and garnish with a citrus wedge. Perfect for enjoying under the summer sun.
This classic is a great way to kick a cold beer up a notch, even when it’s too hot to exert a lot of effort. Your choice of Mexican lager is the refreshing base that’s punched up with lime juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and celery salt. Serve in a glass rimmed with equal parts salt and cayenne pepper, and top with a lime wedge.
With a history dating back to the 1930s, this largely forgotten cocktail (a close relative of the better-known vodka-based Sea Breeze) is just as refreshing as its name suggests, so even if the air is still and muggy, having this in your hand will make you feel like you’re on the coast. Just combine dry gin with apricot brandy, grenadine, and lemon juice, then top with soda water to lighten it all up and add a sprig of mint for extra freshness.
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