With summer officially here, are you ready for seasonal spirits? If not, why not? Most of the time July through September means vacations, beaches and BBQs. And to go with them, summer cocktails are a must have! Whether you’re at a barbecue, pool party or simply chilling by the beach, these potent potables are a must have summer accessory.
Now summer cocktails are definitely not your regular drinks. They’re fruity and fun! And what better time of the year to indulge in them than during the hot months? There are all sorts of delicious concoctions to choose from, like Whiskey Sour, Margarita, Cosmopolitan and Penicillin just to name a few.
So don’t miss out! If you’re looking to impress your favorite bartender or show off at a party, these classic summer cocktails are perfect for the occasion.
A refreshing favorite, the cosmopolitan cocktail is made with vodka that contains cranberry juice and lime juice. This summer libation also has various optional additions such as raspberry syrup, lime juice, orange liqueur, sour mix.
The Cosmopolitan was created in the 1970s by bartender Toby Cecchini at New York’s Odeon bar. It was reputedly invented to commemorate the visit of film star Grace Kelly to the club on her birthday that year. According to various accounts, vodka kingpin Grey Goose may have been involved in the creation.
- 1 1/2 oz Vodka (your choice)
- 1 oz cranberry juice cocktail (or cranberry juice)
- 3/4 oz lime juice (about 2 limes made into a syrup)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice. Shake well until thoroughly chilled. Fill cocktail glass, serve outside and bask in the summer sun.
Garnish: A traditional cosmopolitan is garnished with a lime wheel or twist. Alternative garnishes include berries, raspberries or mint leaves.
The Whiskey Sour is a summertime classic. It’s a cocktail made with whiskey that contains lime juice, and can also include cherry syrup, orange juice or egg whites for various effects.
The Whiskey Sour originated in the 1880s at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club in Louisville, Kentucky. The drink was popularized by bartender George J. Kappeler, who worked there and wrote about it for many years after first making it around 1888 or 1889.
- 2 ounces of whiskey
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of simple syrup (or more to taste)
In a shaker filled with ice, pour the whiskey, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds until it reaches a temperature of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Strain the mix into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish: Most whiskey sours are garnished with a slice of orange and maraschino cherry.
A Margarita is a summer cocktail that combines tequila and lime juice. If you’re looking for something low key, this summer drink is perfect!
Most historians agree that the Margarita originated in Mexico, but there is no record of who it created the drink originally. However, a man named Carlos “Danny” Herrera changed the summer cocktail’s history forever when he introduced it to US tourists. Originally called ‘The Daisy’, which was made of tequila, lime juice and triple sec, this summer favorite is now one of the most famous cocktails in the country.
- 1 oz tequila
- 2 oz fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
- 3/4 oz lemon-lime carbonated beverage or margarita mix
- 1/2 oz orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
Combine all ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice. Shake well until thoroughly chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve, preferably outdoors under summer sun.
Garnish: A traditional margarita is garnished with a salted rim of the glass. A slice or wedge of lime can be used instead. Alternatives include coarse salt as well as a sugar-coated rim for an extra sweet Margarita.
A Penicillin is a summer cocktail that combines scotch, honey, lemon juice, and ginger ale. This summer cocktail has two different recipe variations; one is served on the rocks while the other is served up.
Invented in Glasgow in 1985 and named after a brand of penicillin taken by one of its creators (although some dispute this claim), the summer drink gets its sweet taste from honey. While many summer cocktails use lemon as a summertime replacement for lime, the Penicillin uses both lemon and ginger ale to complement its scotch flavor.
- 1 1/2 oz Scotch (your choice)
- 3/4 oz fresh Lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 3/4 oz honey syrup (4:1 ratio)
- 1/2 oz ginger ale or ginger beer
Combine all ingredients in a shaker half-filled with ice. Shake well until thoroughly chilled. Pour into summer cocktail glass and serve outside during summertime.
Garnish: A proper garnish for a penicillin can include cucumber, lemon slices or mint leaves.
Get Your Cocktail Groove On
A summer cocktail is a great way to enjoy a warm, balmy night. And while there are hundreds of summer cocktails out there, we chose these four classic drinks because they are incredibly easy to make, and a perfect choice for summer nights hanging out with friends.