Summer Cocktail Recipes You'll Want to Make All Season Long

Photo: Matthew Williams

Escape the heat with one of these refreshing drinks.

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Alpha Smoot

Sunny days and warm evenings, cookouts and pool parties—these are the things we look forward to most during the summer. The best way to complete the picture? A frosty cocktail!

What makes the ideal summer cocktail? It's refreshing, it's fruity, and it's well balanced, making it the perfect libation to enjoy while soaking up the sun by the pool or in a hammock. Bonus points for cocktails that can be made in big batches ahead of time so you can focus on relaxing with your loved ones instead of having to hop up and stir a new round of drinks every time you see an empty glass.

One of the most iconic summer cocktails is the spritz: a beautiful marriage of sparkling wine or water plus a liqueur. Go with a classic like the Aperol spritz, pictured here, or play around with different combinations of muddled fruit, a splash of spirits, and a bit of sweetener, all topped with your favorite bubbles. Another time-honored summer cocktail classic is sangria. A bounty of fresh fruit (any kind you like best will work, so try citrus, berries, melon, or stone fruits) macerates with sugar and brandy, then the heady mixture is combined with red, white, or rosé wine and served chilled.

If your imagination is conjuring up memories of a warm island breeze rustling through palm trees, it's time to get in on the Tiki revival. Classic and updated versions of fruity rum drinks like Mai Tais, Blue Hawaiians, and daiquiris will make all your tropical dreams come true. And no summer cocktail roundup is complete without a refreshing margarita. The Lemon Mezcal version we're sharing is a simply delightful twist on tradition.

Are you thirsty yet? Come check out some of our favorite summer sips, then get shaking, stirring, or blending.

02 of 21

Peach-and-Mint Frappes

Matthew Williams

Frozen peaches, rather than ice cubes, are what make this vodka-based drink so slushy and cool. It's easy to make a virgin version of this frappe by simply subbing water for the spirits.

03 of 21

Summer Spritzes

Christopher Testani

Making the perfect spritz is easy once you know the formula. Get it down pat, then try three of our summer favorites: Pineapple-Cucumber Spritz, Hibiscus-Ginger Spritz, and Spicy Grapefruit Spritz.

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Aperol Jasmine Spritz

Aperol Jasmine Spritz
Petrina Tinslay

Enjoy the season in true Martha style with a variation of her favorite cocktail, the Aperol spritz. It's a riff on the Jasmine, a classic gin cocktail, and will bring the perfect blush to your summer gatherings.

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Citrus Mule

Citrus Mule in glass with salt rim

Invite a breath of summer into the usual Moscow mule by making it with a lime, lemon, and an orange, and just a hint of mint.

06 of 21

Mango Mojito


Splash some sunshine into a basic minty mojito with the addition of fresh mango. This recipe also works beautifully with other fruits, such as strawberries or pineapple.

07 of 21

Pimm's Cup

cocktail pimms cup cucumber mint
Bryan Gardner

This classic English cocktail evokes images of croquet lawns and white linen. Pimm's, a gin-based herbal liqueur, creates perfect harmony with ginger ale and a bouquet of fresh mint, cucumber, and strawberries.

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Lemon Mezcal Margarita

lemon mezcal margarita
Bryan Gardner

The traditional margarita gets a smoky twist thanks to the mezcal used to make this delicious drink.

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Boozy White Sangria

white sangria glasses
Sidney Bensimon

Macerated fruits like pineapple, honeydew, grapes, and kiwi soak together in this delicious drink that was practically made for summer. Best of all, it only takes 15 minutes of prep.

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Shaken Piña Colada

shaken pina coladas
Bryan Gardner

Nothing says summer cocktail quite like a piña colada. Ours is shaken, not blended, and the taste transports you to a tropical island.

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Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiri
Mike Krautter

A tried and true summer cocktail classic, this boozy smoothie of sorts can be made in a myriad of ways. If you get tired of the strawberry flavor, try our Pineapple-Mint iteration.

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Modern Mai Tai

Yunhee Kim

Sip on this summertime favorite. We recommend enjoying it beside the pool or on the beach to reach ultimate relaxation. This recipe contains four different types of alcohol and definitely packs a punch.

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Sour-Cherry Cordial


Rumored to be a favorite of President George Washington, this sour cherry cocktail is just the drink for summer.

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Watermelon-Tequila Refresher

Watermelon-Tequila Refreshers

This summer cocktail is exactly what the name implies—refreshing. Not only will it hit the spot on a hot day, but it only requires five ingredients to make. Watermelon, sugar, ice, lemon juice, and tequila come together to create one seriously lip-smacking drink.

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Blue Hawaiian

frozen blue hawaiin cocktail in glass
getty images / ~UserGI15966731

Whip up this tiki-inspired drink the next time you want to take a trip to an island. The blue hue and frozen consistency will have you dreaming of a salty ocean breeze.

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Spiked Elderflower Lemonade


This summertime favorite beverage gets an adult twist with vodka and Elderflower Cordial. It's sweet, refreshing, and just a little tart.

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Sumac-Mint Fizz

Bryan Gardner

The citrusy spice known as Sumac is used to make simple syrup in this tasty drink. Add a dash of alcohol of your choosing to give it a boozy touch.

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Ginger Caipirinhas

Marcus Nilsson

Here's a Brazilian classic that's outrageously delicious. It's made with cachaca, a spirit derived from sugarcane, fresh muddled ginger, and lime.

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Pineapple-Raspberry Bellini

pineapple raspberry bellini
Armando Rafael

Amp up your summer brunch menu with this refreshing take on a Bellini. It's made with chilled brut sparkling white wine, raspberries, pineapple juice, seltzer, and vanilla extract.

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Limoncello Sparkler

limoncello cocktail with sprig of herb in glass
Pernille Loof

Toast to the summer days ahead with this crisp, tasty cocktail. All you need is prosecco, limoncello, and a sprig of fresh rosemary to make this warm-weather delight.

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Pineapple Highball

three cocktails a coffee coquito, pineapple highball, and tangerine-rum sidecar
Kana Okada

This tiki-inspired summer cocktail uses a vanilla-and-star-anise syrup, white rum, seltzer, and maraschino cherries for a dose of sweetness.

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