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36 Easy Summer Cocktails That Look Super Fancy

May 03, 2022 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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If effortless entertaining is your thing, this handy list of easy summer cocktails will be right up your alley. After all, summery occasions should be fun for the host as well! Choose one or two of these easy summer cocktails to make at home to level up the drinks line-up at your next get-together and get ready to be the toast of the town! 

1. Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

Close up of a two Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris with sugar rims and fresh strawberries as garnish

One of the most fun and easy summer cocktails out there, the Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri is a summer classic if ever there was one. This pretty drink is bright and cheerful, and looks as fabulous as it tastes, combining sweet and tart components to absolute perfection. 

TIP: The trick to making a fantastic Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri is to use both fresh and frozen strawberries. This combination gives it its perfect texture. If you would use only fresh strawberries, it would be too runny; and a full batch of frozen berries is too gritty. The combination of the two is just perfect. 

You might also like: The 11 Best Frozen Cocktails Suitable for Any Occasion

2. Gin Bramble Cocktail

Front view of two refreshing Gin Bramble Cocktails garnished with fresh berries, surrounded by sliced lemons and fresh berries on a white cloth with a metal cocktail jigger and cocktial shaker in the background

The Gin Bramble is as classy as it comes. It starts off tart and rather dry, showing off the herbaceous nature of the gin, and then leans into the bright and zesty tones of lemon on the mid-palate. Then, on the finish, it all comes together in a burst of raspberry and spice. So lovely! 

Read next: The Best Gin Cocktails Ever Invented

3. Watermelon Tequila Cocktail

Closeup top view of two Watermelon Tequila cocktails in tumblers garnished with fresh watermelon and lime, set on a green surface with cut limes and fresh watermelon around it Okay, be honest – the smell and taste of a juicy watermelon are summer distilled. Growing up, that first wedge of perfectly pink watermelon of the season always meant that the holidays weren’t too far off. Now, as a grownup, you can recreate that joyous feeling by serving up a Watermelon Tequila cocktail that’s ready in no time. 

Discover more: 13 Easy Tequila Summer Cocktails for Beginners

4. Hurricane Cocktail

Hurricane Cocktail on a wooden board garnished with orange wedge and Luxardo cherry

The standard Hurricane recipe combines light and dark rum, orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and grenadine. This powerful drink is known as the unofficial cocktail of Mardi Gras and comes to the party with some serious New Orleans-inspired swagger. It’s flavourful and fun and full of zest (just like any good party should be).

You might also like: 10 Festive Mardi Gras Cocktails Inspired by New Orleans

5. Tequila Sunrise Cocktail 

Top shot of two Tequila Sunrise cocktails garnished with cherries and orange wedges, set on a yellow serving platter surrounded by assorted snacks like pretzels and green olives

Easy summer mixed drinks can be simple to achieve, yet also look completely amazing, and the Tequila Sunrise never disappoints in this department. Combining orange juice, grenadine, and tequila, it layers beautifully in the glass, looking just like a sunrise (hence the name, of course). It has a bright, citrusy taste – the sweetness of grenadine combines with the tang of the orange juice for a serve that’s fresh and fruity. 

6. Frozen Margarita Cocktail

Top image of refreshing and citrusy Lime Margarita Cocktails in a bucket with ice, surrounded by more drinks and assorted garnishes, including sliced lime and a saucer of salt

A well-made frozen Margarita is a thing of beauty. A classic Lime Margarita is so cool and delicious! The ingredients list is deceptively simple (tequila, lime juice, simple syrup), but when combined it really hit the spot in the most refreshing way. Feeling the holiday vibes yet anyone? 

It’s tequila time: 10 Ways to Make a Margarita

7. Piña Colada Cocktail

Close up of a creamy Frozen Pina Colada cocktail with pineapple garnish set on a wooden board with a fresh pienapple in the background

A Pina Colada is a delicious tropical treat that tastes like an island breeze, infused with the heady scent of pineapple and coconut. When blended, the texture is like a smoothie. Over ice, it’s rich, thick, and lovely from start to finish.  

8. Mint Julep Cocktail

Front view of a trio of R=refreshing Mint Julep Cocktails served in copper cups on a green serving platter, surrounded by assorted snacks including chips and salsa, with a green curtain and vases with green foilage in the background

The classy Mint Julep serves all sorts of Great Gatsby energy, and we’re here for it! Combining mint, sugar, bourbon and water, it is marvellously minty, cooling, perfectly sweet, and tailor-made for sipping languidly on hot days. 

More about whiskey: Everything You Need to Know About Rye Whiskey & Bourbon

9. Bellini Cocktail 

Top View of Bellini Cocktail with fresh fruit on a wooden table

A Bellini is sweet and fruity with a beautifully delicate flavour that makes it the perfect welcome drink or summer cocktail. In fact, it’s a very popular choice for warm-season wedding arrival drinks because it’s nice and light, and pairs well with canapés. 

10. Mimosa Cocktail

Close-up top view of two Mimosas garnished with fresh orange wedges, surrounded by more sliced oranges and assorted decor items including a chequered cloth

One of the best cocktails for beginners, the always-popular Mimosa is well-known and loved on the brunch circuit. Combining Champagne (or sparkling wine) and orange juice, it’s fruity, zesty, and bubbly – a celebration in a glass that’s oh-so-easy! 

Planning a brunch? 11 Best Brunch Cocktails for Easy Entertaining

11. Moscow Mule Cocktail

Front view of two Virgin Moscow Mules in copper mugs, on a speckled blue serving platter, surrounded by sliced limes and assorted snacks, including nuts and chips, against a light blue backdrop

Looking for easy summer cocktails with vodka? Here you go! The Moscow Mule walks the fine and delicious line between spicy, sweet, and strong. The fizziness of ginger beer, clear qualities of vodka, and the coldness of the signature copper mug in which it is served always makes for a memorable drink. 

Classic combinations: 14 Best Mule Cocktails to Make at Home

12. Classic Mojito Cocktail

Front view of a refreshing Mojito cocktail with mint leaves and lime wedges on a wooden serving platter against a dark backdrop

The classic Mojito is pretty as a picture and refreshing to boot. Fizzy and minty with a zesty dash of lime, it pairs well with summery dishes like prawns, grilled chicken salads, and fish tacos.  

13. Strawberry Basil Gin Cocktail

Top View of Strawberry Basil Cocktail garnished with fresh strawberries, basil and lemon slices on a light blue surface

This quick and easy summer cocktail is joyful to the core, and a crowd-pleaser of note. Strawberry and basil are a classic combination that often gets overlooked, so explore the lovely herby and sweet notes at the base of this Strawberry Basil Gin cocktail with a backdrop of sunshine. It’s the taste equivalent of walking through a beautiful garden in summer – floral, fresh and fragrant. 

14. Classic Sangria Cocktail

Friends drinking a toast with Sangria

If you are looking for fruity cocktail ideas that make great pitcher drinks to easily serve a crowd, the Sangria cocktail is a fantastic fit. Combining red wine and seasonal fruit juice with fresh fruit slices, it looks and tastes amazing on an alfresco table! 

15. Negroni

Close-up of a seriously sippable Irish Negroni cocktail in a cut-glass rocks glass, held in a beautifully manicured hand with pink nails against a dark blue backdrop

No list of easy summer cocktail recipes would be complete without the gorgeous Negroni. It is a perfect aperitif to serve before any meal, and it pairs beautifully with a wide range of foods, from savoury canapés to sweet desserts. Its rich and robust flavour profile makes it a perfect match for bold and flavourful dishes, such as roasted meats or spicy charcuterie boards.

16. Strawberry Margarita

Strawberry Margaritas on ice

Calling all Margarita fans! If you’re keen to try a fruity Marg, then get mixing and try our Strawberry Margarita. It delivers all the tangy sour and sweet flavours you’d expect from the classic, it’s super easy to make, and perfect for big cocktail batches when the BFFs come around. Serve it in pitchers for parties or sundowners all summer long.

Margarita love: 10 Ways to Make a Margarita

17. Sex on the Beach Cocktail

Sex on the Beach Cocktail

A prettily layered cocktail that always hits the spot, a Sex on the Beach cocktail has near-universal appeal. The first half of the drink contains intensely fruity peach schnapps which are combined with orange and pineapple juice to push the flavour profile into a tropical space. The final layer contains SKYY Vodka that is shaken with tart cranberry juice and a bit of raspberry liqueur – simply delicious.  

18. Dark ‘n Stormy

Dark ‘n Stormy Cocktail

The Dark ‘n Stormy cocktail recipe has stood strong for 100+ years but still hits all the right flavour notes today. Super simple to pour, yet gorgeously zesty and refreshing to the core, it’s a great rum-based seaside sipper that’s tailor-made for hot summer days.

19. Aperol Spritz

Festive Aperol Spritz cocktails

The Aperol Spritz is having a major moment, so if you’d like to go with an easy summer cocktail that is seriously on trend, this is the one. Since most of the ingredients are sparkly, we recommend you pour these one at a time. It comes together quickly and is very simple to serve for a crowd.

20. Vodka Tonic

Vodka and tonic water on the rocks

One of the best summer vodka cocktails for folks who like to keep things super easy, the Vodka Tonic is a simple, sophisticated drink that can be kept low-key for casual get-togethers or dressed up with a variety of fun garnishes for dinner parties. While gin is the more obvious pairing for tonic water, vodka is excellent for those looking for a crisp and smooth bittersweet drink. 

21. Ranch Water Cocktail

Three Ranch Water cocktails with lime and fresh mint garnish

If you’ve ever spent time on a languid veranda at the height of a simmering summer, you’ve likely to understand the joy of a Ranch Water cocktail. This iconic summertime sipper is an American South staple that will cool you down like nothing else.

22. Mai Tai

Refreshing boozy Mai Tai cocktail on the rocks with cherry and pineapple garnish

Of all the brilliant Tiki drinks out there, the classic Mai Tai cocktail is probably one of the most famous. The traditional Mai Tai recipe uses five ingredients: two types of rum, orange liqueur, lime juice, and simple syrup. This rum-based Tiki drink is on the IBA’s official list of cocktails—and for good reason. The classic Mai Tai cocktail is ‘out of this world.’ Like literally. And who wouldn’t want a cocktail like that?

23. Watermelon Martini

Watermelon Martini

The best summer cocktails for those really hot days should ideally offer some welcome hydration (and a bit of a kick). This is when we turn to watermelon drinks. Full of fruity flavour and deliciously refreshing, the Watermelon Martini is the perfect thirst quencher to savour by the pool while sunbathing or to serve pitcher-style at a garden party. 

Read next11 Watermelon Cocktail Recipes to Impress a Crowd

24. Gin Rickey

Gin Rickey cocktail ingredients

The Gin Rickey is as fresh as fresh can be. Capturing some of the same notes as a gin and tonic, it features gin, club soda, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It’s the ideal gin cocktail recipe to have up your sleeve if you have guests who prefer to keep their sugar intake to a minimum, but still want to enjoy a delightful cocktail.

25. Americano

An Americano cocktail with orange garnish

The Americano is a gorgeous bitter-sweet blend of orange and spice flavours of Campari complemented by the fruity and spicy character of Cinzano Vermouth Rosso, charged with effervescent club soda to make a languid long drink that’s a favourite at cafes throughout Italy. Summer spritz cocktails do not come classier than this.  

26. Sea Breeze Cocktail

A Sea Breeze cocktail garnished with grapefruit

The best summertime cocktails tend to pair well with outdoorsy foods, and the Sea Breeze is a great pairing for finger-licking dishes like BBQ ribs and chicken wings. Made with an easy blend of vodka, cranberry, and grapefruit juice, it’s a tasty and nostalgic throwback filled with zingy fruit flavours.

27. Paloma

Close front view of a trio of refreshing pink paloma cocktails with grapefruit garnish

The pretty Paloma is a zesty classic that always goes down a treat. To make a batch, combine Espolón Tequila Blanco, fresh grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave nectar in a small pitcher and stir. When you serve it to your guests, add 90ml of the pre-made Paloma to a glass over ice, and top it off with club soda. A salted rim is a nice touch and fresh grapefruit rounds it off perfectly as a garnish. 

28. Limoncello Spritz

Limoncello Lemon Drop

Paired with Prosecco and club soda for a beautifully bubbly finish, the light, and lovely Limoncello Spritz is the flirty cousin of the time-honored Aperol Spritz. We love that adding a few sparkles to this sunny liqueur creates a tall, cool summer spritz cocktail that can be sipped at leisure. 

More lemony goodness11 Lively Limoncello Cocktail Recipes for all Lemon Lovers 

29. Lime Daiquiri

Classic Lime Daiquiri in coupe glass garnished with lime

The classic Lime Daiquiri uses only three simple ingredients, and the recipe is a delicate balance between the sweet and the sour. It’s a fresh and straightforward lime cocktail that is very similar to a Classic Margarita in that you’ll be using fresh lime juice and sugar syrup, but instead of tequila, you’ll be using light rum. 

30. Frozen Mango Margarita

Top view of Mango Daiquiri cocktails

If you’re in need of a fruity cocktail that will take you on a virtual vacation, meet our Mango Daiquiri. It dishes up all the tropical vibes, looks fancy served in cocktail glasses, and is an easy summer drink to make at a moment’s notice! If you’re impressing a crowd, bulk up this recipe and serve it in a pitcher. For a showstopper cocktail, wipe the rim of the cocktail glasses with a little lime and dip the edges in granulated sugar and maybe even a little toasted desiccated coconut if you’re feeling extra.

31. Greyhound Cocktail

Greyhound Cocktail Recipe

Named after the famous bus service, the Greyhound cocktail is a mix of grapefruit juice, gin or vodka, and ice. It may sound simple but after a 15-hour bus trip across the country over bumpy roads, it’s like sipping on nectar from the gods. For years, the bus terminal’s pitstop restaurants served them by the busload (ta-da-dish!), and they were always received with open arms by thirsty travellers.   

32. Dirty Shirley

A pretty pair of red Dirty Shirley cocktails garnished with fresh cherries, posed on a white surface

A classic Shirley Temple mocktail is a great option if you want to offer your guests a non-alcoholic option, and then it’s as simple as adding 60ml of SKYY Vodka to the glass to turn it into a nostalgic Dirty Shirley. When you have quite a few people over it’s nice to have an easily adaptive drink like this on the menu that can be scaled to suit various tastes.  

More mocktails: 8 Easy Mocktails for Simple and Clean Sipping  

33. Caipirinha

Refreshing Caipirinhas with muddled lime

The zesty Caipirinha is Brazil’s national cocktail and is made with real limes, sugar, and cachaça (a rum distilled from fermented sugar cane juice), it’s a refreshing drink that, when combined with ice, will shake off the heat and take you back to the beaches of Brazil. It’s a cocktail with as much zest for life as the people of this vibrant country.  

You might also like: 11 Sublime Lime Cocktails You Gotta Try

34. Blue Hawaiian Cocktail

Blue Hawaiian Cocktail

Cocktail umbrellas? Check! Colourful garlands and leis? Check! We’re dishing up all the islandstyle tiki vibes with the Blue Hawaiian that is chockfull of tropical flavour. So, line up the Hawaiian playlist, invite your friends, and get ready to hula honey!

35. Rum Runner

Rum Runner Cocktail Recipe

Summertime is made for al fresco get-togethers, and rum-based drinks like the Rum Runner make a great accompaniment for everything from grilled vegetable skewers to gourmet hotdogs. A terrific tropical drink that’s on the stronger side, this effortless cocktail is sweet and fruity, filled with fruit liqueurs, juices, and a sneaky bit of kick.

36. Michelada

Mexican Beer Michelada Cocktail with salt rim and lime

Summery brunch cocktails with a twist? Try a Michelada. This tasty beer cocktail is like a Bloody Mary, but the vodka is swapped out with a light Mexican beer, and the tomato juice is replaced with Worcestershire sauce. It’s the perfect light and zesty sip for a midday celebration.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Gin cocktails are very popular in summer, mainly because gin has a lovely herbaceous flavour profile that pairs well with refreshing juices and tonics. However, the key to a good summer cocktail is to find one that leaves you feeling cool and refreshed, with lovely seasonal flavours. Try a few on this list to see which one hits the spot!

As the most ordered cocktail in the world, the classic Margarita has been one of the most popular cocktails in the UK for years and still remains on top.

The core cocktail categories include: Stirred cocktails, such as the Manhattan, the Negroni, and the Rob Roy. Sours, such as a Whisky Sour and Tequila Sour. Highballs, such as the Vodka Soda, Gin & Tonic and Scotch & Soda, as well as the Dark 'n Stormy and Paloma. Flips, such as Eggnog and the Hot Pumpkin Pie cocktail. Fizzes, such as a Gin Fizz and Tom Collins cocktail. Swizzles, such as a Queens Park Swizzle and Cotter Swizzle. Smashes, such as Whiskey Smash or a Gin Basil Smash cockta

Mocktails like a Virgin Mojito or Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri are a lovely drink option for someone who does not like alcohol. It's so much prettier and more grown-up than a smoothie or a juice.

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