Raspberry vodka lime soda in a pitcher with a large spoon, beside two full glasses, one empty glass, and and a dish of raspberries.
Issy Croker
1 of 13

Raspberry Vodka and Lime Soda

We’ve paired the citrus-forward notes of crisp vodka with a Mexican lime soda, before adding sweet raspberries and rich Chambord for a delicious, decadent pitcher.
A frozen gin fizz in a martini glass with an orange stir stick and a little piece of lemon on the rim.
Jessie Cross
2 of 13

Frozen Gin Fizz

This frozen gin fizz (think slushie) is a slurpy sort of cocktail made with gin, sugar, lemon, and ice that will quench your summertime thirst.

I first made these a summer or two ago, and now they’re one of my go-to pool drinks – especially since my beloved surprised me with a pellet ice maker last year! It makes the slushie part even easier.

Three glasses of sweet tea cocktail on a wooden table.
Brian Woodcock
3 of 13

Sweet Tea Cocktail

In the South, you can’t have a garden party—or any summer get-together, for that matter—without sweet tea. This is a sweet-tea-based cocktail with a kick of white whiskey.
A highball filled with a long margarita, ice, a lime wedge, and a dish of chili salt for rimming on the side
Issy Croker
4 of 13

Long Margarita

When done well, Mexico’s most famous cocktail balances the four primary categories of taste. This longer twist on the classic drink includes Cointreau and Fever-Tree soda. A crisp lime wedge serves up a sour tang. Finally, good-quality tequila brings bitterness to complete the experience.
A glass bottle filled with homemade lemonade syrup, a bowl of lemons, and two glasses on a wooden table.
Paul Winch-Furness
5 of 13

Homemade Lemonade

This homemade lemonade recipe is made with a concentrated syrup that you keep on hand and then dilute as desired. It requires only lemons, sugar, and water, and is easy as can be. Here's how to make it.

A few ice cubes, a couple of mint leaves, some added water, and I was enjoying a wonderfully refreshing summer drink. I love that I can store this elixir in a smallish container in my refrigerator and then expand it to satisfy many thirsty people.

It is sweet. It is tart. It is refreshing. I can never drink store-bought lemonade again.

Nadine B.
A wine glass filled with frozen Long Island iced tea, garnished with an orange slice on an umbrella.
Jessie Cross
6 of 13

Frozen Long Island Iced Tea

This frozen Long Island iced tea is a boozy, umbrella-bedecked blender drink riff on the traditional raid-your-liquor-cabinet classic of five liquors (yes, five!) topped with a splash of cola that packs a doozy of a wallop. The thing is, this cockamamy combo of liquors actually tastes fairly innocuous. And therein lies the danger.
2 hands, each holding a wine glass 3 quarters full of a bubbly orange cocktail with ice and an orange slice.
David Leite
7 of 13

Aperol Spritz

An Aperol spritz is a quintessential summer cocktail. Popular in Italy, Aperol is a lower alcohol content digestif but the addition of orange hard seltzer and prosecco make up for it in this iteration. Cin cin!
A southside cocktail on a napkin on a silver tray with a potato chip and sprig of mint beside it.
Christopher Hirsheimer
8 of 13

Southside Cocktail

This southside cocktail is a tempting summer cocktail made with gin, simple syrup, mint, lime, and a splash of club soda. Consider it a lighter, gin-based mojito that goes down dangerously quickly. (You’ve been warned.)

I may have found my new summer drink! This Southside cocktail is absolutely delicious and not too potent, which made me want to add a splash more gin. Very refreshing and perfect for when the hot weather sets in.

Beth F.
Two glasses of peach iced tea with mint leaves and peach slices for garnish.
Kate Blohm
9 of 13

Peach Iced Tea with Mint

This easy summer sipper is made using tea leaves, fresh peaches and mint leaves, and is sweetened with simple syrup.
A metal serving tray with two apricot daiquiris with stir sticks, a juiced lemon, and a pot with poached apricots.
Laura Edwards
10 of 13

Apricot Daiquiri

This apricot daiquiri is made with apricots, lime, sugar, and rum. It’s a cocktail that’s similar to a peach, strawberry or mango daiquiri. We guarantee this frozen drink is gonna radically up your summer entertaining game.
Two tall glasses filled with Greek-style frappe, with colorful straws standing up in them.
Elina Manninen
11 of 13

Greek-Style Frappe

This Greek-style frappe, made with coffee, sugar, water, and milk, is a summer staple. Cool, refreshing, and completely customizable. Here’s how to make it. No blender required.

This frappé recipe changed the way I drink coffee forever. Tastes even more amazing than it sounds.

A tall plastic cup filled with frosé or frozen rosé on a wooden table.
The Co-Op Sullivan’s Island
12 of 13

Frosé ~ Frozen Rosé

This easy frosé recipe is essentially a quick and easy rosé slushie made with frozen fruit and rosé wine. It's our go-to drink of the summer.
Two glasses of lime soda and one glass of angostura orange.
Susan Bell
13 of 13

Lime Soda

This lime soda is an easy summer alternative to plain old water made with lime juice, soda water, and a little salt. Natch, there’s always the option of adding a splash of something stronger and turning it into a cocktail.

Summer Drinks FAQs

Can I make these drinks in advance for a party?

Definitely. For drinks that aren’t frozen, stir together everything except any carbonated mix-ins and store it in a pitcher in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Add in anything fizzy just before serving.

For frozen summer cocktails, whip up the drink as indicated in the recipe, skipping any fizzy additions. Freeze in individual portions and serve straight from the freezer. If it requires soda or bubbly to be added to it, let it thaw slightly and mix in the fizzy part before serving.

How do I keep drinks cold without diluting them?

Ah, the eternal question. There are several ways to keep your drinks ice cold without adding ice. Try tossing in frozen fruit in place of ice cubes, using reusable ice cubes, or freezing part of the drink in ice cube trays. As it melts, it won’t dilute your beverage.

To keep everything cold, be sure to chill your ingredients before conjuring up a drink. You can also chill your glassware before adding drinks to it or serve your cocktails in insulated glasses or tumblers.

If you’ve got drinks in larger containers or pitchers, nestle them inside an ice bucket.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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