Refreshing summer cocktail recipes

Media Credit: Sophia Young | Assistant Photo Editor

For a cool drink during the hot summer, mix together some lemonade and iced tea with vodka for a spiked Arnold Palmer.

It’s hot girl summer, literally. And the brutal heat has us all aching to cool off with a refreshing cocktail.

Clear your schedule this afternoon to whip up one (or many) of these easy-to-make, summery drinks. From a magically blue ‘Mermaid kiss’ cocktail to a cool and nostalgic spiked root beer float, these recipes are sure to satisfy your need for a cold drink and some relaxation from the demands of summer. 

‘Strawberry jalapeño mint julep’ by Delish

Yields one serving

½ cup water

½ cup granulated sugar

2 jalapenos, halved 

¼ cup strawberries, chopped into chunks

Small handful fresh mint leaves

2 ounces bourbon

1 (12 ounce) can seltzer water

Sliced strawberry and jalapeno for garnish

To make a spicy simple syrup, combine the water, sugar and halved jalapenos in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove syrup from heat, then discard the jalapenos and let cool to room temperature. In a cocktail glass, muddle together the chunks of strawberries and fresh mint. Stir in bourbon and one tablespoon of the spicy simple syrup. Fill your glass with ice, top with seltzer and garnish with sliced strawberries and jalapenos if you’d like. 

‘Boozy root beer float’ by Liquor.com

Yields one serving

1 cup vanilla ice cream

1 ounce rum

1 chilled can root beer of choice

Add a generous scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream into a large cocktail glass along with the rum. Slowly pour your chilled root beer of choice over the rum and ice cream. Give a quick stir to combine the rum and root beer in the glass and enjoy.

‘Frosecco’ by Thrillist

Yields one serving 

6 Prosecco ice cubes

2 ounces chilled Prosecco

1 ounce St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)

1 ounce lemon juice

You’ll need a whole bottle of Prosecco on hand for this, so multiplying the recipe is an easy option if you’re planning to throw a party this summer. To start, fill an ice cube tray with Prosecco. You’ll need six for one drink so make as many cubes as you will use for multiple drinks. Freeze until solid. In a blender, add your Prosecco ice cubes, St. Germain and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture reaches the consistency of a slushy. Add chilled Prosecco and pulse one more time. Serve in champagne flute and add a straw for an extra flair. 

‘Watermelon cocktail with gin’ by A Couple Cooks

Yields two to three servings

2 cups cubed seedless watermelon

¼ lemon, sliced

½ cup gin

½ tablespoon honey (Opt for simple syrup or other liquid sweetener as a substitute)

1 small handful of mint leaves

Small triangles of watermelon with rinds as a garnish

Start by blending watermelon to make a juice. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. This should yield about one cup of watermelon juice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle together the lemon slices and mint leaves. Add in watermelon juice, gin and honey, then top with ice. Shake vigorously to combine. Strain into cocktail glasses of choice and garnish with slices of watermelon.  

‘Spiked Arnold Palmer’ by The Spruce Eats

Yields one serving

2 ounces simple syrup

4 ounces water

2 ounces fresh lemon juice

2 ounces vodka

2 ½ ounces iced tea

Lemon wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Over ice in a cocktail shaker, add simple syrup, water and lemon juice to make your lemonade component. This makes enough lemonade for three or four cocktails if you wish to multiply the recipe. Add vodka to a separate tall cocktail glass filled with ice. Top vodka with equal parts lemonade and iced tea. Stir well and garnish with lemon and mint. 

‘Mermaid kiss cocktail’ by Crafty Morning

Yields one serving

1 ounce vodka

4 ounces cream soda

1 ounce Blue Curacao liqueur

Lemon wheel for garnish

Fill a cocktail glass of choice (preferably a clear one to show off the cocktail’s electric blue color) with ice. Add Blue Curacao, cream soda and top off with vodka. Garnish with a lemon wheel or something more exciting like a cocktail umbrella or edible glitter.

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