The Ultimate Collection of Summer Cocktails

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Summer is heating up and it’s the perfect time for a cool and refreshing cocktail. Whether you’re sipping by the pool or hosting a backyard BBQ, there’s nothing quite like a perfectly crafted drink to keep you cool and satisfied. That’s why I’m sharing this Ultimate Collection of Summer Cocktails. With so many recipes to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Cheers!

four of the best summer cocktail images of sangria, martinis, and a margarita.


Summertime! Sunny skies and warm weather. I’m soaking it in, but at the end of a long day or week, I want something cool and refreshing to drink.

These summer cocktails are more than just delicious drinks; they’re the key to keeping you cool and refreshed all season long. With easy-to-follow recipes and unique flavor combinations, you’ll be able to impress your guests and enjoy a relaxing drink all at the same time. Plus, these cocktails are perfect for any occasion, from a casual pool day with friends to a fancy dinner party.

That’s why I’ve pulled together this Ultimate Collection of Summer Cocktails. There are sangrias, margaritas, martinis, drinks for a crowd, fruity cocktails and more. So many summer cocktails to choose from. I hope your bar cart is stocked because I know you’re going to love these recipes.

Why You’ll Love These Recipes

  • Most of the recipes are simple enough to make at home, requiring just a few ingredients and minimal prep time. This means you can whip up a batch whenever you’re feeling hot and thirsty, without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
  • In addition to being easy to make, these summer cocktails offer a wide range of flavors and styles. From light and fruity drinks to creamy, indulgent cocktails, there’s something for everyone on this list. Whether you’re in the mood for something classic and timeless or something bold and experimental, you’re sure to find a recipe that fits the bill.
  • These summer cocktails are perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ, lounging by the pool with friends, or enjoying a romantic sunset dinner, there’s a drink here that will suit the mood. And with so many options to choose from, you can mix and match to create your own signature cocktail menu that your guests will love.

2023 Summer Cocktail Trends

As much as we love our current summer cocktails, it’s always exciting to see what’s coming next. The trends for summer 2023 are pointing towards a focus on low-alcohol drinks, which means we’ll be seeing more of the refreshing and zesty Spritz. This Italian classic has already made a comeback over the past few years and it seems like it’s here to stay.

In addition, mixologists are putting an emphasis on local and fresh ingredients, which will bring a new level of depth and flavor to our summer drinks. We can expect to see plenty of herb-infused cocktails that showcase the unique and aromatic flavors of basil, mint, and thyme. And for those with a sweet tooth, fruit-forward concoctions will be everywhere.

But don’t worry, the classics aren’t going anywhere either. We can still expect to see creative twists on old favorites, like the margarita or the piña colada. It’s all about balancing new and exciting flavors with the timeless elegance of a perfectly crafted cocktail.

Now let’s get onto the cocktails. Grab some ice and a cocktail shaker and let’s mix up some drinks.

Sangria Recipes

If you’re looking for a drink that’s perfect for a hot summer day, look no further than sangria. This Spanish staple is a refreshing and fruity option that’s perfect for sipping at any gathering. Luckily, there are plenty of variations out there, so it’s easy to find one that suits your taste buds. From classic red sangria to white wine options, the possibilities are endless.

Campari sangrai in glasses and a large pitcher.

Campari Sangria

To me, a pitcher of chilled sangria is always fabulous on a hot day. With its bright color and citrus flavor, this summer cocktail is as refreshing as it is beautiful. You can serve it for brunch, dinner, or anytime in-between.

hand pulling out Sangria Rosé Popsicles from a popsicle mold.

Sangria Rosé Popsicles

I first made these cool and tasty treats during Wit & Vinegar’s Popsicle Week. You simply put sliced berries, peaches, and kiwi in popsicle molds and fill them with Rosé Sangria. You can get my Rosé Sangria Recipe here. (It makes a delightful summer cocktail all by itself.)

SHOP: Popsicle Mold

up close pineapple mango sangria in a glass with mango and basil garnish.

Pineapple Mango Sangria

In this twist on traditional sangria, you pour white wine, pineapple juice, and St. Germain into a pitcher and add fresh pineapple, mango, and basil leaves. I’m not kidding. The recipe is that easy! I wouldn’t be surprised if this sangria becomes your favorite drink for summer evenings out on the porch or patio.

four different sangria images together - Pinterest image

Sangrias for Every Season (Including Summer)

In case you’re looking for more sangria recipes, this the post is for you. Among the warm-season sangrias, you’ll find my Blackberry Basil Sangria. Fresh basil, blackberries, and lemon, with optional club soda for fizz, add up to a “sunsational” summer cocktail.

Summer Margaritas

When it comes to summer cocktails, margaritas are a classic choice that never goes out of style. Whether you prefer the traditional version or a refreshing twist on the classic recipe, there are plenty of options to choose from. For a classic margarita, combine tequila, fresh lime juice, and triple sec for a tangy and refreshing drink that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day. 

Frozen Blackberry Margaritas in a glass with lime and blackberry garnish.

Frozen Blackberry Margarita

This scrumptious summer libation is a mix of frozen blackberries, tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and honey. Everything gets put in a blender with ice until smooth. The last step is to pour the mixture into a prepared margarita glass and sip!

Prickly Pear Margaritas in glasses with salt and lime garnish.

Prickly Pear Margarita

I tasted this summer cocktail for the first time when I worked at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia, after I graduated college. You can make a version at home with tequila, Cointreau, freshly squeezed lime juice, and prickly pear syrup. If you like a bit of sweet with your salty, you will love this distinctive drink.

SHOP: These Cactus Margarita Glasses

two watermelon margaritas in glasses with lime garnish and paper straw.

Watermelon Margarita

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing cocktail to cool off this summer. And what better way to quench your thirst than with a watermelon margarita? These Frozen Watermelon Margaritas are a delicious and refreshing cocktail perfect for summer sipping!

Best Margarita Recipes

My compilation of margarita recipes from Inspired by Charm includes many more margaritas to refresh you on a warm summer day. Here are a few of my top recommendations: Raspberry Strawberry Margarita, Strawberry Coconut Margarita, and Watermelon Margarita. I might be whipping up one of these tonight.

Refreshing Martinis

When it comes to cooling off with a cocktail, many often overlook the classic martini, but this summer it should not be ignored. The crisp and refreshing nature of a traditional gin or vodka martini makes it a perfect choice for those hot summer days. However, for those who want to mix things up a bit, there are many variations of the martini recipe to try as well.

Strawberry Basil Martini in a martini glass with a strawberry garnish.

Strawberry Basil Martini

If you’re looking for a light and deliciously different summer cocktail, may I suggest this Strawberry Basil Martini? Made with homemade strawberry basil-infused vodka, this drink is sure to delight your taste buds. Garnished with a strawberry, it’s also a feast for your eyes.

SHOP: Martini Glass

two Watermlon Basil Martins in a glass with watermelon wedge garnish.

Watermelon Basil Cocktail

The base for this striking summer cocktail is watermelon juice muddled with fresh basil. To achieve this, you mash a few pieces of watermelon flesh with a couple of basil leaves and then strain that to remove the pulp and seeds. Be sure to fix plenty. I promise you’ll want more than one martini.

SHOP: Martini Glass

Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini in a martini glass with basil garnish.

Spicy Chipotle Pineapple Martini

This summer cocktail is a wonderful way to wind down before or after dinner. You can put one together with jalapeno pepper-infused vodka, chipotle pineapple syrup, pineapple juice, simple syrup, and mint leaves. Cheers to fun in and out of the sun!

cosmopolitan in a long stem glass next to a shaker bottle

The Perfect Cosmo

A cosmopolitan is my favorite classic cocktail. This one is “perfect” because it uses high-quality ingredients in just-the-right proportions. A simple, elegant presentation underscores the perfection. I promise that you (and your guests) will be impressed.

Berry Watermelon Limeade Martini in a glass with watermelon, lime, and strawberry garnish.

Berry Watermelon Limeade Martini

This martini is going to be your prescription for chilling out this summer. It’s a combination of homemade berry watermelon limeade, vodka, and St. Germain. Bonus: The berry watermelon limeade can also be served on its own or used in a salad dressing.

SHOP: Martini Glass

Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini in a glass with blueberry garnish and sugar rim.

Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini

A classic cocktail recipe gets a unique twist with the help of fresh blueberries. This Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini is sweet, tart, and refreshingly delicious. It’s a pretty cocktail that will brighten any occasion or celebration.

pear martini in glass with pear

The Ultimate Pear Martini

You’re going to love this delicious and refreshing Pear Martini with a crisp pear flavor and a splash of St. Germain Liqueur! It’s the perfect cocktail any time you’re in the mood to enjoy a fancy-feeling drink.

Lemon Drop Martini in martini glass.

Lemon Drop Martini

This lemon drop martini provides the perfect balance of tart and sweet. It’s a classic cocktail that’s simple to make and the flavor is something everyone will love. 

cucumber martini with cucumber slice garnish.

Cucumber Martini

Bright and refreshing, this Cucumber Martini is made with fresh cucumber, mint, lemon juice, vodka (or gin), and elderflower liqueur to create a cocktail that is as elegant as it is delicious. 

Cocktails for a Crowd

When it comes to hosting a summer gathering, it’s essential to have a refreshing cocktail on hand to offer guests. But what if you’re expecting a crowd? These are some of my favorite summer cocktail recipes that serve a crowd.

Raspberry Berry Cocktail in a stemmed glass with paper straw and citrus slices.

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Raspberry Beer Cocktail

Made punch-style with fresh raspberries, beer, and pink lemonade, this is a unique and flavorful beverage everyone will love. It’s great for sipping poolside. You could even take it along on an impromptu picnic or camping trip.

homemade margarita mix in a bottle with limes.

The BEST Homemade Margarita Mix

It’s a breeze to put together a large batch of this margarita mix at home. You just make a simple syrup by boiling water and sugar. Once that’s cooled, add freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice. For your margarita, pour in tequila and triple sec. All the details are with the margarita mix recipe.

Homemade Strawberry Margarita mix in a bottle with strawberries and limes.

Strawberry Margarita Mix

Looking for a strawberry margarita mix? Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered there too. Made with fresh strawberries, simple syrup, and citrus juice, this homemade Strawberry Margarita Mix will allow you to craft the best strawberry margaritas. Use this mix to make a batch or single-serving cocktails.  You’ll love this easy to make strawberry margarita mix recipe.

Delicious and Easy Strawberry Margarita Punch in glasses and large glass jar.

Margarita Punch

This delicious and easy recipe is ideal for your outdoor entertaining when the weather turns warm. I especially like this summer cocktail because it has the strawberry margarita flavor everyone adores, yet it’s light and bright thanks to Prosecco and bottled seltzer.

Unique Summer Sips

Looking for a cocktail that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Consider trying one of these unique summer sips that are sure to impress your guests.

4th of July Moscow Mule in silver mug with fruit garnish.

Star-Spangled Mule

I developed this red, white, and “bluetiful” drink as part of a brand collaboration. All I did was give the classic Moscow mule a patriotic twist with the addition of fresh berries and a super special garnish.

Sweet Heat Summer Cocktail Recipe  in two wine glasses with paper straw garnish.

Sweet Heat

After first tasting this Sweet Heat cocktail on a trip to California, I finally recreated one on an 80-degree day in PA. Jalapeño, ginger, simple syrup, pineapple juice, and vodka give this drink a uniquely memorable flavor. It just might become your new signature cocktail for summer!

close up of cherries in dirty shirley drink garnished with cherries.

Dirty Shirley

The Dirty Shirley cocktail is an adult spin on the childhood classic, Shirley Temple. This colorful and delicious drink is made with vodka, grenadine, cherries, and lemon-lime soda. With its sweet and tangy flavor and eye-catching appearance, the Dirty Shirley is the perfect crowd-pleaser for any occasion.

hands holding gummy bear shots

Gummy Bear Shot

Want to impress your friends with a new, playful addition to your shot game? Look no further than the Gummy Bear Shot! Sweet, juicy, and flavored just like your favorite gummy candy, this Gummy Bear Shot is guaranteed to add some excitement to your next gathering.

Refreshing Rum Drinks

Indulge in the tropical vibes and refreshing flavors of rum-based summer cocktails. Nothing quite captures the essence of the season like a sip of a deliciously crafted rum cocktail. From the classic favorites to innovative twists, these rum-based concoctions offer a perfect balance of sweetness, tanginess, and the unmistakable warmth of rum.

blueberry mojito with fresh mint on polka dot napkin.

Blueberry Mojito

Fresh blueberries, rum, lime, mint, and a splash of soda are all you need to stir up a Blueberry Mojito. This bright and refreshing cocktail is easy to make and lovely for warm weather sipping.

raspberry mojitos in glasses.

MORE Mojito Recipes

If you love mojitos, I have even more recipes for you. Check out these fruity mojitos perfect for summertime sipping:

two glasses of rum punch with paper straws and lime wheel garnish.

Rum Punch

Rum punch has become a classic cocktail that instantly makes you feel like you are on vacation. Rum and fruit juices come together to create a flavorful and beautiful rum punch recipe!

Refreshing Bourbon Cocktails

Looking for a refreshing and unique twist on classic bourbon cocktails this summer? Look no further than these delicious drinks! There’s something for everyone to love this season!

Frozen Old Fashioned Slush in glasses with cherry and orange slice garnish.

Frozen Old Fashioned Slush

This Frozen Old Fashioned Slush takes the traditional old fashioned to a new and cooler level. Concocted with bourbon, frozen orange juice, bitters, lemon-lime soda, and a few more yummy things, this drink can be served any time of the year. But to me, it sure hits the spot on a warm summer evening.

sweet tea mint juleps in glasses.

Sweet Tea Mint Juleps

We’re combining two Southern classics (sweet tea and mint juleps) to create these delicious and refreshing Sweet Tea Mint Juleps. If you’re looking for the perfect summer cocktail where you can whip up an entire batch all at once, this may be the drink for you.

strawberry rhubarb old fashioned in glasses with strawberry garnish.

Strawberry Rhubarb Old Fashioned

A classic bourbon old fashioned gets an upgrade for summer with the help of homemade strawberry rhubarb simple syrup. This strawberry rhubarb old fashioned combines the timeless charm of an old-fashioned with the bright and tangy notes of strawberries and rhubarb.

bourbon smash cocktail in rocks class with lemon wedge and mint garnish.

Bourbon Smash

Summer is the season for refreshing cocktails, and if you’re a bourbon lover, then a bourbon smash cocktail is just what you need to beat the heat. With its abundance of fresh ingredients and delicious flavors, this cocktail is the ultimate thirst quencher. 

two blackberry bourbon smash cocktails with fresh blackberry garnish.

 Blackberry Bourbon Smash

And if you like a traditional bourbon smash, why no try it with blackberries?  With juicy blackberries and the warmth of bourbon coming together in a glass, this blackberry bourbon smash cocktail is the perfect mix of sweet and refreshing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my summer cocktails look more visually appealing?

To make your summer cocktails visually appealing, consider garnishing them with fresh fruits, herbs, or colorful cocktail umbrellas. You can also serve them in stylish glassware or use decorative straws.

Are there any seasonal ingredients I can use in my summer cocktails?

Absolutely! Some seasonal ingredients you can use in your summer cocktails are watermelon, berries, citrus fruits, fresh herbs like mint or basil, and cucumber.

How can I make a summer cocktail more suitable for a party or gathering?

To make a summer cocktail more suitable for a party or gathering, consider making large-batch cocktails like a Sangria or a Punch. You can also create a DIY cocktail bar where guests can customize their drinks with various mixers, fruits, and garnishes.

Are there any low-alcohol or non-alcoholic summer cocktail options?

Absolutely! Some popular low-alcohol or non-alcoholic summer cocktail options include Virgin Mojitos, Shirley Temples, Berry Watermelon Limeade, and Sparkling Lemonade.

Official Drink of the Summer

As the temperatures rise and the days get longer, nothing beats sipping on a refreshing cocktail under the summer sun. But with so many drink options out there, it can be hard to determine the official drink of summer.

It’s my hope that you’ll try a few recipes from this list and find your official go-to summer drink! I’m certain that you will!

More Recipe Collections You Will Love

Looking for something to pair with your summer libations? Here are a few of my favorite recipe collections perfect for summertime entertaining!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Ultimate Collection of Summer Cocktails. Which one will you fix to top off your day? What’s your favorite summertime libation?

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four images of refreshing summer cocktails for easy sipping Pinterest image.

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