20 Easy Summer Cocktails

Cool off with these refreshing summer cocktails! Perfect for a summer party or BBQ, they include frozen drinks, fruity margaritas, spritzes, and more.

Best Summer Cocktail recipes

Hot days call for summer cocktails! Maybe fruity, maybe frozen, and definitely refreshing, these drinks will help you cool off and celebrate the season all in one.

Below, you’ll find the easy cocktail recipes I’ll be making all summer. Perfect for any occasion from a neighborhood BBQ to a laid-back evening at home, they include fruity margaritas, bubbly spritzes, non-alcoholic refreshers, and more.

I’d have a hard time choosing a favorite from these festive summer drinks. I hope you love them too!

Our Best Summer Cocktails

Paloma cocktail

Paloma Cocktail

Jack and I make this tequila cocktail every summer. We might be biased, but we think it’s hands down one of the best summer drinks! Traditional recipes call for grapefruit soda, but I use fresh grapefruit juice and sparkling water in mine to make it extra-tart and refreshing.

best summer cocktails - classic margarita

Classic Margarita

No list of summer cocktails is complete without a margarita! This classic cocktail is easy to make at home with tequila, orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. For a smoky twist, make this recipe with mezcal instead of tequila.



When I have an overabundance of fresh mint in the summer, I always make mojitos to use it up. The fresh herbs make this white rum cocktail cooling and aromatic. It’s perfect for a hot day.

aperol spritz

Aperol Spritz

My ideal summer evening involves sipping an Aperol spritz in a piazza in Italy. The Italy part won’t be happening for me this summer, but I can still make an Aperol spritz at home! It takes just 3 ingredients—Aperol, prosecco, and soda water. Enjoy this bittersweet cocktail with an antipasto platter for a delicious Italian-inspired happy hour.

red sangria

Red Sangria

This sangria recipe is the easiest way to make summer cocktails for a crowd. Instead of mixing drinks to order, you can make a whole pitcher in advance and let it chill overnight. When your guests arrive, all you’ll have to do is pour!

watermelon margarita

Watermelon Margarita

Fresh watermelon juice naturally sweetens this summery margarita. Tip: Make yours spicy by adding jalapeño slices to the tequila. Let them steep for 30 minutes before you blend up your drink.

Ranch water cocktail

Ranch Water

This Texas favorite is perfect for folks who don’t like their cocktails overly sweet. It’s a simple combination of tequila, lime juice, and sparkling mineral water, preferably Topo Chico.

Peach bellini - best summer cocktails

Bellini Cocktail

Peach puree sweetens this bubbly brunch drink. I like to make it with frozen peaches to spare myself the fuss of peeling fresh ones.

Strawberry margarita - easy summer cocktails

Strawberry Margarita

Strawberry puree and basil simple syrup infuse this margarita with fresh summer flavor.

Homemade lemonade - non-alcoholic summer drinks

Homemade Lemonade

Summer drinks don’t have to be boozy to be delicious! This homemade lemonade is bright, sweet, and incredibly refreshing. Make it bubbly by topping your glass with sparkling water.

Peach Sangria - summer cocktail recipes

Peach Sangria

Made with white wine instead of red, this peach-y sangria is perfect for summer. Other fresh fruits would be lovely here too. Try it with strawberries, raspberries, or fresh nectarines!

Frozen Mango Margarita

Frozen Mango Margarita

Is there anything better than a frozen margarita on a hot summer day?! This one gets its thick, frosty texture from frozen mango, which also adds natural sweetness. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself eating spoonfuls straight from the blender.

Mint julep - easy summer cocktails

Mint Julep

Many people reserve this cocktail for the weekend of the Kentucky Derby, but it’s great for summer too! It’s essentially a mound of crushed ice with lots of fresh mint leaves and a little bourbon. Sip one to cool off on a hot day.

Watermelon juice - non-alcoholic summer drinks

Watermelon Juice

Another fun zero-proof option! This vibrant juice is a tasty combination of fresh watermelon and lime—no sugar required. For an elevated feel, top your glass with splashes of ginger juice and sparkling water, and garnish it with fresh mint.

French 75 cocktail

French 75

A French 75 is one of my favorite cocktails at any time of year, summer included. It’s bubbly, botanical, and bright, made with Champagne, lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin. Make one to add festive flair to any celebration.

Skinny Lemongrass Mojitos - best summer cocktails

Lemongrass Mojitos

Why make a mojito with just mint when you could add basil and lemongrass too? This twist on the classic cocktail is intensely aromatic and refreshing.

Hibiscus tea

Hibiscus Tea

When I’m not in the mood for alcohol but I still want a fun, easy summer drink, I make this hibiscus tea. It steeps in just 20 minutes and has a bold, tart flavor. I love to garnish my glass with fresh raspberries and mint.

Cosmopolitan cocktail

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

This retro cocktail’s pink color makes it a fun choice for summer parties. If you’re a fan of vodka drinks, you’ll love it. It’s a simple combination of vodka, Cointreau or triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime.

Mimosa Recipe

Classic Mimosas

These fruity, fizzy cocktails fit right in at a summer brunch! For the best texture, be sure to use orange juice without pulp.

Spicy Jalapeño Margarita recipe

Jalapeño Margarita

If you like summer cocktail recipes that pack some heat (same!), you have to try this jalapeño margarita. Enjoy it alongside guacamole and salsa with tortilla chips for dipping.

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Easy Summer Cocktails: Classic Margarita

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Serves 1
This margarita is one of our favorite easy summer cocktails!


  • 1 ounce blanco/silver tequila
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur, Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice, plus lime slices for garnish
  • ½ ounce agave nectar or simple syrup, plus more to taste
  • Ice
  • Lime wedge and coarse salt, for the glass rim (optional)


  • Salt the rim of the glass (optional): Rub a lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass. Fill a small plate with coarse salt. Dip the glass into the salt to coat the rim. Fill with ice.
  • Place the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into the glass. Taste and stir in more agave nectar, if desired. Garnish with lime slices and serve.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com

    if nothing else it’s a wonderful checklist of things to do this summer! All wonderful choices, starting with the French 75, thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Sabrina, I hope you enjoy!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.