Summer is the best time for a great cocktail. Making a list of only the ten best summer cocktails is not easy since almost any cocktail can work great as a summer cocktail, but I will do my best.
I will give you five classic cocktails that you have most probably heard of since they are present on any restaurant/bar menu, and good reason: they are delicious, and they work for most people.
I’ll also give you five more cocktails that are not as well known, but they can work great in the summer.
So, if you are here to refresh your memory and find a good summer cocktail you already know, or if you are here to try something new, I’ve got you covered. Here are my top 10 summer cocktails.
1 Aperol Spritz
Aperol Spritz showcases its base alcohol – the bitter-sweet orange aperitif – in a fun, relaxed, even casual way. This is a cocktail with a strong European influence, and it’s highly popular in Northern Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany as an afternoon refresher. Check recipe here.
2 Gin Gimlet
The gin gimlet is a classic cocktail, quite old actually, but very refreshing. It’s built in the style of early 1900s cocktails, when gin’s flavor was celebrated and gin cocktails were actually very strong. This is surely a gin sour you’ll love on a sunny July Sunday. Check recipe here.
3 Pina Colada
The Pina Colada, hard to hate, easy to love. It’s possibly the gateway cocktail for most people. There is no beach or pool party without a Pina Colada, and that’s because this tropical rum cocktail just screams fun ! Leaves your cares on the shore for an hour or two while you sip a Pina Colada. Check recipe here.
If a Pina Colada is too sweet, a Mojito will be far more refreshing without being cloying. Minty, strong, and definitely something you’ll want to keep ordering – the Mojito is a tropical beauty that keeps everything light and fresh, but still packs a punch. Check recipe here.
Another refresher, this time all the way from Mexico ! Paloma is a beautiful blend of tequila and grapefruit; the preferred tequila cooler in Mexico. This highball is going to remind you of why you love tequila in the first place. Check recipe here.
Mainbrace is a gin sipper, with a beautiful color and a lot of flavor. If you’re a gin lover you will love this as well, as it blends orange liqueur and grapefruit into one beautiful citrusy, botanical cocktail that will remind you of fun summer evenings waiting for your fritto misto platter. Check recipe here.
Canchanchara is far less known than the rest of the cocktails on this list, but in truth it’s older than the Mojito ! And actually a bit similar, but I’ll let you try one out so you can figure out what the difference is. This is always going to be a refreshing rum drink, with plenty of bubbles to cool you off. Check recipe here.
8 Cuba Libre
Cuba Libre is a simple but delicious summer cocktail that blends Cola, rum, and lime in the best way possible. This has been my go-to cocktail in the past few years, and it always has a summer party vibe about it. It’s easy to enjoy and it will definitely give you a nice buzz. Check recipe here.
The Caribeno is not well known outside of the Caribbean, but it’s incredibly delicious and very refreshing. It blends key ingredients of coconut water and white rum, among others. It’s like the lightest, simplest version of a tiki drink you could imagine. Despite its simplicity, it’s one of the most tropical cocktails when you look at its ingredients. Check recipe here.
10 The Salty Dog
The salty dog is another gin refresher, and it’s an incredibly easy cocktail to make. A mix of gin and grapefruit juice, with a smattering of salt on the rim (hence the name). The salt is there to neutralize the bitterness in grapefruit juice, but really you could just add a pinch of salt to the glass and skip the rim. Check recipe here.
If you want something without alcohol, here is my list of 29 mocktail ideas.
So these were my top 10 summer cocktails, and I hope you’ll enjoy them !