5 Simple and Easy Cocktails To Make This Summer!
Summer is here, and it’s time for cookouts, friends, family, and cocktails! If you are hosting a party this summer, check out these 5 essential summer cocktails to impress your friends with your bartending skills! Each of these drinks has different variations to them and I encourage you to try them! Your creativity is the only limit when creating drinks!
The margarita is a timeless summer classic! This cocktail is versatile and has multiple ways to modify the ingredients for your own twist! When adding the garnish and salt rim, you can make a combination of sugar, salt, and lime zest for a unique flavor. There are many different recipes for this cocktail online, but I found this one to be my favorite:
- 2 oz Tequila
(silver is usually preferred)
- 1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
(Cointreau is a popular choice)
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 oz Agave Syrup- adds a natural sweetener to the beverage
- Salt Rim
Some prefer sugar on the rim.
- Using a lime wedge, wet the rim of your glass, then apply the salt or sugar to it. Set aside.
- In a shaker with ice, combine the rest of the ingredients.
- Shake well.
- Strain into rimmed glass that is filled with ice.
- Add your garnish.
The mojito is a rum based cocktail, with a refreshing lime taste and crisp minty finish. This light and simple cocktail is a classic and popular at any summer get together. Pro tip- Make sure you do not add the mint into the tin before shaking. Doing so will cause the mint leaves to get shredded up and will leave little pieces floating to get caught in your teeth. Activating them beforehand will release the proper amount of mint flavor.
- 2 oz White Rum
- 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Some people prefer to use superfine sugar and mix it in.
- 3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 3-5 Fresh Mint Leaves
- Slices of Fresh Lime
- Soda to top off
- Activate the mint leaves by smacking them into your palm of your hand. This will release the oils and minty aroma.
- Rub the mint leaves around the rim of the glass filled with ice about halfway and drop them in. Add the rest of the ice.
- Combine rum, simple syrup, and lime juice into a mixing tin filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, then strain into glass filled with mint and ice.
- Top with soda.
- Stir for 5-10 seconds to mix the mint around without shredding it.
- Garnish with a mint sprig and lime slices.
The Moscow Mule is a classic vodka drink that has many variations to it. By changing the liquor added in this versatile cocktail, you can create new beverages to fit any occasion! If you substitute gin in, you will get a Gin Gin Mule. Want a Kentucky Mule? Just add bourbon!
- 2 oz Vodka
- 1/2 oz Lime Juice
- Ginger Beer to top
- Lime wedge to garnish
Try garnishing with a sprig of mint for an extra twist!
- In a glass or copper cup, fill with ice.
Traditionally, Moscow Mules are served in a copper cup.
- Add lime juice and vodka, then drop in the squeezed lime wedge.
- Fill to the top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with a lime wedge, mint sprig, or both!
The Paloma is one of Mexico’s most popular cocktails. This refreshing grapefruit drink is perfect for summer and makes a fantastic substitute for a margarita! Some people prefer to use fresh grapefruit juice with a bit of soda instead of the canned grapefruit soda for this cocktail. I like how the grapefruit soda works in this cocktail and usually opt for that.
- 2 oz Tequila
- 3/4 oz Lime Juice
- 1 can Grapefuit Soda
- Lime slice or wedge to garnish
- Kosher Salt for the rim
- With lime wedge, rim glass with lime juice so the salt will stick to it and then apply.
- Fill Collins glass (or whatever glass you are using) with ice.
- Combine tequila and lime juice in glass.
- Top with grapefruit soda and stir gently.
- Garnish with lime and enjoy!
Summer Berry Vodka Lemonade
This cocktail is a summer twist on a simple vodka and lemonade mixed drink. By adding fresh berries and fruits, you can shape the flavor profile of your cocktail to your personal liking! For another fun twist, you can substitute pear nectar, and cucumbers for the other fruit. This yields a very lightly flavored and refreshing cocktail.
- 2 oz Vodka
- 1-2 Fresh Blackberries
- 2 Lemon wedges
- 1-2 Fresh Raspberries
- 1 Sliced Strawberry
- 2-3 Blueberries
- Lemonade to top with a splash of soda optional
- Fill glass with ice.
- In mixing tin, combine vodka and fruit, then muddle thoroughly.
- Strain into glass.
Some people prefer to pour the entire mix into the glass, then add ice and stir for the pulp and fruit texture.
- Fill nearly to the top and stir.
- Add a splash of soda to add a crispy bite.
- Garnish with lemon wedge
These 5 cocktails are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to beverages you can serve at your parties. When you break it down, any cocktail is just a spirit and a mixer. The combination of additional ingredients and mixers is what what makes bartending so much fun. Hopefully this little list will help spark your interest in mixology, and make your next summer party a huge success!