5 Refreshing and Easy Summer Cocktails

by Alex ThatcherJuly 13, 2016

This Summer, Keep Your Houseguests Happy and Refreshed

Summer is here, and that means it’s time to invite your friends into your home for fun times, great food, and good company. Of course, nothing gets a summertime gathering going like a cool, refreshing cocktail.

We’ve gathered five crisp cocktail recipes that your guests are sure to love. Best of all, they’re easy to make at home, and you don’t need to be a professional mixologist to make them taste great.
easy summer cocktails

Rosemary Greyhound

Here’s a new twist on an old favorite. The greyhound has been a popular drink since at least the 1930s, but our version uses rosemary to add a delightful complexity and sophistication. It’s important to note that while many greyhound aficionados favor gin as the spirit of choice for this cocktail, we’ll be using vodka so as not to clash with the rosemary.

To make this delightful summertime refresher, start by making some rosemary simple syrup. You can find fresh rosemary at your local grocer, but if you happen to have fresh rosemary in your garden, sugar and water are all that you’ll need to complete the recipe.

Stir four fresh sprigs of rosemary and one cup sugar into one cup simmering water. Then bring it to a boil and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves. Strain, cover, and let cool for four hours.

With your rosemary simple syrup prepared, you’re ready to start juicing some fresh, pink grapefruit. You can juice them by hand or use your favorite juicer; the latter method imparts a frothiness that we find quite nice.

In an iced cocktail shaker, mix 6oz fresh grapefruit juice, a standard shot of quality vodka, 1oz rosemary simple syrup, and a squeeze of lemon. Shake vigorously, then pour over ice, garnish with a small sprig of rosemary, and enjoy.

Bourbon Cucumber Cooler

This is a simple drink that will certainly please bourbon lovers in need of some summertime refreshment. To make it, you’ll need decent bourbon (nothing too fancy, but don’t go with anything too cheap, either), a cucumber, a lemon, and club soda.

Put three slices of cucumber and a lemon wedge in the bottom of a mixing glass and muddle them to bring out the flavors. Add a shot of bourbon and fill with ice, and then stir for 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass, garnish with a lemon slice, and drink. Repeat as necessary.

Spicy Mojito

Here’s a classic summertime favorite with a little extra kick. To make it, you’ll need mint leaves, white rum, fresh lime juice, a ripe jalapeño, club soda, and simple syrup.

If you’d prefer to make your own simple syrup, just follow the recipe listed earlier – but leave out the rosemary.

Start by muddling the mint leaves and three chunks of jalapeño in a cocktail shaker, and then fill it the rest of the way with ice. Next, add two ounces of white rum, three quarters of an ounce of lime juice, and one ounce simple syrup. Cap it off and shake it like you mean it, then strain the mixture into a Collins glass filled with ice. Wow!
easy summer cocktails

Basil Lemonade

This drink is a bit more labor intensive than some of the others on the list, and making it requires a blender, but it’s definitely worth the extra effort. Here’s the ingredient list: one cup fresh lemon juice (that’s the laborious part), one half cup honey, two generous cups of basil leaves, three cups of cold water, vodka, and plenty of ice.

First, blend the lemon juice, basil leaves, honey and salt together until it’s nice and frothy. Next, strain it through a sieve into a pitcher, getting rid of anything that might detract from the overall smoothness.

With the mixture in the pitcher, you’re ready to add your cold water and four standard shots of vodka. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with fresh basil leaves. Serves four, but everyone will want seconds, so be ready to make another pitcher.

Margaritas For Real

Margaritas are summertime drink perfection, but who needs all the extra sugar? This recipe is delicious, simple, and relatively guilt-free.

Ready to get started? Great! Stop by your local grocery store and pick up some limes, 100% agave tequila, agave nectar, ice, and margarita salt.

In a cold cocktail shaker, shake up one and a half ounces tequila, one tbsp. agave nectar, and about half a lime’s worth of fresh juice. Add enough ice to fill your margarita glass, shake it up, and pour it into a salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wedge, and drink up!

Stay Cool!

These easy, breezy cocktails are sure to make your next summertime house party or cookout a smash hit. The next heat wave will be no match for you!

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.