What are you sipping this weekend? My best friend is coming to town to celebrate her birthday, and we’ll be clinking some homemade cocktails. Since we’re in the thick of summer heat, I’m highlighting my favorite cocktails for warm days.
All 25 of these drinks are refreshing, many are fruity, and none are syrupy sweet. From brunch drinks to low-key cocktails with bubbly club soda, fruity margaritas to classic Moscow Mules, you’ll find it here. I added some non-alcoholic “mocktails” at the end that are suitable for adults and kids alike.
If you’re looking for fresh and healthy food recipes for summer weekends, check out this roundup. I think we might fire up the grill to make my favorite veggie burgers and corn on the cob for elotes. Cheers!
These bellinis are made with real, fresh peach purée. Simple and delicious.
2) Kir Royale
Kir Royales are made with Champagne and a splash of French berry liqueur. They’re a great excuse to drink straight bubbly before noon.
These Bloody Marys are my attempt to recreate store-bought Zing Zang mix. Success!
You can never go wrong with a mimosa. Never.
Classic Summertime Cocktails
Bubbly and refreshing, the Aperol spritz is a little boozy, a little sweet, a little bitter, and a little hydrating. It’s a winner.
6) Mai Tai
This classic Tiki cocktail comes from the Aloha Kitchen Cookbook, and it skips the sugary syrups.
7) Mint Julep
Mint Juleps aren’t just for Derby days. I make mine with real maple syrup instead of simple syrup, which is easy to do and tastes amazing!
Minty rum mojitos are like summer in a glass. Ahhhh.
9) Moscow Mule
I taste-tested all the ginger beers to figure out how to make the best Moscow Mule. Here it is.
10) Tom Collins
Like grown-up lemonade, Tom Collins cocktails are irresistibly citrusy, fizzy and refreshing, with herbal notes from the gin.
Gin, Served Up
11) Basil Gimlet
As you’ll see, gin + citrus + herbs is truly a winning combination. If you’re not usually a gin drinker, try it with Hendrick’s and you might change your tune.
These cold lemon-honey-gin drinks are so nice on a warm summer evening.
Crushed cucumber and St-Germain elderflower liqueur yield a truly lovely gin gimlet. If you enjoy this one, also try my Cucumber Mint Gimlet.
14) Classic Martini
The martini is an all-season cocktail. Serve it with olives (make it dirty, if you’d like) or a twist of lemon (arguably more refreshing).
Margaritas & The Like
These are my go-to margaritas. Use fresh-squeezed lime juice and orange juice (no Cointreau), quality tequila, and just a tiny bit of sweetener for the best margarita you’ve ever had.
Blueberries in a margarita? Absolutely.
These fruity batch margaritas are designed for frozen strawberries.
If you have a ripe honeydew, turn it into a margarita!
The mezcalita is the margarita’s smoky cousin.
This little number is like an herbal, spicy-sweet pineapple margarita. If that’s your jam, you’re going to love it.
21) Spicy Cucumber Margarita (Love Real Food, page 128)
Cooling cucumber shaken with a spicy fresh jalapeño slice a truly irresistible margarita. Finish it off with a spice blend around the rim.
Ripe watermelon and jalapeño finish up our list of margaritas. These are so fresh and fun!
I don’t throw around “the best” lightly. This sangria is wonderful, thanks to the careful selection of wine varietal and the combination of fruit.
24) Strawberry Rose Sangria (Love Real Food, page 137)
This refreshing sangria features ripe sliced strawberries, Honeycrisp apple, orange and St-Germain elderflower liqueur.
Watermelon, nectarine, raspberries and lime really take a bottle Sauvignon Blanc to the next level.
Similar to cold brew coffee, the cold brewing method yields less bitter iced tea. It’s smooth and delicious.
This spin on lemonade was inspired by a frozen drink in Morocco. It’s very cooling on a hot afternoon.
A knock-off of Starbuck’s “Pink Drink,” made with strawberries, orange juice, hibiscus tea and coconut milk.
Hibiscus tea mixed with bubbly club soda, a squeeze of lime, and a splash of honey simple syrup.
Fun fruity drinks made simply of fruit blended with water, lime juice and a bit of sweetener.
Cold homemade juice made with sweet, ripe watermelon is a real treat (it’s so easy, too).
More resources you might appreciate: 23 healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes, 45 recipes that pack well for lunch and 20 simple weeknight dinners. You might also like my monthly seasonal produce guides and healthy kitchen essentials. View all roundups and resource posts here.