35 Best Summer Cocktails

Soak up the sun...and the booze.

rum runner cocktail garnished with pineapple and blackberries

It’s summer, and you know what that means—spending as much time outside as possible, preferably by a pool or the beach. From frozen drinks to icy margaritas and tropical mixed cocktails, there's something for every mood, party, and holiday this summer. Celebrate the return of warm weather and sunshine with these 35 essential summer cocktails.

Summer days are loooong, which means you’re likely to find yourself drinking during the day and into the night. If you don’t want to risk going overboard (or like us, getting sleepy early 😴 ), try one of our tips for lower ABV cocktails so you can keep sipping from brunch till after dinner. First off, we love adding seltzer to a cocktail to make it extra bubbly and keep us hydrated. Try our bittersweet Aperol spritz, red wine sangria, or strawberry jalapeño mint julep—we’ve added soda water to both to great effect. You could also go simple with our ranch water cocktail: It’s pretty much a tequila soda with lime, with added Cointreau to make it like a less-sweet margarita. Our second trick is to make your drink more savory than sweet. It’s super easy to suck down a sweet cocktail fast, but add a few salty umami ingredients, and it becomes something to savor. Try our beer-based Michelada (secret ingredient: soy sauce) or taco bloody Marys (complete with optional mini tacos!).

Though we have been known to drink something cold and icy in the depths of winter (hello, Jack Frosties), there’s really nothing better than a frozen cocktail when it’s HOT out. We’ve included a few of our favorites here. There’s frozen margaritas, ofc, but we’ve also got spins on the classic, like a frozen strawberry margarita, frozen watermelon margarita, and a frozen sangria margarita.

Don’t have a blender? No sweat. Go with one of our summer fruit-inspired margaritas instead. We’ve got a peach margarita, blueberry lemonade margarita, or our pink señoritas (think a marg with pink lemonade instead of lime juice).

Not a tequila fan? We got you too. Try our rum runner (with two kinds of rum!) or our spiked sparkling basil lemonade (basil-infused vodka? yum!) or our classic citrusy, almond-y Mai Tai.

If you’re having a summer party, cocktails ARE important, but don’t forget options for other refreshing beverages too. Whether it’s mocktails for your teetotaler friends or non-alcoholic drinks like lemonade and iced tea, we’ve got options.

peach margarita with a spicy rim garnished with a lime wheel
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Peach Margarita

There are a bunch of ways to infuse a drink with fruit like steeping some actual fruit in the alcohol itself or making a syrup out of berries or fruit juice. In this case we have packed peachy goodness into this margarita with two ingredients: peach schnapps and peach puree.

Get the Peach Margarita recipe.

strawberry jalapeño mint julep
Emily Hlavac Green
2 of 35
Strawberry Jalapeño Mint Julep

Don’t let Derby Day be your only excuse to make these mint juleps; they’re worthy all summer long. If you’re into spicy margaritas then you’ll be able to handle the heat here; the jalapeño-infused simple syrup mellows out once it hits the cool mint and sweet berries

Get the Strawberry Jalapeño Mint Julep recipe.

rum runner cocktail
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Rum Runner

The dangerous task of bringing alcohol across state lines during Prohibition was colloquially known as rum-running, and is the namesake for this classic tropical cocktail. True to its name, this drink has not one but two types of rum in it, and is balanced by the addition of fruity liqueurs and fresh juice, making it a perfect cocktail for a balmy day.

Get the Rum Runner recipe.

ranch water cocktail
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Ranch Water

A sort of effervescent, less-sweet version of a margarita, only 3 ingredients are required for Ranch Water: tequila, lime juice, and seltzer. (Preferably Topo Chico; some claim it’s not a real Ranch Water without it!) We like adding a splash of orange liqueur like Cointreau for a little added sweetness and citrus flavor too.

Get the Ranch Water recipe.

frozen strawberry maragrita
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Frozen Strawberry Margarita

This fruit-forward margarita works best with frozen strawberries, so it doesn't get watered down! We love adding fresh basil for some sweet anise-y flavor, but other fresh herbs like mint or even cilantro can kick up the flavor of this sunny cocktail.

Get the Frozen Strawberry Margarita recipe.

michelada in a glass with a chili salt rim garnished with a lime
Parker Feierbach
6 of 35

If you've never had a Michelada, you're in for a treat. The addition of hot sauce and lime juice add a spicy/sour kick that takes your average light beer from good to great. Thanks to our secret ingredient (soy sauce!) there's also a hint of umami flavor that keeps you coming back for more.

Get the Michelada recipe.

spiked coconut limeade  delishcom
Andrew Bui
7 of 35
Spiked Coconut Limeade

To unlock the delicious concentrated flavor found in citrus skins, we made an oleo saccharum for this cocktail. Let us explain: granulated sugar draws the flavorful essential oils out of citrus peels as they sit at room temperature. We love watching the sugar transform into a beautiful syrup, perfect for flavoring seltzer, cocktails, or desserts.

Get the Spiked Coconut Limeade recipe.

sparkling basil lemonade
Joel Goldberg
8 of 35
Spiked Sparkling Basil Lemonade

Basil-infused vodka? Sign us up. This brings out the sweetness of the herb and turns the spirit a vibrant green.

Get the Spiked Sparkling Basil Lemonade recipe.

pina colada recipe
Ethan Calabrese
9 of 35
Piña Colada Sangria

White wine sangria + a piña colada? Yes please! One sip will transport you to the tropics.

Get the Piña Colada Sangria recipe.

mojitos three ways
Emily Hlavac Green
10 of 35
Mojitos, 3 Ways

Turn your night into a pick-your-own-cocktail night with mojitos made with strawberry, blueberry, or pineapple. Whatever your choice, it's a good one. If you just so happen to be interested in one without alcohol our Blackberry Virgin Mojito is mighty refreshing and a great fourth option.

Get the Mojitos, 3 Ways recipe.

frozen watermelon margarita
Parker Feierbach
11 of 35
Frozen Watermelon Margarita

This recipe requires a little forethought. Chop up some fresh watermelon and throw it in the freezer the night before you make the margs—this ensures the drinks are perfectly slushy and ICE cold. (If you forgot, don't fret! Two hours in the freezer should do the trick.)

Get the Frozen Watermelon Margarita recipe.

blueberry lemonade margarita
Emily Hlavac Green
12 of 35
Blueberry Lemonade Margaritas

Turn your margarita into summer goals with this blueberry lemonade version. Have some leftover blueberry simple syrup? It tastes AMAZING in seltzer water, and is a great sweetener for iced tea. You can even stir it into yogurt or ice cream for a punch of blueberry flavor.

Get the Blueberry Lemonade Margaritas recipe.

Food, Drink, Non-alcoholic beverage, Ingredient, Alcoholic beverage, Beer cocktail, Distilled beverage, Batida, Punch, Apple cider,
Ethan Calabrese
13 of 35
Frozen Dark & Stormy

We blended our Dark & Stormy cocktail for this frozen summer upgrade. The fresh ginger really makes it zing!

Get the Frozen Dark & Stormy recipe.

blackberry mojito
Ethan Calabrese
14 of 35
Blackberry Mojito

Crushed, ripe blackberries give this mojito a tart-sweet kick, but use any of your favorite summery fruits!

Get the Blackberry Mojito recipe.

sangria slushy cocktail
Parker Feierbach
15 of 35
Sangria Slushies

Save leftover red wine by freezing it and turning it into a frozen treat. More of a white wine or moscato sangria person? Either works super well with this easy ice cube tray hack!

Get the Sangria Slushies recipe.

taco bloody marias
Parker Feierbach
16 of 35
Taco Bloody Marys

A Bloody Mary is only as good as it's garnish, so we topped these off with our favorite tacos. We used a toaster to make our own mini tacos shells, and it's our one of our favorite hacks EVER.

Get the Taco Bloody Marys recipe.

summer shandy punch
17 of 35
Summer Shandy Punch

Think of this as the boozy version of an Arnold Palmer— 1/2 beer, 1/2 lemonade. We jazzed it up for summer with some fresh fruit and ginger beer too.

Get the Summer Shandy Punch recipe.

mai tai
Emily Hlavac Green
18 of 35
Classic Mai Tai

This famous tiki cocktail is as tropical as it gets. Freshly squeezed orange and lime juice deliver big citrus flavor, but its best ingredient is orgeat syrup (or, if you can't find it, almond extract). We like it hot with a spicy rim, but skip it if you like.

Get the Classic Mai Tai recipe.

shark punch
Parker Feierbach
19 of 35
Shark Punch

If Shark Week is basically your Christmas then consider this our gift to you. Be sure to prepare the "lifesaver" well in advance so that it's fully frozen. As it melts it will create the foamy white waves and make the punch extra creamy.

Get the Shark Punch recipe.

Sex on the Beach - Delish.com
Parker Feierbach
20 of 35
Sex On The Beach

Peachy, tart, and citrusy, this cocktail is the perfect drink to wind down with after a long day.

Get the Sex On The Beach recipe.

strawberry frose
Emily Hlavac Green
21 of 35
Strawberry Frosé

You don't need to go to a bar to enjoy frosé. With a good blender, it's super easy to make it yourself. Our favorite addition? Strawberries. They add the perfect amount of sweetness and body to the summer cocktail.

Get the Strawberry Frosé recipe.

frozen sangria margarita
Ethan Calabrese
22 of 35
Frozen Sangria Margarita

This drink alternates frozen layers of two of our favorite drinks—red wine sangria and tequila margaritas— for the the perfect boozy summer sipper.

Get the Frozen Sangria Margarita recipe.

tequila sunrise cocktail
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Tequila Sunrise

PSA: You don't have to be on vacation to enjoy a tequila sunrise. These orange juice, grenadine, and vodka sippers are great anytime!

Get the Tequila Sunrise recipe.

Fuzzy Navel - Delish.com
Parker Feierbach
24 of 35
Fuzzy Navel

We aren't so sure about the name but this drink is far better than it sounds. Orange juice and peach schnapps create the perfect cocktail for an escape into pure bliss. You'll feel like you are sitting on the beach and everything is going to be all right.

Get the Fuzzy Navel recipe.

pink señoritas
Parker Feierbach
25 of 35
Pink Señoritas

Like a margarita with a softer, cuter side, the Señorita ditches limes for pink lemonade and lemon juice.

Get the Pink Señoritas recipe.

frozen pimm's cup
Emily Hlavac Green
26 of 35
Frozen Pimm's Cup

You don’t have to be in the seats at Wimbledon or a polo match to sip on a Pimm’s Cup–especially when you turn into a slushie. The less-proper icy version blends up citrus, cucumber, and a bunch of fresh ginger for some legit zing.

Get the Frozen Pimm's Cup recipe.

strawberry daiquiri
Emily Hlavac Green
27 of 35
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri

For best results, we call for two types of strawberries: fresh and frozen. Using frozen strawberries gives body to the drink without watering down the flavor like ice would, and fresh strawberries add juiciness and a syrupy quality, keeping the drink from being too thick. That squeeze of lime? Essential. The fresh citrus kick will make the strawberries shine even brighter in flavor.

Get the Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri recipe.

vanilla peach bellinis garnished with mint on a speckled marble tray on a yellow background
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Vanilla-Peach Bellinis

If you can get your hands on some super ripe peaches, taste your puree before adding honey—it might be sweet enough already! If not, adding some orange zest will help coax out the sweetness even more.

Get the Vanilla-Peach Bellinis recipe.

rainbow sangria
Erik Bernstein
29 of 35
Rainbow Sangria

Layering fruit in the glasses makes this moscato sangria extra pretty. If you don't to bother with layering, feel free to skip it, but don't skimp on the fruit!

Get the Rainbow Sangria recipe.

pina colada
Ethan Calabrese
30 of 35
Piña Colada

If you have the time, freeze the pineapple chunks (or buy frozen) first. This will allow you to skip the ice and make your piña colada extra creamy.

Get the Piña Colada recipe.

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