Easy Summer Cocktails That Don’t Suck

July 18th, 2017

summer cocktail recipes

If you haven’t noticed, it’s mid-July and it’s hot AF outside, which means two things: 1) a dramatic rise in pale calf sightings and 2) the annual search for the best summer cocktail is on.

While we can’t protect you from the inevitable eye-full of the pale, lower-leg of a cargo short-wearing passerby, likely sporting a tucked in $25 graphic t-shirt from the last Margaritaville he visited, we can share thoughts on some awesome summer cocktails. And trust us, it’s way easier to embrace the former when you have the latter in your hand.

So, throw up the patio umbrella in a vain attempt to grab some lasting shade, and whip up these cocktails to keep you cool — or at the very least, help you forget how f***ing hot you are.

Classic Margarita


If you read “margarita” and immediately thought about that $7 bottle of pre-made mix at the store, then you probably tuck your Margaritaville shirt into your cargo shorts. Sorry, not sorry to be blunt. Jimmy Buffet runs enough of a racket selling cheeseburgers in “paradise” (a.k.a. Orlando) and doesn’t need anymore of your dough.

Margaritas are fantastic summer cocktails and are super simple to make, so we’re not sure why people and bars take the lazy way out. Here’s what you’ll need:

1.5 oz blanco tequila (Herradura Silver, as an example)

1 oz orange liqueur (Cointreau or triple sec)

.75 oz fresh lime juice

Kosher salt (optional)

Agave (optional)

Soda water (optional)

In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice. Shake for a few seconds. Pour everything into a rocks glass rimmed with salt, if you’re feeling frisky, and top with ice as necessary. Garnish with a lime… or not. Aesthetics isn’t the point here.

If you want a sweeter option, add some agave to the drink before you shake. You can also top the drink with soda water if you want some fizz. You do you.

We recommend you serve this with some awesome fish tacos and a full day to recover, because you’ll have about eight of them.

Aperol Spritz

aperol spritz

No, Aperol Spritzes are not just for Italians with tight white pants and an advanced taste for bitter liqueurs. They’re for everyone! Yes, that means you too. Put your machismo away and drink this delicious, refreshing Italian concoction.

Plus, the next time you’re on a Tinder date you can impress with your knowledge of foreign liqueurs and muse on all the travel you’re planning on doing next summer.

Here’s what you’ll need:



Soda water


Instead of a precise amount, the perfect Aperol spritz is divided into parts: three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol, and one part (splash, really) soda. Here’s how you go about it: fill a wine glass with ice and pour the prosecco until it’s about halfway full. Add a two-count of Aperol, or until the glass is about ¾ full. Top with soda water and garnish that bad boy with an orange peel.

We think you should serve this with a nice cheese and meat board, but throw on a Beastie Boys album so people don’t start talking about the best place to get your poodle groomed.

Gin and Tonic

gin and tonic

Didn’t expect to see this one on the list, did you? Well, here we are and you’re going to have to get over it. Gin’s popularity is on the rise and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Gone are the days where gin and tonics were reserved for curly-haired English women who were just sipping tea until it’s a proper time to pour a stiff one.

G&Ts can be an awesome way to spend a summer afternoon, not only because they’re refreshing and classy AF, but because they can also be super crafty and interesting. Interesting gin and tonics, you ask? F*** yes. Stay tuned.

Here’s what you’ll need for the classic G&T:

2 oz gin (Hendricks is a good start, but try some locals)

Tonic (Fever-Tree is a good in-store purchase)


In a glass (highball or otherwise), add ice and gin, top with tonic and squeeze lime to taste. That’s it. But, let’s get a little more creative with a few variations:

Muddle cucumber and basil in the bottom of the glass before building the G&T.

Get extra crafty with your tonic by mixing your own. 18.21 makes a killer tonic syrup where all you have to do is add soda.

Infuse the gin with fresh rosemary and wait a week. Everyone loves a herbal cocktail.

Get crazy and play around with different gins, flavors, herbs, and everything you can think of. Seriously, gin and tonics don’t have to be boring.

We recommend you serve it with more gin and tonic. Also, it pairs well with boating. PSA: if you’re the boat captain, stick with just the tonic. #drinkinganddrivingisdumbAF

Runner Ups


Fresh Daiquiri


Pina Colada

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