The Best Summer Cocktails To Be Drinking This Year

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Summer has finally arrived, and you know what that means... spending as much time outdoors as possible. Summer is about the little things for us: those fantastic blue skies, long summer days, warm evenings, hardly any makeup, endlessly talking about the weather, ice cream, barbeques, picnics, complaining about the weather (then complaining when it goes back to normal). And cocktails. Cocktails galore. Nothing says summer to me more than a Strawberry Daiquiri drunk from a paper cup, spread out on a picnic blanket under the shade of a tree. You can have your pool and beach, to me summer in the U.K is all about being al fresco at home.

Summer cocktails have really only one purpose: they need to make you feel cool in the most literal sense possible. When things get hot - and if the temperatures in the U.K are anything to go by, things are getting very hot indeed - you need to drink something with lots of ice cubes.

If you thought summer cocktails were just about Frozen Margaritas, Aperol Spritz and Piña Coladas, then think again! We've curated an extensive list of refreshing drinks that are not only easy to make and delicious but are filled with the season's finest ingredients. Get down to the market and stock up on lots of fresh fruit, because these cocktails are the epitome of summer in a glass. Gather your barware, mop the sweat from your brow, and mix up one of our best summertime cocktails below.

Strawberry Basil Smash

We promise you’ll never look at gin the same way again after you try this strawberry basil cocktail with gin, lemon, and elderflower liqueur.

Ingredients

6 strawberries halved

6-8 fresh basil leaves

1 oz squeezed fresh lemon juice

3 oz quality London Dry gin

1 oz elderflower liqueur

tonic water

Instructions

Add strawberries, basil, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker. Muddle.

Add gin and liqueur and shake.

Pour over ice in 2 highball glasses, keeping all the solids as well.

Top with tonic water

MacNamara Rose

If you thought whiskey was only for winter, think again. This Irish Whiskey, Rosé, and cucumber medley is guaranteed to become your new summer favourite. 

Ingredients

2 oz The Dublin Irish Liberties Copper Alley Irish Whiskey

¾  oz Lillet Rosé

½  oz Aperol

2 muddled cucumber slices

1 pinch of Kosher salt

Cucumber ribbon for garnish

Instructions

Muddle cucumbers lightly in a tumbler to release juices

Stir ingredients together and double-strain into a Nick and Nora glass. 

Garnish with cucumber slice.

Summer Fizz

Every cocktail tastes good when mixed with club soda and peach puree.

Ingredients

1 ½ oz Alizé Gold Passion Fruit Liqueur

½ oz ginger syrup

½ oz peach purée

½ oz lemon juice

1 egg white

Club Soda or fizzy water to top off

Instructions

Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and dry shake

Add ice and re-shake with ice

Finish with club soda or fizzy water 

Garnish with fresh ginger and lemon peel

Strawberry Daquiri

Summertime makes us want to scream Strawberry Daiquiris. What could be easier? Rum, sugar, lime, strawberries. Easy peezy.

Ingredients

500g strawberries, hulled

100ml rum

juice ½ lime

1-2 tbsp sugar syrup, (optional)

2 slices of limes to garnish

Instructions

Blend the strawberries to make a puree and sieve to remove seeds

Add the puree to a cocktail shaker and add the ice, rum, sugar syrup if you are not sweet enough already and lime juice. 

Shake again and pour into two martini glasses

Garnish with a strawberry and slice of lime

Tequila Sunrise

We’ve updated this classic cocktail with flavoured gin in the place of tequila to give it a bit of va va voom, Don’t forget the umbrella! 

Ingredients

2 tsp grenadine juice

50ml flavoured gin (we like Bloom Passionfruit and Vanilla Blossom)

1 tbsp triple sec

Juice of one large orange

½ lemon, juiced

1 cocktail cherry, to garnish

Instructions

Pour the grenadine juice into the Tom Collins’ glass and set aside

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the gin, triple sec, orange and lemon

Shake until the outside of the shaker feels cold in your handAdd a few ice cubes to the serving glass 

Slowly double strain the cocktail into it, paying careful attention not to disturb the grenadine layer too much 

Garnish with a cherry on a stick or cocktail umbrella

Phil Collins

Bang your drums to a groovy kind of Collins with this brilliant take on the classic Tom Collins. If you really want another day in paradise, and can feel it coming in the air tonight, then substitute the cucumber for fresh watermelon and a pinch of salt. Sussudio!

Ingredients

2 slices cucumber

2 oz Ophir Arabian Edition Gin

¼ ounce Green Chartreuse

½ ounce simple syrup

¼ ounce cranberry juice

¾ ounce lime juice

Fizzy water

1 ribbon of cucumber for garnish

Instructions

Muddle cucumber in a shaker

Add ice, gin, Chartreuse, simple syrup, cranberry juice, and lime juice

Shake briefly until the shaker feels cold

Fine-strain into a (Phil) Collins glass over fresh ice and top off with fizzy water

Add the ribbon of cucumber vertically into the glass for garnish

Paloma

One of the best and most underrated cocktails around. The Paloma is Mexico's answer to the gin and tonic, it is traditionally made with Tequila, but we naturally prefer making it with gin. 

Ingredients

2 oz Ophir Spices of the Orient gin

¼  to 1/2  ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste

4 oz grapefruit juice

Lime wedge, for optional rim

Coarse salt, for optional rim

Instructions

If you want to make this drink sexier, then rim the glass with lime juice and salt before filling the glass.

Fill a Tom Collins glass with ice and add the gin and lime juice.

Add grapefruit juice 

Enjoy!

Nouveau Sangaree

Whoever said summer cocktails said Sangria. But not all sangrias have to be the sickly sweet drink with bits of flabby, bottom-of-the-fruitbowl-fruit floating in it. This version was conceived by the famous New York City bartender and author Jim Meehan and is perfect as the summer days draw to a close.

Ingredients

2 oz red wine (use a light-medium bodied one, like Pinot Noir or Beaujolais Nouveau)

1 ½  oz apple brandy

½  oz Greenall’s Sloe Gin

¼ oz honey

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Apple slices to garnish

Grated cinnamon to garnish

Instructions

Add the red wine, apple brandy, sloe gin, honey and Angostura bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass

Garnish with thin apple slices and grated cinnamon

Pineapple White Wine Sangria

Swap Spain’s unique fusion of siesta and fiesta for the soft sounds of the Caribbean with this tropical, exotic twist on sangria. Make a big jug and sip responsibly.

Ingredients

1 bottle white wine (choose a dry white such as Chardonnay, Riesling, or Sauvignon Blanc) 

1 medium orange, sliced into wedges

1 medium lemon, sliced into wedges

1 medium fresh pineapple, cut to your preference

2 oz sugar

32 oz ginger ale

4 oz Greenall's Pineapple Gin

Fresh mint leaves for garnish

Instructions

Pour the chilled bottle of wine into a large jug

Add the squeezed juices from the orange and lemon wedges

Toss in the citrus wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple pieces; add a splash of pineapple juice then add the sugar and chill overnight in the refrigerator to let all the tastes macerate

Just before serving, add ginger ale, gin, and some ice 

Garnish with mint

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