Meet your new favorite poolside cocktail. This slushy sipper offers sweet, floral honeydew flavor with a nice slow burn from jalapeño-infused tequila.
Barbados Rum Punch
Barbados, the Caribbean birthplace of rum, has a rum punch recipe as foolproof as it is versatile: "One of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak." In our take, fruit juice and ginger ale serve as both sweet and weak, so we don't need to add any brown sugar or simple syrup.
Prickly Pear Punch
We like the clean flavor and mixability of silver tequila here. For a nonalcoholic drink, omit it and top with sparkling water.
Blackberries are too often overlooked in favor of their flashier berry cousins, but this drink elevates them to their proper status. The sweet tang of lime balances the blackberry flavor perfectly, for a refreshing beverage that's perfect over ice. If you're feeling creative, try making the limeade into a base for a cocktail.
A classic Moscow mule—spicy ginger beer, tart lime, and vodka served in a chilled copper mug—is as frosty and refreshing as a snow cone. This fresh twist uses barrel-aged bourbon and a hint of mint for a mule with Kentucky-style giddyap. Copper mugs are in: Find ones similar to these at Crate & Barrel ($20).
Cucumber-Lime Infused Gin and Tonic
Make the gin mixture ahead or let stand at room temp 3 hours. When entertaining, keep an ice bucket, extra utensils, and plenty of napkins handy so guests can help themselves—and so you won't have to be in and out of the kitchen.
Blackberry Gin Fizz
For the perfect layer of creamy froth on top of each cocktail, be prepared to shake the cocktail shaker (with no ice) vigorously; the half-and-half helps set the egg white for a more stable foam.
To get a half-salted rim, you'll need to start with a tablespoon of salt—but only about 1 teaspoon ends up sticking to the glasses.
Sweet Heat Arnold Palmer
Mocktails need not be boring: A habanero chile adds welcome kick to a classic layered Arnold Palmer. The trick to layering beverages is to add liquids to the glass in order of most to least dense. We put most of the sugar into the lemonade (the denser liquid), so be sure to swirl before swigging.
Slap the verbena leaves lightly between your palms before you garnish to release essential oils. For ease, make the simple syrup a day ahead and mix just before serving. Opt for a floral honey here, like blueberry or orange blossom. The unique qualities of the honey you use will really shine is this refreshing cocktail.
A slightly richer and sweeter postdinner sip helps you to digest the meal just as a light and dry aperitif helped start it. Fresh raspberries, strawberries, and lemons provide the right balance of sweet and sour flavor.
Chamomile-Strawberry-Orange Cold-Brewed Tea
Fruit adds sweetness to this refreshing drink. If you wish, substitute raspberries for the strawberries, or drop in a sprig of lemon verbena to boost the aromatic citrus.
Marionberries, an exceptionally juicy, slightly tart blackberry variety developed by Oregon State University, are perfect for this fizzy summer refresher. You can also use regular blackberries.
Raspberry-Lime Rickey Slushies
These delicate gems require a bit of TLC. Avoid piling them up or they'll get squashed. Refrigerate berries as soon as you can after purchasing, and only rinse right before you plan to use them to prevent mold from developing.
Tropical coconut and pineapple combine with melon liqueur and the subtle flavor of kiwi in this blended iced cocktail whose green color looks absolutely gorgeous on any party table. If you can find them, try using golden kiwifruit instead for a sweeter taste and pretty golden color.
Lemon Verbena Iced Tea
Nothing is more refreshing on a hot day than a tall glass of sweet tea with just the right amount of tart lemon flavor, especially if sipped in a rocking chair on the porch. The bright citrus flavor of the lemon-verbena syrup will also add sparkle to a variety of cocktails, so make an extra batch.
Agua de jamaica is a sweet beverage made with hibiscus blossoms, popular on hot days all over Latin America. We've taken that concept to the next level by incorporating the floral, summery taste of hibiscus into a classic margarita for an elegant outdoor-party cocktail.
Minted Lemon-Lime Watermelon Agua Fresca
Sweet, tangy, and absolutely thirst-quenching, this beverage is one the whole family can enjoy.
Sweet blueberries infuse spicy gin for summer’s most refreshing sipper. For a fizzy cocktail, pour gin, cardamom syrup, and lemon juice over crushed ice in a glass; top with chilled club soda.
This effervescent creation contains lots of fruit for sweetness and summer flavor of course, and then we add cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, for bubbles and a kick.
Brandied Berry Milk Shake
Fresh, sweet berries blended into ice cream are a great way to cool off after anything hot and spicy or grilled. The brandy adds a nice depth to this shake, but it's almost as good without alcohol.
Lemon Verbena Gimlet Cocktails
The tartness of lime juice and the herbal freshness of verbena both make this cocktail taste light and refreshing. If the party's outside, pour these over ice to keep them cold, but for a more elegant look indoors, shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into chilled martini glasses.
Sparkling Rosemary-Peach Cocktails
A heady punch of woodsy rosemary creates an herbaceous riff on the classic Bellini.
Agua Fresca de Pepino
Serve this refreshing cooler on a hot day–it's perfect with spicy Mexican food. Because we only include a tiny amount of seeded serrano pepper, the beverage doesn't become very spicy but picks up the "green" vegetal flavors of the pepper. Use the remaining serrano pepper in your favorite salsa recipe, or toss it into a lime-based salad dressing with cilantro.
Jalapeño adds a subtle kick, and cilantro brings grassy, herbal notes to classic limeade. Adults might like to stir in a little tequila.
Peaches add sweet, mellow roundness to traditional lemonade. Stir in white rum or bourbon for grown-ups.
Champagne Mango Margaritas
Champagne mangoes are also called Ataulfo mangoes. Other varieties may be used but won't be as smooth. Use more mango nectar to compensate.
Cucumber Pimm's Cup
A traditional Pimm's Cup may include slices of lemon and orange, mint, and sometimes rosemary or thyme, along with cucumber spears. We steeped the lemonade overnight with cucumber slices to bring out their flavor.
In Mexico, a refresco is typically a very sweet bottled soda. Take the concept of a refreshing fizzy drink to a more delicious place with this tall, cooling watermelon cocktail—a less sweet soda with a kick.
Watermelon Lime Soda
Turn fast food fruit drinks into a thing of the past, and trade up with a satisfying summer sipper made with fresh watermelon and lime juice. Garnished with a mint sprig, this hot pink beverage delivers cool refreshment on a hot summer day.