Terri Coles
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May 31, 2013

Cool Off With These 7 Great Summer Cocktails


As of tomorrow it’ll be June. While summer doesn’t officially start for another three weeks, we figure with school ending and the weather warming up, we can pretty much consider it to have arrived.

That means it’s time to indulge in all your favorite hot-weather activities: swimming in outdoor pools, wearing cute sundresses — and our favorite, having a drink on a sunny patio. Beer and sangria are great, but sometimes you just want to try something new, you know? And if that patio is your own and you’re hosting a backyard party, it’s nice to be able to serve a signature cocktail that’ll get people talking about how fancy and sophisticated you are.

But most of all, these drinks are just delicious — and they make use of the best of summer’s awesome fresh produce. Bottoms up!

1. Iced green tea mojito

Via SkinnyTaste.com

Via SkinnyTaste.com

I love tea and I drink it year round — but I don’t want to sip on a mug of something hot while I’m enjoying the sunshine. This drink is a creative way to enjoy green tea, and the fresh mint is really refreshing. And all those antioxidants in green tea have to help mitigate some of the harmful effects of the booze, right?

2. Jack-and-Coke slush

Via sweetpeachblog.com

Via sweetpeachblog.com

There’s nothing special about this one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. If Jack Daniel’s and cola are already so great together, why mess with it? If you’ve got a slushie machine on hand, you can use it for these — otherwise, all you have to do is mix your Jack and Coke, pop it in the freezer, stir it every once in awhile and once it looks like a slushie, drink it. You can class it up and add different flavors with a dash of bitters, if you want to feel fancy.

3. Mezcalita de pina margarita

Via Saveur.com

Via Saveur.com

Margaritas are my favorite cocktail. I’m generally a purist, but sometimes you want to mix things up, and not with one of those gross drinks full of overly sweet syrup. This margarita has grilled pineapple, cilantro, mezcal, and jalapeno: it’s summer in a pitcher.

4. Classic mojito

Via Food.com

Via Food.com

Mojitos remind me of my honeymoon in Cuba, where I drank one at the legendary restaurant La Bodeguita del Medio — a favourite hangout of Ernest Hemingway — in Havana. Good memories and an awesome cocktail! This is another worth making by the pitcher.

5. Blueberry basil margarita

Via HowSweetEats.com

Via HowSweetEats.com

Hit up your local farmers’ market to get the ingredients for this margarita. This cocktail has roasted blueberries made into a simple syrup with the basil, so it’s a drink for when you’ve got some patience, but it’ll definitely impress your friends.

6. Vodka thyme lemonade

Via MarthaStewart.com

Via MarthaStewart.com

You won’t find kids selling this lemonade at a roadside stand. (Hopefully!) This is a boozy twist on the perfect summer drink, with a nice herbaceous kick from the thyme. If Martha approves, it has to be a good thing.

7. Caipirinha

Via CigarBrief.com

Via CigarBrief.com

I was introduced to this limey cocktail by a friend who visited Brazil, where it’s the national cocktail. Caipirinhas are made with cachaca, a liquor made from fermented sugar cane juice, and it’s essential here.