My Favorite Summer Cocktail Recipes for All Levels of Expertise

As someone who’s generally happy sipping on a white wine spritzer on most hot days, I don’t require very much in the way of cocktails. But when I host friends and am feeling brave, there’s nothing like a specialty cocktail to make an event particularly memorable.

Mojito cocktail making

From time to time, I’ll venture into the unknown waters of bartending, harnessing my inner mixologist. On those rare occasions, I’ll get out the blender and chop herbs to produce a yummy cocktail, subsequently spending lots of time measuring, shaking, and stirring the perfect drink. But there are equally just as many occasions when I don’t want to spend so much time prepping, and I want to simply combine ingredients from my refrigerator with a few splashes of this or that to make an easy (and delicious) treat, particularly when it’s just a casual gathering with old friends.  Below, I’ve compiled some delicious summer cocktail recipes that anyone can make, from the experienced bartender to the novice, to give your event some extra oomph.

For the novice drink maker:

Elderflower and Prosecco Cocktail – A light, crisp cocktail with sweet hints and bubbles

Pineapple Delight – A sweet tropical delight that makes you feel like you’re on vacation but doesn’t require a blender

Cucumber Cocktail – The summer cousin to the traditional gin and tonic, infused with cucumber and lime

Homemade cucumber and mint lemonade.

For the somewhat adventurous bartender:

Blood Orange and Rosemary Fizz – Citrusy, sophisticated goodness for those who love Aperol (a personal favorite!)

The Moonwalk – A Champagne cocktail for a dressed up summer evening

Strawberry Basil Margarita – A not-too-sweet tequila classic that can be made in a pitcher

For the veteran mixologist:

Rabbit Gin Sour – For pisco sour lovers, this take uses gin but has the same tangy goodness

Frozen Peach Old Fashioned – A sweet and fruity frozen take on this classic standby

Watermelon Tequila Cocktail – Thirst-quenching watermelon blended with tequila make this a dangerously drinkable concoction

Watermelon smoothies

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