Summer Cocktail Recipes

05 15 2014

Summer pool parties mean one thing to us: summer cocktails. With sunny skies above us, we can only expect festive pool parties, beach days, grilling out, and other outdoor activities. We’re here to tell you how to stock your bar for the perfect summer pool party that is sure to impress guests. These unique summer cocktail recipes carry you from spring right until the end of summertime. Sure, you can’t go wrong with a cold Corona and lime while relaxing poolside, but it’s time to step away from the conventional piña colada and whip up some light, refreshing drinks that are surefire crowd-pleasers. We promise you don’t have to be a professional mixologist to create delicious beverages for your pool party.

Sangria: Some of our favorite summer cocktails involve wine (who would have guessed?). Sangria is one of the most fresh and fruity drinks you can make. It’s perfect for large groups because the longer your sangria sits, the more the flavors adapt and the better it tastes. Though traditionally made with red wine, we like to spice things up and concoct white wine sangria with added citrusy fruits like oranges, berries, and lemons. Try this Sparkling Fruit Sangria from Sally’s Baking Addiction:

  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • ½ lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of raspberries
  • 10 large strawberries, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1 750ml bottle of champagne
  • 1 750ml bottle of sweet white wine

This recipe is simple: Place all fruit in a large pitcher or bowl, add wine and champagne and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 3 - 24 hours! NOTE: Easily double, triple, or quadruple the recipe depending on the size of your party.

Don’t have time to make your own? Simply pour our Yellow Tail Sangria over ice for a premixed red wine sangria that tastes amazing.


Continuing on the wine theme, you can’t have a summer gathering without some pink wine. Rose is the perfect summer cocktail mix because it takes on a little bit from both red and whites to pair perfectly with any BBQ menu items. It’s ideal for mixing and has an aesthetically pleasing look as well. Rose cocktails work wonderfully for smaller get-togethers, especially with the ladies! Our favorite rose cocktail recipe comes from She Knows .

  • 2 large basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 5 ounces rose
  • 1 ounce citrus vodka
  • Ice

Place basil and lemon in a glass, muddle well. Fill glass with ice, then add the rose and citrus vodka. Stir. Add simply syrup, if desired. This serving size is for 1 drink, but easily double or triple the recipe for the same desired outcome.


Punch is a surefire crowd pleaser when throwing a pool party. Easy to make in large amounts, blissfully delicious, and sneakily strong, your guests will love the flavors. Punch can be made with any different liquor you desire and is usually mixed with fruit and juices of some sort. Our favorite punch for a summer party, hands down, is Food and Wine’s Colonel Beach's Plantation Punch. For those who are a bit more daring, try this recipe for sure!

  • 3-4 ice cubes, plus crushed ice
  • 2 ounces of dark rum
  • 1 ounce of amber rum
  • ½ ounce of aged rum (Barbados)
  • ½ ounce of Velvet Falernum (clove-spiced liqueur)
  • 2 ounces of unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1/8 teaspoon of absinthe
  • 2 ounces of chilled ginger beer
  • 2 pineapple wedges and leaves for garnish

Put the ice cubes in a highball glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with crushed ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the shaker except the ginger beer and garnishes and shake well. Add the ginger beer to the shaker and pour (don't strain) into the highball glass. Garnish with the skewered pineapple wedges and leaves. NOTE: multiply each ingredient by the number of guests you’re serving.

Don’t get overwhelmed by pleasing your pool party guests. For easier options, opt for rum. After all, rum is the liquor of the summer and simply combining with a refreshing mixer is delicious and always a crowd-pleaser. All you need is ice, a pitcher, some festive décor, good tunes, and great friends and you have yourself some summertime cocktails that will get the party started!