13 Summer Cocktails to Help You Cool Off

Kettle Cove
Photo: Victor Protasio

When the weather heats up, refreshing summer cocktails are the perfect way to stay cool. Some of our favorites include a cucumber-rose gin spritz, which gets subtle floral flavor from dried rose petals, and a golden-hued white sangria infused with Thai basil — we'd never pass up a frozen drink, either. Read on for those recipes, and more summer cocktails we love.

01 of 13

Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails

Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails
© John Kernick

When watermelon is in abundance, this is a great way to use it. Bobby Flay purees seedless watermelon chunks, then strains the juice through a sieve and mixes it with silver tequila, sugar syrup, blueberries, mint, and fresh lime juice.

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Tabernacle Crush

Tabernacle Crush
© John Kernick

This light and refreshing cocktail is as reminiscent of the American South as it is of the South of France.

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Limoncello Collins

Limoncello Collins, Hatfields• Los Angeles
© Tina Rupp

The Collins was most likely named after 19th-century bartender John Collins of London's Limmer's Hotel. The Tom Collins was originally made with Old Tom, a sweet style of gin that's extremely hard to find today.

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Strawberry-Lemon Mojitos

Strawberry-Lemon Mojitos
© Wendell T. Webber

Strawberries sweeten these mojitos from mixologist Joaquin Simo.

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Thai-Basil Sangria

Thai-Basil Sangria

The Spanish drink sangria draws its name from the blood-red color of its traditional red wine base. This stripped-down version gets its rich golden hue — and zingy flavors — from white wine, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a kick of brandy.

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Cucumber Margarita

Cucumber Margarita

The only thing more refreshing than a margarita is one made with cucumbers. The cucumber-infused tequila also makes a great punch.

07 of 13

Tequila-Watermelon Aguas Frescas with Prosecco

Tequila-Watermelon Aguas Frescas with Prosecco
ADRIAN GAUT

In this refreshing cocktail, Prosecco adds a lively spritz to a light, watermelon-forward margarita. If you happen to have a juicer on hand, you can certainly use it here.

08 of 13

Cucumber-Rose Gin Spritz

Cucumber Rose Gin Spritz
Victor Protasio

A classic combination of gin, lemon, and club soda gets a refreshing twist with cucumber, basil, and cardamom-infused syrup. Dried rose petals add a subtle floral flavor and act as a beautiful garnish.

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Lemon-and-Lavender Gin Fizz

Lemon and Lavender Gin Fizz
Victor Protasio

Leopold's Summer Gin brings a smooth, floral flavor to this botanical cocktail with notes of cucumber, sage, lemon, and lavender.

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Tamarind-Mezcal Sour

Tamarind Mezcal Sour Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Smoky mezcal and savory bitters are rounded out by sweet-tart lemon juice and tamarind puree in this punchy cocktail.

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Third-Wave Swizzle

Third Wave Swizzle Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

A swizzle stick is the key to a cold, well-mixed, frothy drink, but if you don't have one on hand, you can use a long bar spoon to mix.

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Banana-Rum Old-Fashioned

Banana Rum Old Fashioned Recipe
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

A bold, strong cocktail with both high-proof bourbon and light rum gets a hit of floral sweetness from mellow crème de banane.

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Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiri
Victor Protasio

The best strawberry daiquiri is bright and full-flavored but never too sweet, balancing juicy berries and tart lime.

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