24 Modern Summer Cocktails
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.
This light and refreshing cocktail is as reminiscent of the American South as it is of the South of France.
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 The Tom Collins was originally made with Old Tom, a sweet style of gin that’s extremely hard to find today.
Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is a distinctive small-batch whiskey made in Denver from 100 percent malted barley. The flavor is malty and slightly vanilla-y.
Strawberries sweeten these mojitos from mixologist Joaquin Simo.
This super-easy Bourbon-based bunch only has five ingredients.
Fruit flavors generally mix well if they’re from the same botanical family. This cool and light summer cocktail works because cucumber and melon both belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.
"I love this drink so much that it seems like my glass is always empty," says Lacy Hawkins, bartender at The NoMad in New York City. Her favorite part is the balsamic vinegar. "It adds wonderful acidity to the drink and creates a caramelized finish."
Big grains of salt rim many a margarita glass. But as this cocktail proves, a pinch of salt can add complexity to sophisticated bittersweet drinks.
Chef-partners Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo and their friend Travis Kauffman concocted this terrifically refreshing cooler one hot summer night with ingredients from Falcinelli’s rooftop garden.
Redhead in Bed
One of chef Chris Yeo’s first jobs was bartending. “But that was many, many, many years ago,” he says. So he left it to his bar team to create this vibrant strawberry-and-vodka cocktail topped with a splash of white wine.
Manhattan Ice Cream Float
Gabriel Frasca makes his own bourbon ice cream and cherry syrup for this clever riff on a Manhattan. For his superquick version, he blends vanilla ice cream with bourbon and uses a high-quality black cherry soda like Stewart’s or IBC.
“This is the drink I would choose instead of dessert after a big meal,” says John Coltharp. Fruity, spicy Redbreast Irish whiskey is excellent with the blackberries.
A slice of rhubarb pie gave bartender Katie Loeb the idea for this Floridita Daiquiri variation. “Tweaking a daiquiri with rhubarb seemed like a good starting point,” she says. “Ginger and Chinese five-spice powder take the drink to the next level.”
Cucumber-Lime Pops with Gin
Tim Love freezes all kinds of cocktails on sticks for backyard parties, but his cucumber-mint version is especially good on a blazing-hot day. To prevent the pops from melting too quickly, he adds gelatin to the mixture.
Jennifer Zerboni likes to tinker with the classic mint julep during horse-racing season. She used to flavor this julep with a mint granité, but that proved “too sticky and messy.” Now she makes the drink with mint simple syrup.
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.
A salute to the flavors of New Orleans, this cocktail spices up Napoleon House's Pimm's Cup (Pimm's No. 1, lemonade and 7-Up) with a splash of Tabasco and a generous dose of rum or vodka.
The only thing more refreshing than a margarita is one made with cucumbers. The cucumber-infused tequila also makes a great punch.
Minted Blueberry Lemonade
Make this refreshing and summer-inspired lemonade when fresh blueberries are in season or plentiful at the farmers markets.
Basil Limeade Slushies
A splash of soda water makes these tart slushies pleasingly bubbly. With a little rum, they'd also make great cocktails.
Swizzles are drinks that are typically served over crushed ice and churned with a swizzle stick until supercold. Small ice cubes are a fine substitute for crushed ice.
Tequila-Watermelon Aguas Frescas with Prosecco
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.