Credit: © Carey Jones

We couldn't be happier that it's drink-outside-in-the-afternoon weather. And nothing goes better with a sunny afternoon than a limoncello cocktail.

You've probably tried limoncello before—maybe as a shot after an Italian meal or from a bottle kept in the freezer at someone's grandmother's house. And while it is super easy to make, right now we’re focused on mixing possibilities.

We recommend starting with a high-quality limoncello (we like Luxardo, a classic Italian brand) and going from there. So many cocktails feature both citrus and sugar, and this sweet liqueur delivers citrus, sugar and booze in one fell swoop. The cocktails practically make themselves, leaving you with that much more time to drink them.

Easy: Limoncello & Bubbles

First step when mixing with any fruit liqueur: add bubbles. Unlike drinks like a Kir Royale, where too much liqueur can get you into dangerously sweet territory, limoncello's sweet-tart balance means you can use a heavier hand. Forgo the mimosa or Bellini at your next brunch and pour these out instead.

Instructions: In a Champagne flute, combine 1 ounce limoncello and 5 ounces Prosecco. Garnish with a brandied cherry. Drink three more before brunch is over.

Intermediate: Stirred Sour

This fun summer cocktail drinks almost like an old-fashioned, but the limoncello keeps it much lighter: Think of it as an old-fashioned wearing its seersucker suit for the summer. When a super-boozy whiskey drink feels too heavy, give this guy a try instead.

Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces bourbon (we're fans of Old Forester) and 1 ounce limoncello. Add a dash each of orange bitters and Angostura. Stir until well-chilled. Strain into a glass without ice. Garnish with a long, skinny lemon peel.

Advanced: Limoncello Collins

The Tom Collins is a classic we particularly love in warmer weather—gin, lemon, soda, like the best lemonade you've ever had. Here, limoncello swaps in for the sweetener, with just a little bit of real lemon juice to brighten it up. Beefeater 24, the classic London gin's premium release that's particularly citrusy on the nose, is our choice here.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce gin (we love Beefeater 24 here), 3/4 ounce limoncello and 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice. Shake that all up and strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top with 4 ounces club soda. Garnish with a bunch of lemon wheels.