As the warm summer months continue, it’s the perfect time to elevate your cocktail game. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply enjoying a lazy afternoon on the deck, a sophisticated summer sip can add a touch of elegance to any occasion. In this series, we’ll be sharing a selection of impeccable cocktail recipes that are sure to impress your guests and satisfy your palate. From classic favorites with a twist, to creative new concoctions, we’ve got everything you need to make your summer soirées truly unforgettable. So, let’s raise a glass to the season and indulge in the refined refreshment of summer.
Summertime is all about showcasing a variety of ingredients and techniques, from fresh fruits and herbs, to unique syrups and bitters. These cocktail recipes are designed to suit any taste and any occasion, whether you’re looking for a light and refreshing number for a hot summer day or a more complex and bold option for a special evening.
I never look past a classic cocktail when I am searching for an elegant note, such as a gin martini with a hint of lavender or a vodka lemonade with a splash of elderflower liqueur. For a refreshing option, showcase fruity cocktails made with fresh berries, citrus fruits, and tropical flavors like pineapple and coconut. When the sun starts to set, I reach for herbal cocktails that use ingredients like mint, basil, rosemary and thyme to add a touch of green and a burst of flavor to your drink.
Cocktail #1: Lavender Martini
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz lavender syrup
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- Lavender sprig for garnish
1. In a mixing glass, combine gin, lavender syrup, and dry vermouth.
2. Add ice and stir until chilled.
3. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a lavender sprig.
Cocktail #2: Berry Basil Smash
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz fresh berry puree (strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries)
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 3 basil leaves
- Berries and basil leaves for garnish
1. Muddle basil leaves in a shaker. Add vodka, berry puree, and simple syrup.
2. Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
3. Garnish with berries and basil leaves.
Cocktail #3: Rosemary Peach Fizz
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz fresh peach puree
- 1/2 oz rosemary simple syrup
- 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- Rosemary sprig for garnish
- Egg whites
1. In a shaker, combine gin, peach puree, rosemary simple syrup, egg whites and lemon juice.
2. Shake dry first. Shake again with ice and strain into a flute glass.
3. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
Cocktail #4: Cucumber Melon Spritz
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz cucumber puree
- 1/2 oz melon liqueur
- 1/4 oz fresh lime juice
- Soda water
- Cucumber and melon balls for garnish
1. In a shaker, combine vodka, cucumber puree, melon liqueur, and lime juice.
2. Shake with ice and strain into a wine glass filled with ice.
3. Top with soda water.
4. Garnish with cucumber and melon balls.
Cocktail #5: Pineapple Rum Runner
- 2 oz light rum
- 1 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz grenadine syrup
- 1/4 oz lime juice
- Pineapple wedge for garnish
1. In a shaker, combine light rum, pineapple juice, grenadine syrup, and lime juice. Shake with ice and strain into a tiki or highball glass filled with ice.
2. Garnish with a pineapple wedge.
Cocktail #6: Paloma
- 2 oz tequila
- 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
- 1/4 oz agave nectar
- Salt for rim (optional)
- Lime wheel for garnish
1. Rim a highball glass with salt (optional).
2. In a shaker, combine tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and agave nectar.
3. Shake with ice and strain into the prepared glass filled with ice.
4. Garnish with a lime wheel.
My secret to hosting successful soirées is always having a stash of fresh fruit and herbs on hand. Beauty and elegance doesn’t need to be complicated, but it usually follows the rule that less is more. For a lighter evening, all of these cocktails are equally divine in their mocktail form. There is an incredible amount of non-alcohol spirits available locally, or simply remove for a fresh sip of summer.