The Best Summer Cocktail Recipes

By Anna May - 04 Nov 2014

The sun is out and the days are longer, meaning cocktail o'clock is pretty much any time of the day. Sometimes a cocktail party at home is more fun (and definitely cheaper) than ordering 10 rounds at the bar. Here are some of the best summer cocktail recipes to keep your thirst quenched and your day merry.

Watermelon Martini

It contains fruit, so it's healthy – right? This watermelon martini is as refreshing as it is delicious. Quadruple the recipe for a (slightly lethal) punch. 

Serves 1

Glass: Martini


  • 30ml Fashion Vodka
  • 10ml Watermelon syrup
  • 5ml Sugar syrup
  • 4-5 Pieces fresh watermelon

Method: Muddle sugar syrup and watermelon until all juice is extracted. Add the remaining ingredients, shake well and double strain into a pre-chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh watermelon.

Summer Gin Collins

One of our personal favourites, this one is the perfect blend of sweet and tart without being too high in sugar.

Serves 1

Glass: Highball


  • 50ml Gin
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 15ml Sugar syrup
  • 8 Fresh raspberries
  • Soda water

Method: Add lemon juice, raspberries, gin and sugar to shaker, add ice and shake hard to break up the raspberries. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wedge and raspberries.

Classic Margarita

It would be rude not to include this crowd pleaser. The trick to making the perfect Margarita is the best quality tequila and freshly squeezed lime juice – none of that pre-packaged stuff. Once you've got this recipe down, you're set for an endless supply of fun times!

Serves 1

Glass: Margarita or rocks


  • 45ml Tequila
  • 15ml Citrus-infused tequila
  • 20ml Fresh lime juice
  • 5ml Agave syrup

Method: Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake hard. Shake and strain into a chilled glass with a salt rim. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Mai Tai

Commonly found on tiki cocktail lists, the juicy, sweet and sour Mai Tai is an essential component of poolside or sunset cocktails.

Serves 1

Glass: Rocks


  • 60ml Dark rum
  • 15ml Triple sec
  • 30ml Fresh lime juice
  • 15ml Almond syrup

Method: Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake hard. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Tequila Sangria

Share the love with this super refreshing twist on the classic Spanish Sangria. It's a guaranteed hit at summer barbecues where you want to show off your mixing skills. 

Serves 4

Glass: 1.2L punch bowl or jug


  • 120ml Tequila Reposado
  • 90ml Triple Sec
  • 90ml Cloudy apple juice
  • 90ml Fresh lemon juice
  • 60ml Sugar syrup
  • Sparkling white wine

Method: Build all ingredients over lots of ice in a jug or bowl and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with seasonal fruits and fresh mint.

Mint Julep

A quintessential summer cocktail, the Mint Julep is traditionally served in silver or pewter julep cups to make sure they stay icy cold all day long.

Serves 1

Glass: Pre-chilled silver julep cup


  • 60ml bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar syrup
  • 1 Handful fresh mint leaves

Method: Muddle mint leaves and sugar syrup in the julep cup. Pack glass with finely cracked or crushed ice and pour bourbon over. Stir until the cup becomes frosty and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

No. 8

Mezcal is Tequila's smokier, more sophisticated cousin that will give you less of a hangover and more great next-day stories to tell.

Serves 1

Glass: Highball


  • 30ml Mezcal Amores
  • 15ml Ginger liqueur
  • 15ml Fresh lime juice
  • 30ml Fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 Dash orange bitters

Method: Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with an orange twist.


Don't be fooled by absinth's reputation, the poor herbaceous spirit has got itself a bad rap over time. Never fear, Listers, this wonderfully refreshing blend of absinth and cloudy apple juice will change your mind in no time.

Serves 1

Glass: Martini


  • 30ml Green Fairy Absinth
  • 45ml Cloudy Apple juice
  • 45ml Lemonade
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice in a shaker, strain into a chilled martini class and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Midori Splice

Don't even bother pretending you haven't enjoyed one of these bad boys in ice cream form, Listers. And what can't be improved by the addition of alcohol?

Serves 1

Glass: Highball


  • 30ml Midori
  • 30ml Malibu
  • 90ml Fresh pineapple juice
  • 30ml Coconut cream

Method: Fill glass with ice and add Midori, Malibu and pineapple juice and stir. Add coconut cream to shaker with plenty of fresh ice, shake until frothy and pour over Midori Mix. Garnish with a pineapple wedge. 

Image credit: Mr. Moustache

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