Good Morning American recently polled the top bartenders in the country. They wanted to know the pros’ opinions about the top summer cocktail choices of 2023.
From tequila drink recipes to the reign of the spritz, there are dozens of cocktails that made the list. We rounded up some of our favorites and curated them in this article. Keep reading for the best summer cocktails to try this year.
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If you were born in the ’80s, you lived through the heyday of this iconic cocktail. The vodka-based Sea Breeze is a summery take on the Cosmo with its cranberry-forward notes.
The Bay Breeze is a twist on the Sea Breeze. If you are interested in trying both refreshing summer cocktails, check out this Bay Breeze recipe linked here. Otherwise, keep reading for our favorite Sea Breeze recipe.
- 2 ounces of vodka
- 3 ounces of cranberry juice
- 1 ounce of grapefruit juice
Grab a highball glass and fill it to the top with ice. Add all the ingredients and stir until combined. Add an optional lime wheel for garnish and enjoy at the beach or while lounging in your backyard.
The Paloma is a classic alcoholic beverage that comes from Mexico. Its name refers to the Spanish word pomelo, which means grapefruit. So, it should be no surprise that this citrus makes a major appearance in this cocktail.
Learn how to mix up your own Paloma at home next.
- 2 ounces of tequila
- 2 ounces of grapefruit juice
- 1 ounce of club soda or sprite
- 1/2 ounce of lime juice
- 1/2 ounce of simple syrup
Before you make the drink, rub a lime around the rim of a highball glass. Then, dip the rim into kosher salt. You can also use sugar if you do not prefer a salted rim.
Once your salt (or sugar) the rim, fill the glass with ice. Next, add the tequila, juices, and simple syrup into the glass and stir until homogenous. Top with club soda or Sprite and add a grapefruit wheel as an optional garnish.
The mojito is a Cuban invention with more varieties than any other cocktail out there. We will give you the recipe for a classic mojito below. But you can also add strawberry, pineapple, watermelon, or coconut for a twist.
- A handful of fresh mint
- 2 ounces of white rum
- 1 ounce of club soda
- 1/2 ounce of simple syrup
- 1/2 of a lime
Place mint leaves in the bottom of a shaker glass and muddle. If you don’t have a muddler, you can use a pestle and mortar or even a wooden spoon to release the flavorful oils of the mint.
Next, add the lime to the glass and muddle it over the mint. The goal is to get about 1/2 ounce of juice and extract some of the oils from the lime peel.
Finally, add the rum and simple syrup to the shaker and fill with ice. Shake until cold and strain over ice into an old fashioned glass filled. The last step is to top with club soda and garnish with fresh mint and a lime.
Continuing the Cuban theme, the daiquiri is yet another classic summer cocktail that originates from the Pearl of the Antilles.
You may think a classic daiquiri is an adult-size slushie that comes out of a machine. But before we started blending up daiquiris, the classic recipe was served chilled and neat. Learn how to make it next.
- 2 ounces of white rum
- 1 ounce of lime juice
- 1 ounce of simple syrup
Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled to the brim with ice. Shake until cold and strain into a chilled martini glass or coupe. Finish off your new favorite summer cocktail with a lime wheel garnish.
If it’s an extra hot day, freeze the lime juice and simple syrup for a few hours. Then, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Want to feel like you are on a summer Euro trip in the comfort of your own home? There is no better way to bring the European vibes than with an Aperol Spritz.
Originally from Italy, the Aperol Spritz has become a staple throughout Europe. Learn how to make this cocktail at home below.
- 3 ounces of Aperol
- 3 ounces of Prosecco
- A splash of club soda
Fill a wine glass with ice and add the Aperol first. Top with Prosecco and a splash of club soda. You can optionally garnish your Aperol Spritz with an orange wheel and enjoy!
If you love the Arnold Palmer’s sweet and sour mix of tea and lemonade, you will really enjoy this boozy version. A John Daly is virtually identical to an Arnold Palmer, except with the addition of whiskey or vodka. Bonus points if you have sweet tea vodka.
Here’s how to mix up your new favorite summer cocktail.
- 2 ounces of vodka, sweet tea vodka, or bourbon whiskey
- 2 ounces of lemonade
- 2 ounces of sweet tea
Add all the ingredients to a cocktail glass filled to the brim with ice. The classic choice is a highball glass for this drink. Add all ingredients to the highball, stir with a bartender’s spoon, and enjoy!
Find More Summer Cocktail Recipes on Our Blog
These six summer cocktail recipes are perfect for hot weather days. Feel like you’re on vacation with a Paloma, Mojito, Daiquiri, or Aperol spritz. Or stir up a classic American drink like the Sea Breeze or John Daly.
Are you looking for more food and beverage ideas for summer? You’ve come to the right place. Check out our food and culinary blog for more recipe ideas like the ones in this post!