When it comes to summer soirees and backyard barbecues, the drinks are one of the most, if not THE most, important parts. What you serve or mix can make or break not only your food but also the entire vibe of your party. Instead of being the whole town's gossip for a week because you don't serve great libations at your summer parties, we suggest you spend some time planning cocktail or wine pairings that will be absolute perfection! And that's where we come in! We've put together the cocktails we're craving this summer so you can start with a cocktail before deciding on what to make for food.
All Together, Now!
Having a ton of people over? The last thing you want to do is spend your night playing cocktail waitress. A party with more than ten people calls for a drink that you can prepare well in advance and in a large batch so that your guests can help themselves! We've all discovered the beauty of a vodka soda, a strawberry daiquiri, a Moscow mule, or a mint julep by the pool, but we wanted to find some out-of-this-world cocktail recipes that can put a new twist on some old classics. Here are the libations that will make hosting easy, peasy, cocktail-making squeezy.
If you follow Reese Witherspoon on Instagram, then you know what we're going to say next: her Watermelon Margarita recipe is a must-try. And, seeing as she's so busy and most of her recipes include crockpots and quick, easy fixes, we know that this Watermelon Margarita is another one of her specialties.
While the reel she posted on IG is a must-see for yourself, Reese combines the traditional ingredients of a margarita, tequila, and lime juice with her own special touch by adding fresh watermelon juice, agave nectar, and mint leaves. She blends the mixture with ice in a cocktail shaker to finish and embellishes the delicious product with a slice of watermelon. You can also add in a hint of jalapeño simple syrup for a spicy kick, or fresh basil for a hint of luxury. The only thing that could possibly make this drink better is if we were drinking it next to Reese Witherspoon herself.
The Reese Witherspoon Watermelon Margarita
1.5 oz Tequila
1 oz Fresh watermelon juice or puree
1 oz Fresh lime juice
1 oz Agave nectar
3 Mint Leaves
But of course, we're talking about cocktails you can make ahead, and this one is perfect for that as well. To make this mouthwatering cocktail for a group of 10, we suggest:
Find a large pitcher or drink dispenser
Pour 15 ounces (or 1 and 7/8 cups) of tequila
10 ounces (or 1 and 1/4 cups) of watermelon juice
10 ounces (or 1 and 1/4 cups) of lime juice or lemon juice
10 ounces (or 1 and 1/4 cups) of agave nectar
Stir with a large spoon until mixed evenly
Serve this melon marg next to ice cubes, mint leaves, or garnish for self-serving. You can also throw this margarita in a blender with some ice for a beachy, slushy cocktail. Don't forget your salt around the rim!
If you need a refresher, sangria is incredible and simply a punch created from fruit and wine. Yes, of course, other liquids are often added to the mix to increase its alcohol content or enhance its flavor, but sangria is fruit and wine at its core.
We're big fans of sangria because it is straightforward and malleable, meaning you can dress it up any way you like! Toast to summer with our favorite Pinot grigio sangria made with none other than our Bev Gris! Find the recipe below, and oh, don't forget to cheers!
Bev PG Sangria
Ingredients (serving size 10)
- Five cups Fruit and Fresh Berries – fresh raspberries, strawberries, oranges, honeydew, pineapple, peaches, grapefruit juice, pineapple juice, apples, etc.
- 2 Bev Pinot Grigio cans
- Cut fruit into small bite-sized pieces. Fill pitcher to the top.
- Fill the pitcher with Pinot Grigio and completely cover the fruit with wine.
- Cover the top of the pitcher with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight so the fruit can be infused with Pinot Grigio. Do this the evening before your party.
- On the day of your party, just before guests arrive, remove the pitcher of White Wine Sangria from the refrigerator. Stir fruit with a long spoon.
- Fill glasses with fruit until half of the fruit is removed from the pitcher.
- Slowly fill the pitcher to the top with more Pinot Grigio. Stir wine and fruit.
- Serve White Wine Sangria in the fruit-filled glasses.
- To replenish the sangria pitcher, refill the pitcher with more Pinot Grigio. Stir to combine.
- To serve, again remove the fruit from the pitcher and place it in glasses. Pour the White Wine Sangria over the fruit. Enjoy!
You can also mix your sangria over club soda or tonic water for a fizzy summer surprise.
Frozen Pimm’s Cup
A drink that somehow reminds us of Slurpees mixed with a fruit salad, a Frozen Pimm's Cup is a summer necessity. When you and your guests can't beat the heat, you have to learn how to live in it, and one of the ways you can do so happily is thanks to a good, cold Pimm's Cup.
The unofficial drink of Wimbleton, the Pimm's Cup is a British drink consisting of a gin-based liqueur mixed with lemonade or ginger beer and traditionally served in a highball glass with ice, fruits, and mint. For this recipe, we're taking it a step farther and borrowing a fun tip from Foodie with a Family: Frozen Pimm's Cup Popsicles. While you'll have to head to her website for the entire recipe and how-to, we suggest you do so ASAP because these will be a huge hit.
Is there anything more iconic or delicious than lemonade stands in the summer? We're going to answer that for you: no. And thankfully, we have the science to back that up, too. According to researchers in Japan, acidic drinks stimulate salivation more than any other taste. They wet your mouth and give you the impression of hydration even after your lemonade is finished. How neat and weird is that?
In any case, while it isn't the kind of libation kids are serving at their homemade lemonade stands in suburbia, Mermaid Lemonade is worth making for your friends older than 21. Get ready to dive into this cool, blue refreshing drink that will satisfy you and leave you thirsty for more.
Two c. ice
1/4 c. blue curaçao
One c. white rum
Two c. lemonade
Four lemon slices
Eight maraschino cherries
- Put 1/4 cup ice in each glass, then add a splash of blue curaçao, 1/4 cup rum, and another 1/4 cup ice. (The ice helps with the ombré.) Pour over 1/2 cup lemonade. Shake to blend.
- Skewer a lemon slice and two maraschino cherries on a paper umbrella or toothpick and garnish drinks before serving.
Thanks for the recipe, Delish!
Not hosting a party greater than ten and into more intimate gatherings? Don't worry; we have some ideas for you too! While preparing ahead is not as necessary, we made sure to find a little bit of both since we all know we've been longing for this kind of socialization since March 2020.
Get your fruit and drink on at the same time. It's like killing two birds with one stone except with fewer dead birds and more delicious! Take a peek at this delicious recipe from The Blond Cook.
Want to go to Hawaii, but you have too many weddings, family gatherings, and social commitments this summer? We feel you. Bring the Aloha to you with some Mai Tais. One of the most quintessential cocktails in Tiki culture, the Mai Tai is a cocktail based on rum, Curaçao liqueur, orgeat syrup, and lime juice.
Thanks to Jet Set Christina, you can bring a taste of Hawaii home by using the recipe that the Four Seasons themselves use!
Can you ever really go wrong with a mimosa? As if we need to tell you, a mimosa is created with orange juice and champagne, although technically, you can personalize it with any fruit juice, from apple cider to cranberry juice.
Get inspired by Food Lovin Family's Blushing Mimosa recipe.
Cucumber Gin Spritz
You've heard of an aperol spritz, but have you heard of gin spritzes? A gin lover's dream, a gin spritzer is the same as a wine spritzer with gin because, well, we're stating the obvious just in case. In any case, take your gin spritz up a notch with a cucumber spin. Fizzy and refreshing with a splash of Prosecco, this is one way to add a festive touch to your soiree. Get ready to drool at this recipe from A Menu For You.