5 Simple Summer Cocktails

Summer is an excellent time to expand your restaurant's cocktail menu with delicious new drinks. A strong cocktail menu is a huge boost in the summer, giving guests something to sip on while they enjoy the beautiful weather in your outdoor dining area or beer garden. New and unique summer cocktails are a great way to ensure your patrons get the full summer experience.

We’ve created a list of simple cocktails that are sure to be crowd favorites during the summer. These drinks pair a variety of fresh herbs and fruits with popular alcohols like gin, tequila, and vodka, creating amazing summer concoctions. Below we’ll cover these five drink recipes, providing directions on how you can create these delicious beverages and add them to your cocktail menu.

Simple Summer Cocktails Video

To learn how to properly prepare our five simple summer cocktails, check out the video below for step-by-step instructions:

1. Caipirinha Recipe

Caipirinha drink

Introduce your guests to the national drink of Brazil, the caipirinha! A perfect summer cocktail, the caipirinha (pronounced kai-purr-reen-yah) is the South American version of a mojito. The key ingredients to a Caipirinha include fresh, muddled lime and the Brazilian spirit, cachaca. This easy-to-make mixed drink is tart and sweet, a refreshing combination for your summer menu.

Caipirinha Ingredients

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1/2 quartered lime
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cachaca

How to Make a Caipirinha

  1. Muddle lime quarters in rocks glass.
  2. Add sugar, ice, and Cachaca.
  3. Stir and serve!

2. Apple Mojito Recipe

Apple Mojito Drink sitting next to apples

Mojitos are a popular drink you'll find on almost any summer cocktail list, so try something creative with this twist on the Cuban mixed drink. Our version includes vodka and apple juice in place of the rum and lime juice in a traditional mojito recipe.

Apple Mojito Ingredients

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 10 mint leaves
  • Apple slices for garnish

How to Make an Apple Mojito

  1. Muddle mint leaves in cocktail shaker.
  2. Add simple syrup, vodka, and apple juice.
  3. Shake and pour cocktail into highball glass over ice.
  4. Garnish with mint and apple slice.

3. Gin Basil Smash Recipe

Green Gin Basil drink

In this summer cocktail, bright green basil leaves are muddled to release an herbal flavor that blends well with freshly squeezed lemon juice and gin. Using fresh herbs in your cocktails provides a unique, refreshing flavor profile that's perfect for summery mixed drinks.

Gin Basil Smash Ingredients

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 4 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 10 basil leaves

How to Make a Gin Basil Smash

  1. Add basil leaves, lemon juice, and simple syrup to cocktail shaker.
  2. Gently muddle ingredients.
  3. Measure gin, add it, and shake.
  4. Pour cocktail into rocks glass over ice.
  5. Garnish with basil leaves and lemon twist.

4. Mexican Mai Tai Recipe

Mexican Mai Tai drink

Just like a classic Mai Tai recipe, this summer cocktail includes an almond-flavored syrup called orgeat (pronounced or-zhaat). We added a Mexican flair by replacing the rum with tequila and adding a salted rim. The result is a perfect summer mixed drink that combines the refreshing tartness of a margarita with the sweetness of a tropical tiki cocktail.

Mexican Mai Tai Ingredients

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce orange curacao
  • 1/2 ounce orgeat
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • Rimming salt

How to Make a Mexican Mai Tai

  1. Pour liquid ingredients into cocktail shaker and shake them thoroughly.
  2. Rim margarita glass with salt.
  3. Shake cocktail and pour into a glass over ice.
  4. Garnish with lime slice.

5. Peach Mango Summer Sangria Recipe

Peach Mango Sangria drink

Invite your guests to enjoy warm, summer evenings on your restaurant's patio with pitchers of our peach mango sangria! This sangria recipe is easy to prepare and can be sold by the pitcher for an upselling opportunity. Use ripe summer fruits like peaches and mangos combined with Grand Marnier for a summer cocktail that's perfect for serving a crowd.

Peach Mango Summer Sangria Ingredients

Makes 1 pitcher

  • 1 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 bottle white or blush wine
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup seltzer water (optional)

How to Make a Peach Mango Summer Sangria

  1. Pour all ingredients into large pitcher.
  2. Stir and serve in stemless wine glasses over ice.

Our simple cocktail ideas are a fantastic way to introduce fun new beverages to your summer cocktail menu. These drinks are slight twists on popular drinks, allowing you to serve patrons classics while still separating yourself from the competition. These drinks are also easy-to-prepare, meaning they can be integrated into your menu with minimal time and training. Expand your cocktail menu this summer with our simple summer cocktails, boosting your alcohol sales and making your establishment a summer destination.

Posted in: Bars & Breweries|Recipes|Seasonal|By Nora Fulmer
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