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The Tastiest, Most Refreshing Cocktails to Enjoy This Summer

May 18, 2021

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I think we can all agree that we deserve a strong cocktail after what we’ve had to endure over the past year and some change. Thankfully, summer is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to bask in the sunshine with your favorite people and your favorite drinks. And although Moscow Mules and Mojitos are great—it’s time to level up your cocktail game. Here are some deliciously creative cocktails that are perfect for summertime sipping.


Rhubarb Martini

Martinis are a classic cocktail, there’s no doubt about that. But—they can feel a bit too “heavy” to drink when it’s hot outside. Add a crisp and refreshing twist to your chilled martini by incorporating homemade rhubarb syrup into the recipe—here’s how to make it:

You’ll need:

  • 1.5 lbs pink rhubarb
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 32 oz water
  • Chilled vodka of your choice (1.5 oz per drink)
  • Ice


Cut up the rhubarb into 1-2 inch sections and place in a large saucepan with water and sugar. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until it becomes soft and pulpy. Strain the mixture through a colander or strainer, throw out the pulp, and refrigerate the rhubarb syrup (how easy was that?!).

To make the cocktail, fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 3 oz of the syrup along with the chilled vodka. Strain into your favorite martini-sipping glass and enjoy!


Cucumber Collins

Cucumber pretty much belongs in everything we eat and drink in the summer. It’s tasty, it’s fresh, and it’s super versatile. This cucumber collins recipe is ideal for the warmer months because it’s light, it’s not too sweet, and it pairs perfectly with chicken or fish on the grill. Check out the recipe below.

You’ll need:

  • 1-1.5 oz London Dry gin
  • ¾ oz elderflower liqueur
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • 3.5 oz sparkling water
  • 4 cucumber slices
  • Ice


Add the gin, liqueur, lemon juice, and two cucumber slices to a tall glass and give it a stir. Add the desired amount of ice, then pour over the sparkling water. Gently stir once more, then garnish your drink with the additional cucumber slices. Easy-peasy.


Honeysuckle Vodka Lemonade

A little tangy, a little sweet, and a lot of delicious. This Southern cocktail is sure to be a hit at your next summer BBQ or gathering—and it’s insanely easy to make. The simple recipe below only calls for four ingredients.

You’ll need:

  • 2 oz honeysuckle vodka (brands include Cathead, King St., and Martine)
  • ¾ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Soda water


Pour all ingredients (except soda water) into a cocktail shaker and shake. Pour into a tumbler with ice and top it off with soda water. Voila!


Apple and Ginger Cocktail

The great thing about this mouth-watering cocktail is that it can be served cold or hot—so, feel free to carry this recipe into the cold winter months. Because seriously, it’s that good.

You’ll need (serves 10):

  • 3.5 cups (28 oz) apple juice
  • 3.5 cups (28 oz) ginger beer
  • 4 oz ginger wine (optional)
  • 3 limes (juiced)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Mint sprigs
  • Lime wedges and ice for garnish


In a large bowl, mix together the juice, ginger beer, lime juice, and optional ginger wine. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the spices. When you’re ready to drink, pour over ice, add a pinch of spice along with a mint sprig, and garnish with a lime wedge. It tastes a little too good to be true.


Pineapple Cooler

If you can’t be whisked off to a tropical island somewhere, why not bring the island vibes to your backyard? There’s something about rum and pineapple that instantly transports you to the Caribbean, and this cocktail seriously hits the spot.

You’ll need:

  • ⅓ cup (2.5 oz) rum
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups chilled pineapple chunks (fresh or canned)
  • 1.5 cups ice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • Sprig of mint and wedge of lime for garnish


Combine all the ingredients (except garnish) into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. If you prefer a thicker frozen cocktail, add more ice. For a sweeter cocktail, add simple syrup or pineapple juice (if you used canned). Garnish with mint and lime and you’re good to go.

Written by Ashley Brewer for Knockaround.

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