Austere Manhattans and martinis can have their moment any day of the year, but summer is for punchy, bright, refreshing cocktails. We’ve collected some of our favorites—without playing favorites. Gin, vodka, tequila, bourbon, rum: The gang’s all here.
Gin and vodka are a good fit for all the seasonal produce you can find this time of year. They also tend to be lower in sugar than other spirits.
The strawberries make all those berry and fruit Lillet notes pop, while the orange zest rounds out the lovely spice notes of the gin.
This twist on the classic gin gimlet might be better than the original.
Grown-up lemonade with a hint of floral lemon verbena: your new favorite cocktail.
We love a tequila drink. (We wrote a story about how it’s made—a pretty amazing process.)
It lives up to its name. Very guzzle-able.
You could use blanco tequila here, but the reposado lends delicate caramel notes that make this cocktail: beyond.
BOURBON AND DARK RUM
These darker spirits are a touch sweeter, but as they age, they become deeply rich and layered. Great to sip straight or to mix.
The type of tea you use is up to you—choose your favorite. Then add a mild bourbon.
Gingerette—a spicy ginger simple syrup—is the secret to this cocktail.
Wine and fortified wines, like sherry, can make for a lighter lower-ABV cocktail situation if you’re keeping it mellow. They lean floral and fruity, which is perfect for summertime.
White peaches, nectarines, fresh basil, and a nice dry wine make for a crisp and clean-tasting sangria.
Originally developed in the 19th century, this simple sherry cocktail recipe is still so good.
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