Beat the heat this season with these thirst-quenching summer cocktails. Perfect for pouring poolside, these mixed drinks are as easy to make as they are easy to drink. Using three ingredients or less, they’re uncomplicated and ideal to pre-batch for picnicking in the park or at the beach.
They’re built in the glass, no mess and no tools needed, making them perfect for tailoring to personal preference. Discover your new go-to summer cocktail in this roundup of refreshing simply made drinks. There’s something for everyone.
1. Ranch Water
Ranch Water, a Texas staple, is best described as a cross between a Tom Collins and a Margarita. It combines tequila, lime juice, and soda water, perfect for quenching thirsts in the summer heat. It’s uncomplicated and can be easily made to your taste.
The Sea Breeze combines vodka with cranberry and grapefruit juices, making it a refreshing and striking summer cocktail. It is a direct descendant of the even more simply made two-ingredient Cape Cod(der) which just mixes vodka with cranberry juice.
The Greyhound is a classic two ingredient cocktail that can be assembled as fast as its namesake can run. This summer cocktail is an invigorating mixture of gin and grapefruit juice; if the rim of the glass is salted, the drink becomes what is called a “Salty Dog.”
The 7 and 7 is a cult favorite. Its no-fuss approach keeps it low maintenance and requires minimal effort. This perfect summer cocktail is only two ingredients and built in the glass. It’s a simple yet revitalizing mixture of 7Up and Seagram’s 7 whiskey.
The LLB or Lemon, Lime, Bitters is a low-proof cocktail with only 0.2% alcohol. It simply combines lemon & lime soda with a few dashes of Angostura bitters for a refreshing and easy to drink summer cocktail.
The Aperol Spritz is a classic Italian aperitivo. It pairs Italian sparkling wine and sparkling water with the iconic Italian bitters liqueur, Aperol. It’s easy to drink and low-proof, making it perfect for long afternoons in the hot summer sun.
The Whiskey Highball is a simply made two-ingredient cocktail. We recommend making it with your preferred whiskey (or really any spirit that’s nice enough to sip), quality filtered ice, and freshly opened ice-cold soda water. The intention with a Highball is not to dilute the spirit but allow the soda water to open up the flavor of a quality spirit. This cocktail is ideal for those looking to avoid the sugary juice-based mixers while still staying cool in the summer heat.
The Gin Ricky is another great zero-sugar simply made cocktail. It combines gin (preferably a London Dry gin) with lime juice and soda water. The flavor is dry and tart but surprisingly balanced and refreshing. The lack of sugar allows the botanicals to really shine in this perfect summer cocktail.
The Tipsy Palmer is a humble three-ingredient cocktail that is ideal for staying cool on a hot summer’s day. Simply take the standard half iced tea & half lemonade formula and add a splash of bourbon to give it that “Kentucky Hug.” It’s perfect for pouring poolside or for taking to-go on the golf course.
The Bicicletta follows the classic spritz formula combining two of Italy’s favorite refreshments, Campari and white wine, with a splash of soda water. This aperitivo is low-proof, easy to sip, and is perfect for staying relaxed in the sweltering summer heat.
The Horse’s Neck falls in the “cooler” category, a class of mixed drinks that advertises exactly what it tries to accomplish. It is a thirst quenching mixture of brandy (or more commonly bourbon), ginger ale, and bitters. It joins the Dark ‘n’ Stormy, Tom Collins, and Pimm’s Cup in this family of cocktails.
The Cuba Libre, or more affectionately known as Rum and Coke, is a simply-madethree-ingredient cocktail. Coke’s revitalizing qualities are no secret, so when it’s combined with rum, you can undoubtedly “taste the feeling” of an even more richly refreshing mixed drink.