Story by Anya Murphy

Cold Drink Recipes for Sipping this Summer

There’s nothing like a nice cold drink at the end of a hot day.

We’ve all been there. You’re sweaty and dusty from a satisfying day under the sun. Work or play, spending the day in the heat takes it out of you. You’ll sleep like a baby later, but right now, it’s five o’clock somewhere and you need to put your feet up. A nice cold beer or ice water (followed by dinner) usually does the trick, but if you’d like to get fancy this summer, here are six cold drink recipes that’ll up your truck bed bartending street cred.

The best thing about all of these summer drink recipes is that they’re flexible to be whatever you want them to be. They’re all batch-able, so you can make enough for everyone in advance and throw the pitcher in your cooler or fridge. If your crowd prefers mocktails, simply omit the alcohol. They’ll still be just as delicious and refreshing!

Three cold summer drinks with straws sit on a wood table. Two are orange and red in color, and one is white.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler

6 Summer Drink Recipes:

Cucumber Mint Cooler:

In a pitcher, mix together sliced cucumbers, fresh mint leaves, lime juice, and honey. Add gin or vodka to the pitcher before adding water and refrigerating. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors meld. Serve over ice for a refreshing and hydrating drink.

Pineapple Coconut Punch:

In a blender, puree fresh pineapple chunks with coconut milk and honey until smooth. Add rum or tequila to the pitcher before adding sparkling water or club soda.Transfer the mixture to a large pitcher, stir well and keep cool until ready to serve. Garnish with pineapple wedges and mint leaves for a tropical twist.

Hibiscus Ginger Iced Tea:

Brew hibiscus tea bags in hot water, then let cool. Add grated fresh ginger and honey to taste. Add vodka or rum to your pitcher before stirring well and refrigerating until chilled. Serve over ice with a slice of lemon for a tangy and spicy drink.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade:

Puree strawberries and mix with lemon juice and honey or sugar. Add water and stir well. Add vodka or gin to the pitcher, then refrigerate. Add fresh basil leaves and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Serve over ice for a sweet and herbaceous drink.

Honeydew Mint Sparkler:

In a large pitcher, combine honeydew melon chunks, fresh mint leaves, lime juice, and honey. Add vodka or gin to the pitcher before adding sparkling water or club soda and stir well. (Tip: Let the fruit soak in the liquor before topping up with soda.) Keep cool until ready to serve. Serve over ice with a sprig of mint for a light and effervescent drink.

Spiked Arnold Palmer:

Mix equal parts iced tea and lemonade with vodka or bourbon. Keep cold until ready to drink. Serve over ice for a boozy twist on a classic bev.

Looking for recipes for hot drinks instead? Check out these ideas for drinks that’ll warm you right up:

5 Hot Drinks to Make by the Campfire This Fall

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