As soon as the sun makes an appearance, so should your favourite summer cocktails and coolers, because nothing beats a warm summers evening in the garden and an ice-cold refreshing drink, plus a good BBQ!
These are our favourite cocktails from the classic boozy mojito to a non-alcoholic cooler to help you channel the tropics and, enjoy with family and friends as the weather warms up.
The Cuban classic – refreshing and delicious! Serves 6.
- 200g caster sugar
- 200ml water
- 15 mint leaves
- 3 limes, quartered
- 50ml white rum
- Ice and soda water
- Heat all the sugar in a saucepan, with 200ml water stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Then bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute to create a sugar syrup. Stir in 10 mint leaves and leave to cool.
- When cool, put 3 tablespoons of the mint sugar syrup, a squeeze of lime, 2 lime quarters and 5 mint leaves into tall glasses.
- Mash contents and mix in the rum, add plenty of ice and top with soda water.
This fruity favourite is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Serves 2.
- 100ml light rum
- 100g fresh strawberries
- 110g frozen strawberries
- Juice of 1 lime
- Few whole strawberries, for garnish
- Sliced lime, for garnish
- Ice (optional)
- Add the rum, fresh and frozen strawberries and the lime juice to a blender and blend until smooth. You can use a hand blender too.
- Blend in a few ice cubes if you wish
- Pour into glasses and garnish with lime slices.
Recipe from Delicious.com
Frozen version of the classic margarita - with a twist. Serves 2.
- 2 limes and 50ml lime juice
- Fine sea salt to decorate
- 100ml tequila
- 50ml Cointreau
- 2 large handfuls of ice
- 50ml sugar syrup
- Cut 2 round slices from a lime and set aside. Juice the remaining limes (50ml).
- Heat the sugar with 75ml water over a low heat for a few minutes until it becomes syrupy in consistency and leave to cool.
- Put a little sea salt on a small plate or bowl. Wipe the rims of 2 martini glasses with a little lime juice, then press into the sea salt to coat.
- Put the remaining ingredients and lime juice into a blender and whizz to a slushy consistency.
- Divide between the frosted glasses and garnish each with a lime slice.
Recipe from BBC Good Food.
Grilled Watermelon, Gin & Mint Cocktail
Cool down with this refreshing cocktail, perfect to sip on this summer.
- 1 watermelon (1kg)
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 125ml gin
- 250ml tonic water
- Fresh mint leaves
- Lemon slices to serve
- Cut 12 pieces of watermelon into cubes, roughly the size of an ice cube, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and freeze overnight.
- The next day cut the remaining watermelon into wedges and grill on each side for 2-3 minutes.
- Once cool, blend the watermelon and sugar together until smooth. Sieve and discard the pulp.
- Divide the watermelon ice cubes, mint leaves and lemon slices into glasses.
- Add the gin, watermelon juice and top with tonic. Serve immediately.
An easy non-alcoholic summer mocktail, using fruit squash! Serves around 4-6.
- 150ml non added sugar orange and mango squash (or, of your choice)
- 1L ginger beer
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 6 teaspoons grenadine (optional)
- Fresh mint
- Put the 150ml squash into a large jug.
- Add the ginger beer and zest and juice of 1 lime.
- Fill 4-6 tall glasses with ice, then add a mint sprig to each glass.
- Fill the glasses with the drink and drizzle in 1 teaspoon into each glass and serve immediately.
Recipe from Good Housekeeping
For more recipe inspiration, take a look at our:
How To: Make Homemade Ice Cream Recipes.
Plus checkout our Hosting Summer Parties guide, where these cocktails are sure to be a hit. You could always make the cocktails ahead and take along on a picnic.
For picnic ideas, take a look at our Perfect Picnic Ideas & Essentials blog post, full of cost-effective ideas to take your party on the road.