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Summer Cocktails

Ten Suncoast Favorite Summer Cocktails

| Angela Naff |

Summertime here on the Suncoast means hot days, great beaches, and wonderful arts and entertainment options. Unfortunately, last year might have been the most depressing summer many of us had experienced in our lifetimes, souring us a bit on this season. Summer 2021, though, has the potential to be the best comeback story ever. To help kick this summer off in amazing fashion, we have compiled a list of the ten best summer cocktails you should mix up this summer here on the Suncoast to kick this amazing season into high gear.

#1 – Mojito

This simple, refreshing, and tantalizing drink is a sure-fire way to start this list off strong. A quick recipe for this drink can consist of refreshing mint, lime, and rum mixed to perfection.

  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3-4 fresh mint leaves
  • 1.5 oz. white rum
  • Club soda

Muddle the lime juice, sugar, and mint leaves in a Collins glass (the tall narrow one with straight sides). Add some ice, the rum, top with club soda, and stir.

#2 – Long Island Ice Tea

This drink will definitely get the party started this summer. It is a cool and refreshing group of ingredients that you are sure to want to kick back and enjoy along with an amazing sunset this summer. 

  • 1/2 oz. vodka
  • 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 oz. white rum
  • 1/2 oz. silver tequila
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. simple syrup
  • 3/4 oz. Mexican Coke

Shake ingredients (except Mexican Coke), then strain into a Collins glass over crushed ice. Top with Coke and garnish with a lemon twist.


#3 – Lavender Lemon Drop Martini

Here’s a drink to intrigue your taste buds, for a little something different you might not have thought of before.

  • 1 teaspoon culinary lavender buds, fresh or dried
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • 2 ounces lemon vodka
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Lavender sprig, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, lightly muddle the lavender and simple syrup. Add the vodka and lemon juice and fill the shaker with ice. Shake well—strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lavender sprig.

#4 – Mermaid Water Rum Punch

The name of this one should immediately help you think of cool waters off the Suncoast and the mysterious creatures thought to reside there. Of course, who doesn’t love mermaids, and you will absolutely fall for this drink for the summertime.

  • 4 oz Spiced Rum
  • 4 oz. Coconut Rum
  • 12 oz Pineapple Juice
  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed Lime Juice
  • Splash of Blue Curacao
  • Frozen pineapple chunks

Mix rum, pineapple juice, and lime juice together in a large pitcher. Add a few chunks of frozen pineapples to each glass.  Fill each glass 3/4 of the way with the rum mixture.  Top off with a splash of blue curacao to give each drink the pretty blue color. Garnish with fun straws, drink umbrellas, pineapple wedges, and cherries.


#5 – Sangria

A sweet, refreshing, and always fun drink to make a pitcher for friends and family, sangria is a definite summer treat for the tastebuds.  Mix and match the fruit for a new variety for every pitcher.

  • 1 bottle of red table wine (Don’t spend too much!)
  • 3/4 cup brandy (Don’t spend too much!)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • ½ cup simple syrup (boil one part water, with one part syrup until sugar crystals have dissolved)
  • Orange slices, apples, pomegranate seeds, and almost any other fruit you have around.

Combine it all in a pitcher with ice, and enjoy!

#6 – Summer Fizz

It should go without saying that anything with summer in the title deserves a shot in this amazing cocktail line-up. This is a unique, fresh, and intriguing drink with lots of depth.

  • 1.5 oz Don Papa 7 rum
  • .5 oz ginger syrup
  • .5 oz peach purée
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • Soda top

Dry shake, re-shake with ice, top with soda. Garnish with fresh ginger and lemon peel.

#7 – Hurricane

Sure this might be a bad word during storm season here on the Suncoast, but it makes for one delicious drink.

  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. passion fruit syrup
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • orange slices
  • maraschino cherries

Combine rum, passion fruit syrup, and lemon juice with ice in a shaker. Shake until frosty. Pour into a hurricane glass filled with more ice cubes. Garnish with orange slices and maraschino cherries.

#8 – Salty Dog Cocktail

This citrus tart drink is an amazing addition to the summer months of sand, surf, friends, and get-togethers. The refreshingly tart cocktail with just a touch of salt has to be tasted to appreciate fully.

  • 3 ounces of grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce of vodka
  • ¼ ounce of lemon-lime soda or Lime La Croix
  • Kosher salt for rimming
  • lime disk or grapefruit wedge for garnish

Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a glass and dip in Kosher salt. Fill glass with ice. Add 3 ounces of grapefruit juice and 1 ounce of vodka. Top with a splash of lemon-lime soda or La Croix. Stir together

Gimlet Cocktail

#9 – Key Lime Gimlet

No, this is not the classic drink that probably comes to mind when you hear gimlet. Instead, with a twist of citrus, reinvent this drink for a refreshing addition to your summer.

  • 3 c. Seltzer
  • 1 c. gin
  • 1/2 c. simple syrup
  • 1/2 c. Key Lime Juice
  • Key lime slices, for serving

Combine seltzer, gin, simple syrup, and Key lime juice; chill. Serve with Key lime slices.

#10 – Rosa

The grapefruit is sure to make this easy-to-make summer drink a favorite cooling-off beverage for the heatwave of a Suncoast summer.

  • 1 oz. Blanco tequila
  • 0.5 oz. Campari
  • 0.5 oz. Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
  • 2 oz. fresh grapefruit juice

Add all ingredients into a shaker. Add ice. Shake hard for about 9 seconds—strain into a Collins glass and top with ice. Garnish with a grapefruit slice and enjoy.

There you have it, some sure-fire tried and true favorites, and a few new cocktails for your Suncoast summer. So be sure and pick up amazing fresh to add a clean, crips, and tantalizingly Florida summer twist to your next cocktail. Let’s make the summer of 2021 one for the record books. Even in the dog days of summer, we will all be kicked back with a chilled glass in hand, enjoying the season with not a care in the world!

Photos courtesy of Deposit Photos

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