11 Summer Cocktails to Keep you Cool

11 Summer Cocktails to Keep you Cool

Whilst a flat, lukewarm beer might be some people’s idea of fun in the sun, we don’t think anything hits the same as an ice-cold summer cocktail. So if a margarita gets you moving, and a bramble gets you boozing, this list is gonna get you in the mood for some summer time grooving.

To give you a helping hand during the hot weather, we’ve compiled our favourite 11 summer cocktail recipes. From timeless classics that have been enjoyed in the sun for decades, to contemporary cocktails that just hit different. We’ve given you 11 cocktails here, so you’ve got a different cooling cocktail for every weekend of summer.

For some of these cocktails you’ll need basic cocktail equipment like a Boston shaker, a bar spoon / muddler, and a strainer. But, some can be built in the glass, so there’s something for everyone! Having said that, we’d definitely recommend buying a basic cocktail starter kit, lemon juice, lime juice, and sugar syrup before giving some of these summer beauties a go. 

Long Island Peach Tea

The classic Long Island Iced Tea has to be one of the most iconic and refreshing summer cocktail recipes. The Long Island has a rich history; originating on the East Coast during prohibition and popularised in the 1970s. Our twist on this iconic cocktail is adding smashed peaches and peach schnapps to give it that perfect peachiness – a refreshing take on a super boozy classic.

Long Island Recipe:

12.5 ml Vodka

12.5 ml Gin

12.5 ml White Rum

12.5 ml Tequila

12.5 ml Peach Schnapps

12.5ml Sugar Syrup

12.5ml Lemon or Lime Juice

3 Fresh or Tinned Peaches

Splash of Coke (approx. 50ml)

Preparation: To a tall glass (a pint glass would do!) add 2 peaches and muddle (crush and stir well). Add your spirits, sugar syrup and lime juice as well as plenty of ice. Top with coke and garnish with a peach. 

Are you planning a summer party? Check out our top tips on how to have THE best bash this summertime.


The cosmo was born in Cleveland in the 1970s but was made the icon it is today by Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Don’t get me wrong, the cosmo’s high-end bar reputation hardly screams summertime – but hear me out – it’s one of THE most refreshing cocktails and perfect for a summer afternoon. No deviations needed here, the classic recipe is the best and always slaps in the sun.

Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe: 

45 ml Citrus Vodka

15 ml Cointreau (or triple sec)

30 ml Cranberry Juice

12.5 ml Lime Juice

Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with lots of ice. Shake hard until the outside of the shaker is frosting. Strain into a short glass and be prepared to be seriously refreshed. 

Strawberry Margarita 

The classic margarita is one of our go-to cocktails here at NightCap, and for us, it really does just taste like sunshine. We’ve added a little summery twist to this beauty, but we’d also recommend trying the classic too (just remove the strawberries). And for the best results here, we’d recommend trying your marg with a salted rim – the combo with tequila and lime is another level of refreshment.

Margarita Cocktail Recipe:

37.5 ml Tequila (shot and a half)

20 ml Cointreau (or triple sec)

37.5 ml of lime juice

Teaspoon of sugar syrup

4 Fresh Strawberries

Mint sprig

Preparation: Add all your ingredients to a shaker and shake hard for 15–20 seconds. Strain in a short glass and garnish with mint. 

Frozen Daiquiri 

Frozen daiquiris have got a little bit of a bad rep, resulting from pre-batched super sweet options. But, if you make your own they’re so, so good, and we just had to include a frozen cocktail on this list. Classic daiquiris are so easy to make and if you don’t fancy the frozen version, simply use the same ingredients and shake for 20 seconds in a shaker.

Daiquiri Recipe (for two):

100ml White rum

50ml Lime juice

50ml Sugar syrup

Couple handfuls of ice 

Preparation: Stick all the ingredients in a blender with ice, pulse until well mixed, and pour into two glasses (coupes if you’re feeling fancy). 

NightCap Tip: Add fruit syrup or fresh fruit to your blender to create different flavoured daiquiris – our favourite has to be fresh mango.


The bramble is an essential summer cocktail that was inspired by a London bartender’s childhood blackberry picking trips on the Isle of Wight. The bramble is a gin based cocktail that is centred around the humble blackberry and is such a welcome thirst quencher in the hot weather.

Bramble Cocktail Recipe:

50ml Gin

25ml Fresh lemon juice

15ml Sugar syrup

15ml Crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur)

Crushed ice


Preparation: Add your gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup and shake hard for 10-20 seconds. Pour into a glass, add crushed ice and gently pour your crème de mûre over the top. Garnish with a blackberry.

NightCap Tip: Blackberry season is July-August and blackberry bushes are all around us, so to give your bramble that authentic feel, why not pick your own blackberries for garnish?


What’s in your heeead? In your head? Zombie, zombie, zombie eh eh! Another absolute classic donning this list, and it just feels right to drink a zombie in the sun. This rum based beverage originated in California in the 1930s, and really has stood the test of time. We’d recommend drinking this quintessential tiki cocktail in a Hawaiian shirt for best results. 

Zombie Cocktail Recipe:

30 ml white rum

30 ml dark rum

60 ml pineapple juice

15 ml lime juice

15 ml grenadine syrup

15 ml apricot brandy

10 ml simple syrup

3 Dash Angustora bitters

Crushed ice

Orange slice and cherry for garnish (optional)

Preparation: Add all ingredients into a shaker and shake hard for 20 seconds. Strain into a tall glass, top with crushed ice and garnish.


When I say tequila cocktail, your first thought is bound to be a margarita, right? Well, there is another contender for the best tequila cocktail, and you’ve got to give it a try. People have been using the Paloma to quench their thirst for almost a hundred years, so it’s definitely one we’d recommend supping in the beating sun. 

Paloma Cocktail Recipe:

50ml White tequila

12.5ml Lime juice

12.5ml Simple syrup

50ml Grapefruit juice

50ml Soda water

Slice of grapefruit or wedge of lime

Preparation: Combine the first four ingredients in a glass with ice and stir well for 30 seconds, top with soda water and garnish with a slice of grapefruit or a lime wedge.

Tom Collins 

One of the oldest, easiest and most refreshing cocktails on this list. If you’re dying for a refreshing cocktail, but you’re not in the mood to gather a load of ingredients, then this is the one for you. All you need is Old Tom Gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water. The original recipe calls for Old Tom Gin which is every so slightly sweeter than London Dry, but honestly any gin will do!

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe:

60ml Old Tom Gin 

25ml Lemon juice

15ml Sugar syrup

50ml Soda water

Preparation: Simply combine the gin, lemon and sugar in a shaker and shake hard over ice for 10–20 seconds. Strain into a tall glass, add ice and top with soda. 

NightCap Tip: If you don’t have a shaker, you can stir the ingredients well over ice before adding your soda water. 

Mai Tai

The Mai Tai cocktail gets its name from the Tahitian phrase “Maita’i roa a’e,” which roughly translates as “out of this world” or “the best”. The cocktail originates in California in the 30s or 40s (depending on who you ask) and put simply is summer in a glass. It’s full of rum, with super tropical flavours, and a dead smooth finish. 

Mai Tai Cocktail Recipe: 

25ml White Rum

25ml Dark Rum

25ml Cointreau or Triple Sec

12.5ml Orgeat

12.5ml Fresh lime juice

50ml Pineapple juice

Mint sprig

Preparation: Combine all ingredients into your shaker with plenty of ice, shake hard for 20 seconds, strain with a fine strainer, pour over ice in a short glass, garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy your mai tai cocktail.

NightCap’s Tip: Orgeat may sound a very niche, but you can easily pick up a bottle for cheap online.

Campari Spritz 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re bound to have seen plenty of Aperol Spritz dotted around beer gardens everywhere. And, whilst we love the Aperol Spritz, we think it’s boozier cousin the campari spritz is just as refreshing and the addition of campari elevates this spritz to the next level.

Campari Spritz Recipe:

75 ml Prosecco

50 ml Campari

25 ml Soda Water

Grapefruit or Orange

Teaspoon of sugar syrup

Preparation: Add all your ingredients to a wine glass and stir for 20 seconds over ice. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit or orange and be instantly transported to Italy.

Pisco Sour 

Dating back to the 1920s, this sour was born on the streets of Lima, Peru and is an absolute cracker of a summer cocktail. pisco isn’t the easiest spirit to get hold of on the high street, but you can find a reasonable priced bottle online (Amazon or Whiskey Exchange), and trust us it’s worth it. The pisco sour is tart, sweet, silky and slightly herbaceous and best enjoyed in the back garden on a sun lounger. 

Pisco Sour Recipe:

50ml Pisco

25ml Sugar syrup

25ml Lime juice

1 Egg white 

3 dashes Angostura bitters

Preparation: Add all the ingredients to your shaker and shake hard with plenty of ice. Strain back into the shaker and shake again for extra fluffiness. Pour into a glass and enjoy.

NightCap Tip: If you don’t eat (or drink) eggs, you can replace the egg white with 25ml of aquafaba (the juice chickpeas are stored in).

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