Summer Sips: The Best Cocktail Recipes to Beat the Heat

Amber Dias dives headfirst into some chilling cocktails. 

The weather outside is sizzling, and that just makes coolers all the more delightful. They are icy, refreshing and bursting with flavour. The secret to delivering some much-needed relief from the heat? Keeping it light and fizzy with a lot of ice. Often a combination of low-alcohol spirits, liqueurs, or fortified wine with a carbonated beverage, these cocktails lighten up any occasion. 

Pick Your Spirit

The trick to a good cooler is to keep it light and simple. Here are some popular spirits that find their way into classic summer cocktails. 


The perfect fit for fizzy, refreshing drinks, gin is a summertime favourite. It works exceptionally well in citrus-forward cocktails. While there are plenty of different types of gin to choose from, a dry gin often works best to bring out intricate flavours, but feel free to mix it up and play with combinations. 


Versatile with a slightly sweet finish, tequila is the spirit of choice if your palette leans towards tropical flavours. A lighter, fruity style of tequila is an excellent choice for citrus-based cocktails, while a more aged version is preferred for cocktails that require depth and complexity. 


White or dark, rum is another versatile summer favourite. They play nicely with fruity tropical flavours, packing quite the punch. 


Vodka is a fan favourite, especially when you’re hosting a party. It is flexible and low in calories, just right to help cope with the extra rays. 


While usually favoured for warm drinks, bourbon has its place in icy concoctions too – Mint Julep, anyone? Note that it must be used carefully so as not to overpower the drink. 

Cool Sips

Watermelon Vodka Cocktail

Watermelons are the belle of the season and make a delicious, cooling cocktail. Simply muddle a lime wedge with watermelon cubes – deseeded, of course. Add vodka, ice and simple syrup. Shake and strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Top off with soda and serve. 

Blue Hawaii

Bring home a taste of the islands with this cool blue cocktail. To whip it up, shake ice, white rum, vodka, blue curaçao and pineapple juice. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge and cherry. Enjoy!

Summertime Sangria

Whether you prefer white or red wine, a chilly sangria is just the drink to sip on lazy summer afternoons. This is a pitcher drink and you can play with different fruits, the most commonly used are slices of orange, lime and apple. Add a little rum to punch it up, some ice, a bit of sugar and a bottle of wine of your choice. 

Coconut Sunrise

Whip up your own slice of the tropics with the deliciously nutty cocktail. It’ll cool you down and for just a little bit, transport you to paradise. All it takes is some coconut tequila, orange and pineapple juice, and a touch of grenadine. Just shake ‘em up, pour into a highball glass over ice, sit back, relax and sip away. 

Frozen Piña Colada

A summertime classic, nothing delights the senses quite like a Piña Colada. All it takes is blending ice, frozen pineapple, cream of coconut and white rum. Pour into a cocktail glass, add a wedge of pineapple, a little umbrella and chill out. 

Cucumber-Basil Cooler

Sometimes the best way to cool down is to give in to the refreshing vibes of basil and cucumber. Simply muddle some basil leaves in a mason jar and add a pinch of salt. Slide in some slices of cucumber, vodka, lime and ice. Top off with a soda or a fizzy drink of your choice!

Fun In The Sun

When making summer coolers, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours and ingredients, the possibilities are endless. The key is to keep them light, refreshing and hydrating. They are a fabulous way to wind up the week and blissfully ignore the scorching heat, even if just for a little while. Here’s to a deliciously cool summer!

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