Vacation Libations: Our Favorite Summer Cocktails

When the days get long and the air gets hot, you’ll need something to help you cool off. The summer has a ton of fruits and vegetables peaking during the season, allowing you to get widely creative with your cocktail menu. Whether you’re pairing the perfect cocktail to your signature dish or making one for yourself after the doors have closed, these will have you refreshed and relieved.

Blueberry Mojito

Put a crowd-pleasing spin on a time-honored classic with blueberry mojitos. Each aspect of the drink interplays wonderfully with each other. The summer sweetness of the blueberries work especially well with the cool, tart flavors of traditional mojitos.

  • Varieties to consider: Ozark Blue, Premiere, Bluegold
  • Peak seasonality: May to October

Bourbon Peach Lemonade

Give your customers a taste of the sweet side of the south with bourbon peach lemonade. One of the easier summer cocktails to prepare, simply add bourbon to your favorite peach lemonade recipe and garnish with fresh peach slices.

  • Varieties to consider: Yellow Peaches, White Peaches, Donut Peaches
  • Peak seasonality: May to November

Bloody Mary

Fresh tomato juice can elevate your bloody mary’s to the next level. Though tomatoes are available year round, heirloom varieties are exceptionally tasty during the summer months. Look for varieties that are larger in size to maximize your juice output.

  • Varieties to consider: Costulo Genoveses, Beefsteaks, Brandywines
  • Peak seasonality: June to October (dependant on varieties)

Watermelon Margarita

Sweet, tart, and breaking all of our hearts, watermelon margaritas are the perfect patio cocktail. We’d recommend crafting your own mix by combing a watermelon puree with lime juice and triple sec. Use blanco tequila in this one, the agave flavor is a must.

  • Varieties to consider: Crimson sweet, Jubilee,
  • Peak seasonality: April to December

Plum Whiskey Sour

Want a craft cocktail that can transport your customers back to the roaring twenties? Throw in some fresh plum juice into your next whiskey sour! To add some spice and texture, mix with fresh ginger and egg white. Additionally, try using European plums for a sweeter flavor.

  • Varieties to consider: Mirabelle, Damson, Moyer
  • Peak seasonality: May to October

Cucumber Martini

Cool and sophisticated, cucumber martinis are a great showcase cocktail. The vegetable gives the beverage an appealing color and an even more appealing flavor. Start by muddling your cucumbers in with the liquor of your choice, but don’t listen to Mr. Bond on this one. Shaking will give you much better result.

  • Varieties to consider: English, Garden
  • Peak seasonality: May- August (but available year round)

Appletini

A long-standing alternative to martinis, appletinis are popular with everyone from college kids to sitcom doctors. Go the extra mile and substitute in some fresh apple juice for a portion of the apple liqueur, with a 1:1 ratio of both. Select your apples based on your desired flavor profile. For example, use Granny Smith for a tarter drink and Honeycrisp for a sweeter one.

  • Varieties to consider: Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, McIntosh
  • Peak seasonality: Dependent on variety