25 Drinks to Welcome Patio Season
It's finally starting to feel like summer! We found cool drinks that will really hit the spot on a hot day.
This chilly slush with peaches, lemon juice and garden-fresh basil is hands down the best lemonade ever. It tastes just like summer. —Dana Hinck, Pensacola, Florida
My beverage is so sensational it's like a taste of the tropics in a glass. The guava adds a touch of sweetness to this coconut drink. —Melanie Milhorat, New York, New York
Making shrubs is a creative way to use up extra fruit all the way through Labor Day. We were inspired by sampling the house-made shrubs at the award-winning SHED in Healdsburg, California (healdsburgshed.com). They are as colorful and refreshing as summer drinks should be.
Grill up fresh peaches and pineapple slathered in cinnamon butter and use them to make a refreshing summer sangria. I also like to add slices of grilled lemon and lime to drop in the glass for a citrusy boost of flavor. —Heather King, Frostburg, Maryland
Cold brew lattes are all the rage at coffee shops, but they're so easy to make at home. This coconut cold brew version is ridiculously refreshing and it's vegan! —Natalie Larsen, Columbia, Maryland
A little bit of lavender goes a long way, so be sure not to overdo it! This pretty combo screams summer, but you can also dry out the lavender and enjoy this anytime.
Summer’s best flavors get frosty in the cocktail we serve at all our backyard shindigs. We mix sun-ripened watermelon and our favorite tequila with just the right amount of ice for a thick and boozy sipper that’s perfect when we’re grilling and chilling.—Alicia Cummings, Marshalltown, Iowa
It doesn't get much more refreshing than this gin cocktail. If you like your drinks on the sweet side, top yours off with lemon-lime soda instead of club soda. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Blueberry and lime are two of my favorite flavors, so I added blueberries to my favorite mixed drink! This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. To make simple syrup, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water and cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Simple syrup will keep in the fridge for a week.—Michele Tungett, Rochester, Illinois
I grow mint on my balcony, and this refreshing beverage is a wonderful way to use it. It combines two of my favorite drinks—Moroccan Mint Tea and Honeydew Agua Fresca. For extra flair, add some ginger ale. —Sarah Batt Throne, El Cerrito, California
Serve this beautiful beverage at your next brunch in place of mimosas. Just chill the base an hour before adding the club soda. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
This sparkling drink is a nice change of pace from lemonade and party punch. The lime, coconut and grape combination is so refreshing. Add a splash of gin if you're feeling bold. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
Both sides of my family are midwestern, so our strong brandy tradition is evident in the slush we make for the holidays and in the Wisconsin old-fashioned cocktails we enjoy year-round. I decided to combine those recipes into something completely new. This goes very quickly at gatherings! —Stephanie Vaughan, Madison, Wisconsin
A frozen orange or lemon slice in the glass looks pretty and helps keep this refreshing punch nice and cold. Using honey instead of sugar adds a sweet touch. —Sheila Bradshaw, Columbus, Ohio
This delicious drink is a fabulous way to use fresh mint and celebrate summer. If the pineapple isn't overly ripe, add a bit more sugar. Save any leftover pineapple-mint syrup in an airtight glass container, or freeze the mixture in ice cube trays to use later. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
The nutrition department at my local hospital inspired me to create this refreshing summer sipper. I tweaked their recipe slightly to create this drink full of sweet-tart flavor. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
This refreshing blackberry cocktail is how you take advantage of prime berry season during the summer months. I've also used other types of fruit, including raspberries, kiwi and strawberries. —Donna Noel, Gray, Maine
My husband's family makes a cranberry beverage for the holidays. I changed it up and serve it this way in winter and summer, when blueberries are in season. —Rebecca Bratsman, Tacoma, Washington