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Summer Cocktails and Boat Drinks

Updated on September 17, 2013

Summer is undoubtedly a time for cookouts, relaxing on the deck, late-night swims, and parties. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a cool drink. Imagine a beautiful sun just starting to set over the horizon, the smell of freshly-cut grass, the sound of a few birds chirping softly in the distance, and the comfort of your significant other, relaxing in silence with you as you both take in your surroundings. Now, take a sip of your favorite summer beverage, and smile, breathing in deeply as the world moves around you.

Ahh... Picturesque and divine.

Compiled below are recipes for some favorite summer beverages, and for some lesser-known, but wildly delicious ones as well. Ingredients may be substituted as needed, and alcohol is not a necessity.

Disclaimer: Recipes for everything (from the above scenario), other than the cocktails, are not included!

Mint Julep

A favorite at the Kentucky Derby and posh golf clubs, this starlet of drinks can now be made in your kitchen!

Mint Julep is typically served in an ice-cold/frozen silver goblet, but can most certainly be served in a typical glass.

What is needed to make 8 servings:

  • 2 cups sugar (white)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 32 oz. Kentucky (any) Bourbon
  • 2 cups water

This part can be done a day or so ahead of time, if desired:

Combine the mint leaves with the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until the sugar has dissolved entirely. Allow the newly made syrup to cool for approximately an hour. Strain the syrup to remove any leftover mint leaves.

Next, add 4 oz. of bourbon to each of the eight glasses/silver goblets, over crushed ice. Add 1/4 cup of the mint syrup to each glass. Garnish with a small straw (cut if needed) and mint sprigs.

Lavish your guests by serving the Mint Juleps on a silver platter, or one-by-one for those of us who do not shower ourselves with silver, let alone our drinks!

Garnish ideas:

  • Mint sprigs
  • Lime wheel/wedge

Brazilian Rose

An elegant drink, Brazilian Rose is typically served on special occasions, but can be made for a moment of pure high-class bliss.

To make 2 servings, you will need:

  • 4 oz. Leblon cachaca
  • 6 oz. guava juice
  • 2 splashes of Triple Sec

Fill a simple cocktail shaker with ice. Pour all ingredients into the shaker. Shake well, and pour into 2 cocktail glasses. Ready to serve.

Garnish ideas:

  • Lime wheel/wedge
  • Orange wheel/wedge
  • 1 rose petal

Rum Runner

First created in Florida in the 1950s, Rum Runner is a favorite among Floridians, islanders, and boaters alike.

To make 1 serving, you will need:

  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. banana liqueur
  • 1 oz. dark/aged rum
  • 1 oz. orange juice
  • 1 oz. blackberry liqueur (brandy)
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • Splash of grenadine
  • 2 cups ice

There are two ways to make this drink: one the rocks or frozen.


Add the ice to the blender, followed by all of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. You should not be able to see any ice chips at first glance. Ready to serve.

On the rocks:

Fill a glass (hurricane glass works best) with ice. Pour in all ingredients except grenadine. Add the splash of grenadine after all other ingredients have been mixed in the glass. Ready to serve.

Garnish ideas:

  • Pineapple spear
  • Orange wheel/wedge
  • 2 cherries
  • Lemon wheel/wedge
  • Lime wheel/wedge

Other suggestion:

Some recipes have included a splash of blue caracoa or lime juice. Many restaurants/bars that serve Rum Runners add 1 oz. of Bacardi 151 to the straw, or as a floater on top of the drink.

As this has a higher alcohol content, please feel free to add additional juice as needed.

Electric Lemonade

Ignite your taste buds with this twist on a favorite summer beverage.

Please do not attempt to sell this at a stand in your front yard; this one is for keeps.

To make 1 serving, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Vodka (citrus flavored vodka works best)
  • 2 oz. Sweet and Sour
  • 1/2 oz. Blue Caracoa
  • 1 can of lemon-lime flavored soda (sprite, 7-up)

Fill a collins (typicall 14 oz.) glass with ice. Pour in the vodka, sweet and sour, and blue caracoa. Add the lemon-lime flavored soda, filling the glass the rest of the way. Ready to serve.

Garnish ideas:

  • Lemon wedge/wheel
  • Lime wedge/wheel

Other suggestion:

Sugar or salt rim a margarita glass, add a lemon wheel, and pour the contents as listed above, into the glass. Also, lemonade can be substituted for Sweet and Sour.


Frozen or on the rocks, with or without salt, lime/regular or flavored; with so many ways to tweak a margarita, below is a simple recipe ready for you to experiment on and have fun with!

There are countless brands of Tequila. Here is a quick rundown on the different types of tequila:

  • Silver/Blanco/Plata/White - Blue Agave in its purest form, this tequila is typically aged for up to 2 months and is packed full of intense flavor.
  • Gold/Oro/Joven - Usually a mixto, or mix of flavors and colors, it is normally the cheapest type of tequila to buy, and is aged for much less time than Silver Tequila. It has a powerful taste, just like the Silver Tequila.
  • Reposado - Aged for 2-11 months, the taste of Reposado Tequila is a mix of pure agave and the wooden/bourbon barrels used for aging. Typically has a smoother taste than Silver Tequila.
  • Anejo - Aged longest (typically 3 years), this is the smoothest tequila, and is usually darker in color.

Before you get started, consider adding flavor to your margarita, both for the taste and color. Peach, mango, and strawberry are a few of the most common margarita flavors. If using a flavor, simply use that instead of the limeade mix in the recipe below.

To make 4 servings of a FROZEN margarita, you will need:

  • 1 can of frozen limeade (or other flavor) concentrate (6 oz.)
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 6 oz. Tequila (your choice!)

Fill a blender with ice (crushed ice works more easily). Add the limeade concentrate, Triple Sec, and Tequila. Blend until smooth. As always, if you see ice chunks at first glance, continue blending. Ready to serve.

To make 4 servings of ROCKS margaritas, you will need:

  • 1 cup Sweet and Sour (can use fresh lime juice)
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 3/4 cup Tequila
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur (Grand Marnier works well)

Mix all contents in a cocktail shaker. Add ice to margarita glasses. Shake the mix well, and pour into margarita glasses, over ice. Ready to serve.

To rim a margarita glass:

Cut a slice of lime. Run the lime over the edge of the glass, all of the way around. Turn the glass over. Slide gently over a plate filled with sugar or rim salt. Using a titled, circular motion when spinning/sliding the glass works best.

Garnish ideas:

  • Lime wedge
  • Lemon wedge
  • Fruit of your choice (mango, pineapple, strawberry) corresponding to the margarita flavor

*Caution: Both of these recipes may be a bit strong for the restaurant margarita drinker. To tone down the drink, add more flavor/lime juice, or less tequila.

Carribean Pineapple

A very simple recipe, but one that will take you away to paradise!

To make one serving, you will need:

  • 1.5 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1.5 oz. Coconut (flavored) rum

Mix the pineapple juice and coconut rum with ice in a mixer. Using a margarita, collins, or highball glass filled with ice (crushed or cubed), pour the ingredients into the glass.


Fill a margarita, highball, or collins glass with ice (crushed or cubed), pour the coconut rum into the glass, followed by the pineapple juice.

Ready to serve.

Garnish ideas:

  • Pineapple wedge/slice
  • Coconut shavings
  • 2 cherries

Other suggestion:

You can substitute the pineapple juice for cranberry juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, or almost any other type of juice, and make the drink your own!

What about the beer?

Very simply, I enjoy craft beers.

Some of my favorites, and ones that I recommend for summer, are:

  • Leinenkugel - Summer Shandy
  • Victory Brewing Company - Summer Love Ale
  • Stone Brewing Company - Japanese Green Tea IPA

Local brewers tend to offer specials on seasonal beers. Stop by, take a tour, and try something new!

I will expound on summer beers in a future hub!

Savor the drink, and your body

Alcohol dehydrates, and can make you feel hotter and thirstier than you are. Be careful when consuming alcohol outside in the hot sun, or for long periods of time.

Have a small glass of ice water with each drink. Your adult body is equipped to digest one serving of alcohol per hour. Keep that in mind if drinking a few - it will take a few for the alcohol to leave your system.

With that said, enjoy the summer, and all of the fabulous drink possibilities!

Feel free to comment with your own drink ideas/recipes, or suggestions to improve/change the ones listed above.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Brett Thanks for sharing this! I look at my wdideng photos everyday when I'm walking around our home and I love them to no end. When we had our engagement session I told you that the photos were off the chart important to me and you reached and exceeded my every expectation for providing us with amazing photographs. The wdideng pictures we have will always bring me back to the day that Kevin and I got married. So thank you for taking these two photographs and realizing your calling because I do not believe that anyone could have captured our day the way you did.

    • VeronicaFarkas profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Roberts 

      7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Thank you both so much for reading & taking the time to comment!

      Thelma - I appreciate the feedback. And, as "they" say, a picture is worth a thousand words! =]

      Manthy - I will most definitely try. I hope you have a fantastic summer as well!

    • manthy profile image


      7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Cool Drinks - I hope you have a gr8 summer

    • ThelmaC profile image

      Thelma Raker Coffone 

      7 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

      Good article. The pictures look very inviting. Keep up the good work!

    • VeronicaFarkas profile imageAUTHOR

      Veronica Roberts 

      7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      haha Thanks! I am very thirsty.

      My boyfriend has been asking for Mint Juleps for a while now. I may just have to make some this weekend!

      I hope that you enjoy! =]

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Loved the post, saw some of my favorites as well as some I am anxious to try. Wow is anyone else thirsty? lol


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