2 Refreshing Summer Cocktails (That Can Also be Mocktails)

Although it’s not technically summer, it feels like it here in the Northeast. The last few weeks have been just beautiful and we’ve been spending as much time outdoors as possible. We’re enjoying more herbs and lettuces from our garden, eating almost all of our meals outside, and enjoying refreshing summer cocktails and mocktails on the back deck.

I’m still focusing on drinking less to curb my anxiety, so when I do have a cocktail, I want it to be something special, that I can savor and really enjoy. Which has been fun because I’m trying some new cocktail recipes that are both pretty and delicious! On Saturday nights, I love to spend time picking out the perfect thing to drink and it feels like such a treat.

Don’t get me wrong, a good old fashioned gin and tonic is still a great option too, but it’s been fun to change it up.

And on the nights that I don’t drink but really want to, I make a cocktail which usually does the trick. Sometimes it’s just the act of doing something special for myself that I’m craving, not the alcohol itself.

The two drinks in this post are both light and refreshing with our without liquor in them.

Cucumber Basil Gimlet

You can get really fancy and make basil simple syrup (by heating up water and sugar then steeping with basil_ for this but I like a quick and easy situation so here is how I do it:

Gimlet Ingredients:
– 1 tbsp lime juice
–  1/4 cucumber, peeled
– 6 basil leaves
–  2 Tspn, simple syrup or sugar
– 1 shot, vodka or gin
– Basil and cucumber slices for garnish

Gimlet Directions:
– Blend lime juice, simple syrup, cucumber, and basil in a blender
– Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice
– Add gin or vodka (optional)
– Shake and pour into a glass
– Enjoy!

Grapefruit Paloma

Paloma Ingredients:
– 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice
– 1 tbsp lime juice
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1/2 cup club soda
– 1 shot tequila (or a mixture of tequila and mezcal if you like a smokey flavor)
– Salt for the rim

Paloma Directions:
1. Pour salt onto a plate. Rub the rim of your glass with a grapefruit wedge and dip the edge of the glass in the salt.
2. Stir grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar in the same glass with the salt until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Stir in tequila (optional)
4. Add ice (I like one giant ice cube)
5. Top with club soda for an ombré look
6. Enjoy!

Next, I want to perfect something with nectarines, my favorite summer fruit.

What is your go-to summer cocktail?

Photos by Julia Dags.

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  1. Katherine said:

    The grapefruit drink looks delicious! I am definitely going to be making this weekend. We are moving out of the city (Boston) to the burbs and can’t wait to enjoy this on our new screened in porch….also I want the swinging chair like you have.

    6.18.20 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Good luck with the move! Backyard drinks is a great part of ‘burb living 🙂

      6.18.20 · Reply
  2. Jeanyne said:

    So in love with these and these photos are so dreamy!

    6.18.20 · Reply
  3. Meghna said:

    Delicious grapefruit cocktail recipe. Keep them coming 🙂

    6.20.20 · Reply