16 Great Cookout Cocktails for Summer

Tall and Refreshing Drinks for the BBQ

Picnic With Grilled Kebabs and Margaritas
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The backyard cookout is one of the great traditions of summer. While stocking your cooler with ice-cold beer is nice, you can take that a step further and mix up a refreshing cocktail or two. These drink recipes are ideal for any barbecue, no matter what food you're tossing on the grill. They're filled with fresh, fruity flavors and require very little work, so you can enjoy the party alongside your guests. 

  • 01 of 16

    Strawberry Vodka Lemonade

    Stawberry Berryoska Vodka Lemonade Cocktail

     The Spruce Eats

    A cookout would not be complete without a great lemonade drink and this is an easy favorite. The strawberry vodka lemonade is a perfect way to enjoy the sweet taste of garden-fresh strawberries, too. Simply muddle a few berries, top it off with vodka and homemade lemonade, and you're done.

  • 02 of 16

    Grapefruit Shandy

    Refreshing, Made-From-Scratch Grapefruit Shandy

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    When you want your beer and a cocktail too, turn to the shandy. Traditionally a mix of beer and lemonade, switching out the fruit is a fun way to shake up this popular beer mixed drink. In the grapefruit shandy, you'll make a grapefruit-ade from scratch, then top it off with your favorite beer. It's very simple and unbelievably refreshing.

  • 03 of 16

    White Peach and Mango Sangria

    White Wine Peach and Mango Sangria
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    Sangria is a staple at summer parties. Rather than go with the more conventional red wine recipes, lighten things up and mix up this stunning white peach and mango sangria. Made by the pitcher, this fruity recipe pairs a Pinot Grigio with mango rum and peach schnapps. Mix that up the night before, then finish it off with citrus soda right before the party.

  • 04 of 16

    Hawaiian Iced Tea

    Hawaiian Iced Tea
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    The Hawaiian iced tea is a fruity, tall drink that's sure to get your patio party started. It's easy to make but you will need five bottles of booze to pull it off. A member of the Long Island iced tea family, this tropical version packs the same punch​ but swaps out the cola for pineapple juice. That lighter flavor is excellent with any grilled food.

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  • 05 of 16


    Paloma Cocktail

    The Spruce Eats

    When it comes to thirst-quenching tequila cocktails, few drinks can rival the paloma. It has a wonderful flavor that complements grilled meats, veggies, and fruits and it mixes up in minutes. You'll simply pour a shot of tequila, add a little lime juice, then top it off with grapefruit soda.

  • 06 of 16

    Raspberry Press

    Charbay Raspberry Press Cocktail
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    Grab the raspberry vodka because this quick cocktail is a fantastic addition to your barbecue. It adds a fruity twist to the vodka press (a two-soda highball) and you can use it to show off your bartending skills by rolling the drink as you mix. It may be simple, but it is very satisfying and a lovely drink that everyone's sure to enjoy.

  • 07 of 16

    Beer, Bourbon, and Barbecue Cocktail

    Beer, Bourbon, and Barbecue Cocktail by Tom Fischer and Steven Dennison
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    Could there be a drink more appropriate for a cookout than one named the beer, bourbon, and barbecue cocktail? If you're up for a true drinking adventure, this is the recipe for you. In it, bourbon is poured alongside a honey whiskey liqueur, the beer is a wheaty hefeweizen, and the "barbecue" is nothing more than watered-down barbecue sauce. You'll be surprised how well it works.

  • 08 of 16

    Rhubarb Collins

    Nolet's Silver Dry Gin Rhubarb Collins Cocktail
    Nolet's Silver Dry Gin

    The rhubarb collins is a great twist on a classic gin cocktail. It's an extraordinary recipe that offers the sweet taste of an iconic summer vegetable. You'll start with homemade rhubarb syrup, then add a great gin, lime juice, and both rhubarb and cardamom bitters.

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  • 09 of 16

    UV Liberty

    UV Liberty Cocktail With UV Blue Vodka

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    An incredibly easy drink to mix up, the UV liberty is a fun blue cocktail for summer. This recipe is constructed much like a root beer float, but all the ingredients have a lighter, fruitier flair. It begins with a scoop of raspberry sherbet, which is topped with that alluring UV Blue Vodka and lemon-lime soda. It's as beautiful as it is delicious.

  • 10 of 16

    Papaya Smash

    Tequila Avion's Papaya Smash Cocktail
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    Papaya and tequila go together like burgers and fries. The two are united in a fantastic papaya smash cocktail, a delightful pairing for grilled kebabs, veggie burgers, or smoked chicken. It gets a fancy touch with the bitter-sweet orange of Aperol liqueur to create a stimulating little cocktail.

  • 11 of 16

    Coco Margarita

    Coco Margarita
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    Which sounds better, a piña colada or a margarita? No need to decide with the coco margarita recipe! This luscious cocktail has the tequila and sour mix of a margarita mixed with the coconut and pineapple of a colada. It's super easy because it's shaken and a fantastic taste of the tropics.

  • 12 of 16

    Watermelon Beer

    Watermelon Beer

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    Three ingredients are all you need to make watermelon beer! This refreshing drink uses fresh-pressed watermelon juice to transform the average beer into a bbq-worthy delight. The key to marrying the two flavors is vanilla syrup, which you can buy or make at home.

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  • 13 of 16

    Rum and Dew

    Easy Rum and Dew Mixed Drink Recipe

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    A fan-favorite among the pour-and-drink cocktails, this rum and dew recipe is perfect for any summer party. It's like an enhanced screwdriver with a spiced rum base that's topped with Mountain Dew. It's so easy that you can even set the three bottles out on the table and let everyone mix their own.

  • 14 of 16

    Bourbon Tea

    Bourbon Iced Tea

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    With a pitcher of iced tea at the ready, there are many delicious mixed drink possibilities. One that's sure to please any crowd is the bourbon tea. Using the whiskey as a base, this spiked version of sweet tea uses the lemon flavoring of limoncello as the sweetener.

  • 15 of 16

    Pineapple Mojito

    Cold pineapple mojito cocktail
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    Add a little extra dimension to your summertime mojito routine with this tropical fruit-induced recipe. Everything that's great about the original recipe remains—rum, lime, and mint—it simply adds pineapple juice and a couple of slices of the fruit.

  • 16 of 16


    Zipper Cocktail Recipe

     The Spruce Eats

    While this raspberry-kissed cocktail is typically served short, it's super refreshing when you add extra soda. The zipper pairs vodka and Chambord with lemon-lime soda. Build it over ice in a tall glass and top it with soda, and you have a simple and pretty sparkling purple cocktail.