KATU Summer Guide: Quench your thirst with these classic summer drink recipes!

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Summertime is here – the season of backyard barbecues, camping trips, and soaking up the sunshine outdoors. Part to enjoying the season is paring any summer adventure with your favorite cold drink!

Whether you’re hosting an event or just want to enjoy a refreshing beverage, we’ve put together a list of some essential summer drinks to help you quench your thirst.


What you’ll need –

  • Tequila
  • Fresh limes
  • Orange liqueur or triple sec
  • Ice
  • Shaker or blender
  • Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated on the stove, then cooled in the fridge)

Classic recipe - Combine two ounces of your preferred tequila, two ounces of freshly squeezed lime juice, one ounce of simple syrup and a half-ounce of orange liqueur in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for about 30 seconds, and strain the drink into a salt-rimmed glass.

Blended recipe – (serves 4) Add four cups of ice, eight ounces of tequila, eight ounces of lime juice, four ounces of triple sec, and two ounces of simple syrup in a blender. After blending the drink serve it in a salt-rimmed glass and garnish with a lime.


What you’ll need –

  • Light rum
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Lime
  • Sugar
  • Ice
  • Club soda or seltzer water

Start off by putting 8 to 10 mint leaves, a lime wedge, and ½ to 1 teaspoon of sugar in a glass. Use a muddler to crush up the leaves and lime. Fill the glass 2/3 of the way with ice and add 2 ounces of rum and the juice of a half a lime. Fill the rest of the glass with the club soda or seltzer water.

(Try adding fresh blackberries or raspberries to this recipe for a great twist on a classic hot weather drink!)

Gin & tonic:

What you’ll need –

  • Gin
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • Tonic water

Put a few cubes of ice in a glass and pour in 2 ounces of gin, .5 ounce of lime juice, and about 4 ounces of tonic. Stir the drink and enjoy this summer staple!

Pina colada:

What you’ll need –

  • Light rum
  • Frozen pineapple
  • Pineapple juice
  • Coconut cream
  • Blender

In a blender, add half a cup of diced frozen pineapple, 2 ounces of light rum, 2 ounces of pineapple juice, 2 ounces of coconut cream, and about a cup of ice. Blend the drink until it is smooth and serve in a glass garnished with a pineapple slice.

Mint julip:

What you’ll need –

  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Fresh mint
  • Sugar
  • Crushed ice
  • Muddler

Start by muddling about five to eight mint leaves, a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of water in a rocks or julep glass. Pack the glass with ice and add 2 ounces of bourbon. Serve the drink with a straw.

Watermelon cooler:

What you’ll need –

  • Fresh watermelon
  • Vanilla vodka
  • Triple sec
  • Lime juice
  • Blender and sieve

(Serves four) Put about 5 cups of seedless watermelon cubes into a blender and puree until it is smooth. Use a fine sieve to drain about two cups of watermelon juice into a container, and put the juice in the fridge.

After letting the juice cool for about a half hour, stir in 4 ounces of vanilla vodka, 2 ounces of triple sec, and 1.5 ounces of lime juice. Pour the mixed drink in stemmed glasses with ice cubes.


If you are looking for something other than mixed drinks, there are plenty of beer options to enjoy on a hot summer’s day. It is hard to beat some of the seasonal brews that are released at this time of year, and an ice-cold wheat or IPA is always a great pairing with an outdoor activity. Radlers and shandys (lagers mixed with citrusy soda or juice) are also a great way to keep cool, and their low alcohol content makes them more sessionable in the heat.

Remember: regardless of your preferred summer beverage it is important to stay hydrated with water, especially if you are out enjoying the sun.

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