It’s summer time! Whether you’re in a big metropolitan area like New York City or a rural, small town like Dothan, Alabama, the idea of kicking back with a crisp, refreshing beverage definitely can enhance any backyard barbecue or night out with friends. We have four amazing drinks to try this summer, including unique variations that will keep your taste buds on the edge of their seats.

Aperol Spritz’s: This light, bubbly, yet flavorful beverage is arguably the easiest and most refreshing of the four we are recommending this summer. A simple mixture of Prosecco and Aperol will concoct the perfect summer refresher. Popularized in Europe, specifically Italy, this beverage has quickly become a go-to for those who want a bubbly, champagne-like experience with a little extra flavor. To really ‘jazz’ this drink up for the summer of 2023, try adding a splash of grenadine or watermelon syrup. We like to call these variations a Very Cherry Spritz and a Watery Spritz, respectively. Be sure to experiment with different brands and types of Prosecco or your favorite sparkling, white wine.

Mojitos: I mean, if you’re looking for something sugary, refreshing, minty, this beverage is a must for those who want a little kick to their summer. Based on five key ingredients: white rum, mint, sugar, lime, and sparkling water, this Cuban-based drink is sure to leave you wanting another one… or two! With sweet, white rums popularized by the Malibu blend, try making a coconut or a pineapple Malibu rum switch for traditional white rum – this addition is sure to leave your sweet tooth relaxing by the pool this summer. For those who want to add flavor in a different way, try changing the flavor of sparkling water in the cocktail, either by choosing popular, flavored sparkling waters popularized by the Aha and Bubly brands. No matter what you add/swap from the traditional recipe, the Mojito is a go-to for those who want to drink flavorful, liquid courage during the warmest summer months.

Mint Julep: A classic Southern American staple, the mint julep is often consumed around Churchill Downs – that is, the mecca of end-all-be-all Southern culture: the Kentucky Derby. However, you don’t have to don a large, ornate hat and ‘preppy’ attire to enjoy this cocktail. Often crafted from crushed ice, mint, bourbon, sugar, and water (although, this addition can be substituted for your favorite, flavorful mixer for those who don’t need to dilute the fun), this brisk beverage is sure to leave your taste buds wanting to squeeze very last drop out of summer. Be sure to experiment with different brands and types of bourbon, whether you are a Kentucky Bourbon fan or an oaky, classic Bourbon connoisseur.

Espresso Martini: This energizing, yet smooth cocktail is sure to ramp up any summer party, night out, or cocktail hour with friends or coworkers. A simple mixture of espresso, coffee-flavored liqueur, and vodka is all you need for a little extra pep in your step during the balmy summer heat. Chilled to perfection, an espresso martini is the perfect answer to the question, “How do I combine my need for caffeine with my need for a little liquid relaxation?”. By experimenting with the number of espresso shots, or by even trying different tiers of Vodka (Absolut, Svedka, Crystal Head), the espresso martini is your drawing board for an energized summer. Sip by sip, you’ll be reminded of why many young professionals use this drink to power through the ‘grind’ of corporate America.

No matter where your taste buds take you this summer, whether you’re staying home and spending time with family and friends, or whether you’re straying far away from home for that perfect ‘European summer’, try one of our four recommended cocktails for an unforgettable summer of cocktails and creations that will leave everyone at your party licking their lips. Be sure to check back in with Break Thru Kitchen for even more summer drink suggestions to keep the party going, no matter your drink preference.