Summer barbecue season is almost upon us, and that means it’s time to crack the gin open again. From a simple gin and tonic or gin fizz to a more sophisticated Singapore sling, there are a plethora of gin-infused cocktail options that can bring your barbecues and lawn parties to life this summer.
With many a classic cocktail based on gin and the renewed availability of seasonal summer fruits, there is no shortage of choice when it comes to making a refreshing summer gin cocktail. Here’s a roundup of fifteen of the best gin cocktails for summer that will let your taste buds know that spring has passed.
- 1. Gin & Tonic
- 2. Gin & Juice
- 3. Gin Rickey
- 4. Tom Collins
- 5. Summertime Spritz
- 6. London Calling Spritz
- 7. Martini
- 8. The Verbena & Mint
- 9. Berry Mint Gin Smash
- 10. Strawberry Gin & Tonic
- 11. Singapore Sling
- 12. Elderflower Gin Fizz
- 13. Yuzu
- 14. Lavender Martini
- 15. Aloe, Melon, And Cucumber Cocktail
- 16. Blackberry Lavender Gin Sour
- 17. Elderflower Grapefruit Gin and Tonic
Best Summer Gin Cocktails
1. Gin & Tonic
Cocktail recipe by The Spruce Eats
The perfect accompaniment to a summer sunset, the simple gin and tonic is a true classic cocktail that’s great to help beat the summer heat. Grab yourself a highball or rocks glass and add two ounces of your favorite gin over ice. Top up with tonic water and garnish with a lemon wheel or lime wedges. Summer gin cocktails don’t get much simpler than this.
If you believe the best gin cocktails are the classics, you could make your next gin and tonic a little more summery by switching to an infused botanical gin, such as Pacific House Bouquet Small Batch gin or Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice.
2. Gin & Juice
Cocktail recipe by Liquor.com
Fruitier than a gin and tonic and equally as refreshing, a batch of ice-cold gin and juice is a simple and refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for the summer months. The recipe calls for two simple ingredients: gin and fruit juice. The soft juniper notes of the gin go well with most fruit juices, and you can try a few different fruit flavors until you find your favorite.
A great summery combination to try is a mix of gin with equal parts orange juice and grapefruit juice. Simply fill a Collins or Highball glass with ice and add the gin, then top up with your choice of fruit juice.
3. Gin Rickey
Cocktail recipe by Vine Pair
The Rickey cocktail was created by and named after Joe Rickey, and the original recipe was based on whiskey. The gin version of the cocktail – the Gin Rickey – is a popular variation and is nice and refreshing during the summertime.
Simply fill a glass with ice and a lemon twist or slice and pour two ounces of your favorite gin. Then add a half ounce of fresh lime juice and three ounces of club soda before giving a gentle stir.
4. Tom Collins
Cocktail recipe by Masterclass
The Tom Collins is another classic cocktail that works well in the summer. To make this recipe, you’ll need gin, club soda or sparkling water, some simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice, with a lemon wedge for garnish. And there should be no surprise it’s traditionally served in a Collins glass.
For a true Tom Collins, you should opt for an Old Tom gin, whereas using London Dry gin instead will result in a John Collins cocktail.
5. Summertime Spritz
Cocktail recipe by Sipsmith Gin
The combined flavors of passionfruit and pineapple ensure a superb summery taste. The recipe recommends Sipsmith London Dry Gin, which is combined with lime juice, pineapple juice, prosecco, passion fruit, and a pineapple slice for garnish.
Combine gin with the fruit juices and the insides of the passionfruit in a wine glass. Give that a gentle stir before topping up the glass with prosecco and garnishing with passionfruit and pineapple.
6. London Calling Spritz
Cocktail recipe by Sipsmith Gin
London is one of the places where gin first became popular, and this spritz cocktail calls for a London Dry gin as its base. To make this summer gin cocktail, you will also need Fino sherry, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, soda water, and a chilled bottle of prosecco.
Add the gin, Fino sherry, lemon juice, and simple syrup to an ice-filled wine glass, then top up with half prosecco and half soda water and garnish with fresh rhubarb and pomegranate.
Cocktail recipe by The Mixer
Another classic gin cocktail: the martini. Simple, refreshing, and perfect for summer imbibing, a martini is perfect for when you want to cool down yet retain an air of sophistication. The classic recipe calls for the combination of London gin and dry vermouth at a ratio of 2:1, and then, ignoring James Bond, you should stir in a mixing glass with ice cubes and serve in a martini glass.
The classic garnish is olive, but a lemon twist is a more summery alternative, and you’re also free to opt for sweet vermouth if you prefer.
8. The Verbena & Mint
Cocktail recipe by Saveur
Lemon verbena is a flowering plant that is native to South America. It’s also known as lemon beebrush and gives off a strong lemon scent and imparts a delightful citrus flavor. You will need around eight leaves from this plant per serving.
It’s not the simplest gin cocktail to make, as first, you need to prepare the sugar syrup. Grind some sugar with the lemon beebrush leaves and lemon zest in a spice grinder until fine. Then combine three tablespoons of it with some water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to simmer until the sugar dissolves, and refrigerate.
Add a half ounce of this syrup, gin, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a salt-rimmed martini glass and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
9. Berry Mint Gin Smash
Cocktail recipe by We Are Not Martha
Sweet strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries combine alongside gin, soda water, and minty simple syrup for a boozy berry blast that screams summer. Gather together your array of berries, a bottle of your favorite gin, and some refreshing mint leaves and sugar.
The mint leaves and sugar, together with water, are combined to make the minty simple syrup. To then make the tasty cocktail, pop the berries in a cocktail shaker and give a vigorous shake. Add gin and the syrup to the shaker with some ice, shake, strain, and pour into glasses filled with cooling crushed ice.
10. Strawberry Gin & Tonic
Cocktail recipe by The Little Kitchen
For many, the best gin cocktails are the simple ones, like a classic gin and tonic. But when summer rolls around, why not spruce the classic recipe up a little by adding the quintessential summer fruit, like strawberry?
To prepare a couple of these summery gin and tonic cocktails, grab half a dozen fresh strawberries, divide them between two glasses, and give them a decent muddling. Then simply make a classic gin and tonic on top of this fruity and summery base, and kick back and enjoy your refreshing drink.
11. Singapore Sling
Cocktail recipe by Recipes Worth Repeating
First created by a bartender at the Long Bar in Singapore’s iconic Raffles Hotel, the Singapore sling is one of the world’s favorite gin cocktails for summer. To make a batch of these refreshing cocktails, grab your gin, and you’ll also need some sweet and sour grenadine, cherry brandy, and a splash of club soda.
As a variation, some people like to switch the cherry brandy for a maraschino liqueur, and you can have some fun with the garnishes. The fruity nature of this classic calls for a fruity garnish, too, with cherries, orange peel, lime twists, and raspberries being popular choices.
12. Elderflower Gin Fizz
Cocktail recipe by Limoncello Kitchen
If you like your summer gin cocktails to look cool as well as have a cooling effect, these striking purple-hued elderflower gin fizzes could be just what the doctor ordered. For the purple tones, you’ll need a bottle of Empress 1908 gin, and you’ll also need some elderflower liqueur.
Then get some fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, seltzer water, an egg white, and lemon wheel for garnish. You’ll need to give the ingredients a vigorous shake to get a nice foamy texture.
Not summery enough? Muddle a strawberry or two into the cocktail shaker as the first step, then continue as normal with the rest of the gin fizz recipe.
Cocktail recipe by Couple Eats Food
The yuzu is a citrus fruit that originated from eastern Asia and looks a bit like a small grapefruit. It gives this summer gin cocktail a unique flavor, but you’ll need to balance its sourness out with some simple syrup.
You’ll also need some club soda, fresh mint, and, obviously, some gin. To create this delightful drink, simply fill a cocktail glass with ice, add the rest of the ingredients, and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
14. Lavender Martini
Cocktail recipe by Aleka’s Get-Together
Changing up classic gin cocktails for summer is a fun way to impress your guests, especially when they turn as light and refreshing as a lavender martini. You’ll need the Empress 1908 gin again, for the purple color, and also some lemon juice and a bottle of prosecco.
First of all, though, you’ll need to prepare some lavender simple syrup, which calls for lavender buds, sugar, and water. Add gin, lemon juice, and your freshly-made lavender syrup to a shaker filled with ice. After shaking, pour into a cocktail glass and top with the prosecco. Or Champagne, if you’re celebrating.
15. Aloe, Melon, And Cucumber Cocktail
Cocktail recipe by Liquid Culture
If you’re looking for summer gin cocktails that are both cool and refreshing, then you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this perfect cocktail for taking the edge off a hot, sticky evening. The cooling effects of the aloe and cucumber work well with the botanical flavors from the gin, and the melon adds balance and an extra dash of summer.
There is one secret, and possibly a surprising secret ingredient – absinthe, to add a little taste of Bohemia! But you’re just going to swirl a little inside the glass to add a little kick. You will also need to prepare some aloe/melon syrup first, but the extra effort is worth it. These cooling drinks are the bee’s knees, and you’ll love them all summer long!
16. Blackberry Lavender Gin Sour
Cocktail recipe by Gastronom
Full of summer flavors and visually stunning, these blackberry lavender gin sours could just change your summers forever! You’ll need to prepare some honey/lavender syrup to get started, then gather together some fresh blackberries, an egg white, some lemon or lime juice, sage bitters, and some edible flowers to use as a garnish and add a floral flavor.
Don’t forget the gin, but you’ll need something a little different for these delightful summer cocktails. Hendrick’s Orbium gin is infused with rose and cucumber, which is pretty much summer perfection, and you should also give it a try in some of the other summer gin cocktail recipes above.
17. Elderflower Grapefruit Gin and Tonic
Cocktail recipe by The Forked Spoon
To ‘summer-ize‘ a traditional gin and tonic, you can mix in some sweet grapefruit juice, fragrant rosemary, and aromatic elderflower liqueur.
- When the summer hits and the temperatures rise, refreshing gin cocktails are great for helping you cool down.
- From classic gin cocktail recipes left unchanged to re-imaginings with the introduction of summer fruits, there’s the perfect summer gin cocktail for everyone.
- A great way to adapt gin cocktails for summer is to try a gin made with summery botanicals, like Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice or Pacific House Bouquet Gin.