5 Summer-Ready Cocktails For Picnics, Barbecues, and Beyond

It's almost summertime — and with this weather, it feels like we're already there. With rising temps, we're looking to our bar carts to dream up icy-cold cocktails for upcoming pool parties, picnics, happy hours, and block parties. If you've got an event on the horizon and you're looking for twists on classic cocktails for your guests, we can help.

Below, you'll find five options (including a frozen mocktail) that everyone will enjoy, whether they're a beer-lover at heart, an Aperol fiend, or a tequila connoisseur. With these tasty tipples, we have something to keep you cool, no matter what summer has in store.

Aperol Spritz

There's a reason the Aperol spritz is a popular aperitif from here to the streets of Rome. It's got that perfect mixture of tart, sweet, sour, and just a bit fizzy. It pairs just as well with a cheese plate as it does with some barbecue. To amp up the classic, swap out the Champagne with some yuzu-mandarin sparkling water. This will enhance the Aperol's citrusy notes. Though if you still want that Champagne hit — we wouldn't blame you — simply add a splash of both.

Blended Watermelon-Lime Mocktail

There's nothing like an icy-cold blended drink on a hot day. For the kids (and adults!), we recommend using this watermelon-lime sparkling water as a base for your drink. Pour some into your blender with some chopped-up watermelon, the juice of a lime, and lots of ice. To keep things alcohol free, simply hit "blend," or add in a little gin if you want to make it for the grown-ups.

We love mixing the pleasant fizz of sparkling water with its fresh counterparts: the sweet watermelon and the hit of acid from the limes. It's summer in a glass for all of your guests.

Blackberry Mojito

If you love a mojito (white rum, sugar, lime juice, soda water, and mint), you'll love this twist on the classic with fresh blackberries and a hit of caffeine from a blackberry-mandarin sparkling water. Yes, for a fabulous pregame before a day of summer fun, the caffeine is just what you need to keep the party going.

In your cocktail shaker, muddle some mint and fresh blackberries; add in your ice, sugar, and rum; give it a shake; and pour over ice. Top the drink off with your sparkling water and garnish with some extra mint. You may never go back to the classic mojito ever again.

Spicy Michelada

The michelada is a Mexican cocktail made with beer. The base is pretty simple: beer, tomato juice, lime, and dashes of salty sauces like soy and worcestershire. From there, there are endless ways to get creative and make the recipe your own. Got a favorite spice mix or barbecue rub? Use it to line the rim of your glass. Got a hot sauce you can't get enough of? Add a dash of that as well. You could even make a michelada bar at your party and provide different beers, sauces, and rubs for your guests to mix and match.

Tequila Sunrise

Doesn't a tequila sunrise just sound like summer? When the weather gets hot and we're sitting by the pool or heading to the beach, there's nothing more refreshing than a tequila sunrise. Plus, it's pretty easy to put together. Simply mix together your favorite tequila, grenadine, and orange juice, and you're done. This combination is also perfect to batch up in a big pitcher or punch bowl. Just serve with frozen glasses or cups with ice and maybe a few slices of orange, and all your guests will have something sweet and summery to enjoy.