6 refreshing summer drinks to sip on this weekend

6 refreshing summer drinks to sip on this weekend

Two summer beverages in glasses on a tropical background
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Allison Corr

If you’ve got a three-day weekend ahead of you, then you need plenty of cool, refreshing beverages to pair with whatever you’re grilling. Why settle for White Claw when there are so many inventive drinks out there ready to leave condensation on the side of your glass? Below are The Takeout’s best recipes for inviting summer drinks, most of which take only a few minutes to throw together, and all of which will impress any guests who stop by your backyard.

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Sweet Tea

Sweet Tea

Sweet tea with lemon in mason jar glass
Sweet Tea
Photo: kajakiki (Getty Images)

Let’s start with a classic: Southern sweet tea, a cornerstone of good hospitality. It’s not quite as simple as mixing sugar into brewed iced tea, since the sugar does not combine well and often sinks to the bottom. Instead, we provide a foolproof method that involves steeping the sugar alongside the tea, which results in an extra-fragrant batch. Get the recipe for Sweet Tea here.

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Blueberry Switchel

Blueberry Switchel

Blueberry Switchel
Blueberry Switchel
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Karl Gustafson

Everyone knows and loves lemonade, but switchel, a tart drink that gets its puckery flavor from vinegar instead of citrus, is not to be overlooked. The basic formula is vinegar + sweetener + water, and once you find your desired proportions, you can let your imagination run wild. In this recipe, we blend in blueberries and a bit of basil, then liven up switchel’s traditional apple cider vinegar with a splash of balsamic. It’s far from a one-note beverage, and you can make it by the pitcher. Get the recipe for Blueberry Switchel here.

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Sorrel

Sorrel

Two glasses full of sorrel and a lime round on the rim
Sorrel
Photo: Allison Robicelli

If you’ve never experienced the floral, spicy splendor of this hibiscus iced tea drink, you’re missing out. Sorrel is a refreshing beverage often associated with the Caribbean, though it traces its roots to West Africa and has been enjoyed as a cooling drink for centuries. Make yourself a bottle of sorrel concentrate, keep it in the fridge, and make your summer—and your entire life, really—exponentially better. Get the recipe for Sorrel here.

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Espresso Soda

Espresso Soda

Espresso Soda Float in a glass with a striped straw
Espresso Soda Float
Photo: Allison Robicelli

Consider this two beverages in one: Espresso Soda can be made by adding seltzer or cream soda to our super-simple recipe for espresso syrup—just four ingredients, or three if you don’t count the water! But you can also bulk up this cool summer drink by adding a scoop of ice cream and turning it into a coffee float. Get the recipe for Espresso Soda here.

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Pineapple Upside-Down Champagne Cocktail

Pineapple Upside-Down Champagne Cocktail

Glass of Pineapple Upside-Down Champagne Cocktail against greenery background
Pineapple Upside-Down Champagne Cocktail
Photo: Allison Robicelli, Graphic: Allison Corr

Good news: you don’t need fresh fruit for this showstopper. This playful pineapple upside-down beverage, while not a cake, stays true to its cakey roots by embracing the convenience of canned pineapple. It’s sweet, easy, and amazing, and can be turned into a cocktail or a mocktail, depending on whether you use champagne or a sparkling NA alternative. Get the recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Champagne Cocktail here.

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Smoky Grilled Cocktails

Smoky Grilled Cocktails

Illustration of Old Fashioned beside lemons and jalapenos on a fiery grill
Grilled Smoky Cocktail
Graphic: Jimmy Hasse

If you’re looking for some sophisticated, mixology-minded drink options this summer, try making cocktail syrups from smoked fruits and vegetables. If you’ve ever smoked anything on a grill before, you’ll follow those same steps to create poblano pepper syrup for an Iced Poblano Toddy and orange shrub syrup for a Smoky Sidecar. Have fun broadening your palate and, best of all, surprising guests with these impressive concoctions. Get the recipe for Smoky Grilled Cocktails here.

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