When summer rolls around, you may see young entrepreneurs out on the corner selling lemonade to people out enjoying a walk around the neighborhood. What is it about lemonade that makes it such a good summer drink? Well, the best summer drinks should meet the following criteria:
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best summer drinks to help you beat the heat and soak up some of that blue sky summer energy!
Cocktails and Wine
When we think of the best drinks for summer, fruit cocktails come to mind. Just the names of popular refreshing cocktails suggest how much we enjoy a light, refreshing, citrusy, fruity, and sweet drink to sip on while being surrounded by nature as the sun makes its way across the big blue sky. So, which of these fruity summer drinks are you in the mood to sip?
Frozen Strawberry Daiquiri (white rum, sugar syrup, limes, strawberries)
Mint Julep (bourbon, sugar, water, crushed or shaved ice, and fresh mint)
Tequila Sunrise (tequila, orange juice, and grenadine syrup)
Piña colada (rum, coconut milk/cream, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice…don’t forget the pineapple wedge and cherry on top!)
For wine lovers out there, a lighter-bodied red like pinot noir, zinfandel, or Lambrusco makes for the best summer wines. Of course, you can always bring the taste of Europe to your back porch by using a sparkling red wine to make sangria or prosecco to make a refreshing Aperol spritz! Any one of these alcoholic refreshing drinks can help you enjoy the day!
Beer, Ciders, and Seltzers
When it comes to the best summer drinks, lugging around a bunch of cocktail bottles while you’re out on a boat can be quite cumbersome. Not only that but pouring a cocktail on a wavy lake can make for a sticky mess! The solution? Get yourself a can koozie and slide one of these best summer beers inside!
Wheat and Fruit Beers
When summer rolls around, the seasonal beers shift from heavier IPAs to crisp and light wheat beers (also known as Weizenbier in Germany and witbier in Belgium) and fruit beers.
Why? Well, when we look at our criteria for refreshing summer drinks, these beers meet all four. Wheat beers often have a citrusy flavor to them due to their fermentation. You may taste hints of orange, banana, or coriander in these beers.
Not only that, but wheat beers are considerably lower in hoppiness because rather than using malted barley like most beers, wheat beers are comprised mainly of wheat. This, in turn, produces fewer proteins and less yeast, which is why wheat beers have a taste that’s more refreshing than bitter.
Fruit beers are a type of lambic beer (also derived from Belgium). Lambic beers use wild yeasts and are combined with either fruits or fruit sugars during the fermentation process.
Generally speaking, wheat and fruit beers are lower in alcohol content, so drinking responsibly is much more manageable, which should always be our highest priority.
Wheat Beer Suggestions:
–Blue Moon Belgian White (5.4% ABV)
–Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy (4.2% ABV)
–Hoegaarden (4.9% ABV)
–Allagash White (5.2% ABV)
–Widmer Hefeweizen (4.9% ABV)
Fruit Beer Suggestions:
–21st Amendment Brewery Hell or High Watermelon (4.9% ABV)
–Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA (4.9% ABV)
–Victory Brewing Company Kirsch Gose (4.7% ABV)
–New Glarus Brewing Company Serendipity (4% ABV)
–Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (6.5% ABV)
Beer snobs may turn up their noses to some of these suggestions. Then there are those people who firmly believe fruit and beer should not mix. But when you need a light summer drink and are in a hurry or don’t want to search high and low for the “right” summer drink, you can always pick up a pack of Blue Moon or Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and feel certain that you’re traveling with one of the best summer drinks in hand, so sit back and enjoy your first refreshing sip!
Ciders and Seltzers
If beer isn’t your thing, you’re in luck because the cider and seltzer market has never been hotter than it is right now, making it one of the best summer drinks on the market! No doubt you have seen your friends come to a summer barbecue with a pack of White Claw in tow. Heck, even Budweiser makes multiple flavors of Bud Light Lemonade Seltzer now! So what makes hard cider and hard seltzer one of the best summer drinks? Let’s take a look at what they are first.
Hard Cider vs. Hard Seltzer: What’s the Difference?
Hard ciders and hard seltzers are often lumped together because they aren’t beer, but they aren’t hard liquor either. So what exactly are they?
Simply put, a hard cider is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented fruit, usually apples. On the other hand, a hard seltzer is basically flavored carbonated water mixed with alcohol. Pretty basic, right?
When we look at our criteria again (light, refreshing, citrusy/fruity, sweet), we can see why hard ciders and seltzers make our list of best summertime drinks! If you’re not a fan of any kind of bitterness often associated with beer–regardless of how low the hoppiness is–a hard cider or seltzer may be the best summer drink for you!
One characteristic of hard ciders and seltzers that makes them popular is the carbonation, which can give an increased perception of coolness and refreshment. Scientists can’t really explain why that’s the case, but hard cider and seltzer lovers keep coming back for more!
Not all of the best summer drinks have booze in them. If you prefer a mocktail over a cocktail, we’ve got you covered!
The go-to non-alcoholic cocktail for most people in the summer is either tea or lemonade, but the Arnold Palmer gives you the best of both worlds! If you want to follow the golf legend’s very own suggestion, you’ll mix ⅓ lemonade with ⅔ iced tea. As Palmer tells it, the origin of this best summer drink is that his wife used to make iced tea quite often, but he got the idea of putting lemonade in just to see how that would mix, and from then on, he would carry it around with him in a thermos on the golf course.
One time when he was back in the clubhouse, he once asked for his preferred mix of iced tea and lemonade, and a woman next to him thought it sounded so refreshing that she asked for an Arnold Palmer, and the rest is the best summer drink history!
But if you’re looking to include that citrusy/fruity element to your best summer drink, then stop by the grocery store produce aisle, pick up oranges, lemons, and berries and get ready to mix them with some seltzer, which is often used in mocktails.
Always Drink Responsibly
Having a cool, refreshing drink during the summer is a simple pleasure, but be sure to drink responsibly. It’s easy to get dehydrated under the summer sun, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day if you’re going to be indulging in a summer cocktail or two. If you’re out on the boat and drinking, remember that alcohol increases risk-taking behavior, so play it cool while out on the water and take caution, so you do not risk injury or death due to diving or drowning. Let’s enjoy summer responsibly so we can live to enjoy another day under the sun.
And if you don’t have the ingredients or know-how, or ambition to make one of the drinks mentioned above, stop by The Pourhouse, and we’ll mix you up one of these best summer drinks!