7 Lower-Proof Cocktails Perfect for Day Drinking

Because 40-proof liquor and strong sun aren't always the best match.

Related To:

There are few activities that scream summer quite as strongly as day drinking. Spending a Saturday or Sunday relaxing with cocktails, wine or beer just feels right when the weather is steamy.

But all that drinking in the hot sunshine can hit you harder than you expect, even if you're properly hydrating — which should always be a priority. So, when you're choosing what drink to mix up for your next day-drinking session, consider one of these lower-proof options instead. You'll still get a buzz, but are much less likely to overindulge like you would with a stronger cocktail.

1: Coastal Citrus Punch

Clambake Citrus Punch

Clambake Citrus Punch

With dry white wine, three different fruit juices, sparkling water and fresh fruit, this is one refreshing and delicious option that's hard to beat.

2: Skittles-Infused Wine Cocktail

Yes, we're talking about candy-infused wine here. Talk about tempting. And pairing the boldly colored wine with sparkling water or juice keeps this cocktail from feeling overwhelmingly sugary.

3: Rose Lemon Champagne Punch

Rose Lemon Champagne Punch Wedding Cocktail

Rose Lemon Champagne Punch Wedding Cocktail

Toast to a wedding with a flute of rose lemon champagne punch! This sparkling cocktail is crisp, refreshing and pretty to boot.

There's nothing like a deliciously bubbly beverage to keep you cool on a hot day, but frequently, champagne cocktails get an extra kick from the addition of hard liquor. Not this option though, which is just as delicious as it's extra boozy counterpoints.

4: Triple-Lemon Float

Boozy Floats

Boozy Floats

Sprakling Lemonade Float

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Prosecco, limoncello (a lower-proof lemon liqueur) and lemon sorbet combine in this cold and creamy cocktail.

Make This: Triple-Lemon Float

5: Beer Popsicle

A cold beer on a hot day.

A cold beer on a hot day.

A cold beer on a hot day.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Mick Telkamp

Image courtesy of Mick Telkamp

Speaking of creamy, cold cocktails, may we present the beer popsicle? Okay, so it's not technically a cocktail, but it keeps you cool and gives you just the right amount of buzz, so it's fine by us.

Make This: Beer Popsicle

6: Sparkling Summer Sangria

Homemade Sparkling Sangria

Homemade Sparkling Sangria

Ditch the fully stocked bar loaded with wine and spirits and opt for one signature cocktail such as sparkling sangria instead! This will take the pressure off the host from having to play bartender all night.

Photo by: ALX Creatives

ALX Creatives

It wouldn't be a summer cocktail list without at least one sangria. And this white version pairs a little wine and a little sparkling wine with delicious in-season fruits.

7: Lime in the Coconut

Big-Batch Cocktail: The Lime in the Coconut

Big-Batch Cocktail: The Lime in the Coconut

Made from coconut vodka, coconut water, pineapple puree, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of cherry-lime sparkling water, this refreshing big batch cocktail is a summery twist on the classic vodka soda.

Photo by: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Jason Kisner, Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Yes, this cocktail does actually have liquor in it — though flavored vodkas, like this coconut version, do tend to be under 80 proof — but it's also full of other hydrating liquids. The coconut water, sparkling water and fresh fruit keep this cocktail from getting too strong.

Keep Reading

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts