8 Delicious Summer Salads + Cocktails Straight From Your Garden

From garden to table to cocktail, we’ve got you covered.

There’s nothing quite like fresh summer produce, especially harvested from your own backyard. But what happens when your garden starts overflowing your kitchen? First, you do a dance because you actually have a green thumb! (Or is that just me?) Then, you get to work turning your harvest into a culinary creation. The best place to start? A crisp, summer salad and a refreshing cocktail. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite recipes, each incorporating a summer garden staple.


Tomato Peach Salad

Tomato Peach Salad

This recipe from Chef Tom Gray of Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails  in Jacksonville, Florida combines tomatoes and peaches in a refreshing and colorful summer salad.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails

Image courtesy of Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails

Grilled Peach Old Fashioned

Grilled Peach Old Fashioned

Photo by: Image courtesy of Bullfrog and Baum

Image courtesy of Bullfrog and Baum




Strawberry Cocktail

Strawberry Cocktail

The Yearling cocktail makes delicious use of seasonal strawberries.

Photo by: Image courtesy of King + Duke

Image courtesy of King + Duke


Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers may not have the summer superstar status of tomatoes, watermelon or corn, but this favorite crop of home gardeners has a versatility and fresh flavor we wouldn’t want to do without. Paired with garden tomatoes, red onions and fresh parsley, this easy-to-make summer salad will be a surefire hit at your next picnic.

cucumber cocktail

cucumber cocktail

cucumber cocktail

Photo by: Image courtesy of Ocean Prime

Image courtesy of Ocean Prime

Make It: Cucumber Gimlet


Spinach Avocado Grapefruit Salad

Spinach Avocado Grapefruit Salad

The tang of grapefruit and the rich combination of avocado and feta make for a memorable summer salad.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

Image courtesy of Sam Henderson

Cocktail: London's Burning

Cocktail: London's Burning

Guacamole ... again? Use those avocados to make the London's Burning, a creamy cocktail with a little heat.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Jojo Rossi & Whisknladle Hospitality

Image courtesy of Jojo Rossi & Whisknladle Hospitality

Make It: Avocado Cocktail


Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon salad with feta cheese, vidalia onion and basil.

Make It: Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Mule Cocktail

Watermelon Mule Cocktail

Enjoy the flavors of summer with this cool and refreshing watermelon mule, a twist on the classic Moscow mule.

Photo by: Kayla Kitts

Kayla Kitts


Caprese Appetizers

Caprese Appetizers

Photo by: photo by Sam Henderson

photo by Sam Henderson

Kimchee Bloody Mary

Kimchee Bloody Mary

Kimchee Bloody Mary

Photo by: Image courtesy of Tuan Huynh

Image courtesy of Tuan Huynh


Photo by: Courtesy of Beringer via FoodNetwork.com

Courtesy of Beringer via FoodNetwork.com

Cardamom Berry Smash Wedding Cocktail

Cardamom Berry Smash Wedding Cocktail

The deep flavor of fresh blackberries melds with the exotic spice of cardamom syrup and citrusy botanicals of gin to create a refreshing relief to hot, summer wedding.


Photo by: Robin Miller via FoodNetwork.com

Robin Miller via FoodNetwork.com

Spicy Raspberry Lemon Cooler Cocktail

Spicy Raspberry Lemon Cooler Cocktail

A grown-up take on lemonade, this non-alcoholic drink combines the fruitiness of raspberries with spicy ginger beer.

Throw a Southern-Style Summer Party

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Material World

Finding the perfect tablecloth can be a challenge without breaking the bank, so why not head to a local fabric store to find a beautiful pattern at an affordable price? Here, pale pink linen is cut right from the bolt, then topped with a piece of sheer lace that matches gauzy, white curtains.

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Pretty Pieces

If you don't own a set of heirloom china, a party is the perfect excuse to start a collection; the more mismatched the better! Each place setting includes a dinner plate, a salad plate and a saucer, plus a cherry-filled teacup featuring a flag of each guest's name. Silver flatware, a vintage handkerchief and a delicate champagne coupe top off the look.

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

All in Bloom

The last element of the table design is the floral centerpiece. Any abundant combination of pink and white blossoms will fit perfectly with this theme. Thanks to Ash from The Byrd Collective, this table is filled with stunning peonies, orange blossoms and gardenias.

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Cocktail Hour

When throwing a Southern-style party, a cocktail that incorporates that quintessential Down South beverage, sweet tea, is essential. The signature Savannah fizz cocktail combines simple syrup, sweet tea vodka and champagne with fresh blackberries and mint. Just make sure you make enough for seconds ... and thirds. Get the recipe >>

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Seasonal Favorites

Nothing says "summer in the South" like juicy watermelon, and a big, fresh slice is the perfect way to offset a menu full of decadent sweets. Find a fresh watermelon a few days before the party, then slice, cover and refrigerate the day before.

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Raising the Bar

This thrifted bronze bar cart creates the perfect spot to display the party's dessert buffet.

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Sweet as Pie

A Southern-style party calls for a certain set of lovable and traditional treats. Fitting menu items include individually-sized portions of fresh fruit tartlets, banana pudding, lemon meringue pie and pecan pie. Get the recipes for our Savannah dessert menu here:
Banana Pudding Parfaits
Lemon Meringue Tartlets
Pecan Pie Tartlets

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Have a Hanky

A simple way to incorporate Southern elegance to your buffet is with vintage handkerchiefs. Since the handkerchiefs are small, place one on top of the other, then pull the center through a silver napkin ring. The different combinations of detailed floral prints and embroidery look beautiful grouped together.

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

Classic Takeaways

No Southern hostess would dare send her guests home empty-handed. These charming jam favors are a breeze to make and are perfect for the warm-weather season. In just a few simple steps guests can go home savoring the sweet tastes of the party. Get the instructions >>

Photo By: She-N-He Photography

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