5 Custom Cocktails You Need This Summer

For your next summer party, upgrade from plastic coolers and drink mixes to custom cocktails that are easy to make and even easier to enjoy.

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There’s something about hot weather that makes an icy beverage seem not only nice but practically essential, don’t you think? For your next summer party, upgrade from plastic coolers and drink mixes to custom cocktails that are easy to make and even easier to enjoy. Here are 5 versatile options you’ll sip all summer long.

Clambake Citrus Punch

Clambake Citrus Punch

Essential qualities: This summery take on sangria makes enough for a crowd, so you won’t be running up and down the hill playing bartender all day. Mix up the day before your party, chill and serve on ice. It’s easy to double if you anticipate extreme thirst…or more than 8-10 guests.
Make it your own: The recipe calls for grapes, pineapple and strawberries, but try throwing in blueberries, peaches or honeydew melon.
Serve it with: Grilled fish, a summer clambake, tea sandwiches — this drink is incredibly versatile.

Get the Recipe: Coastal Citrus Punch

Frozen Mint Julep Wedding Cocktail

Frozen Mint Julep Wedding Cocktail

A frozen Mint Julep cocktail is a fun twist on a traditional beverage and the perfect way to celebrate a Southern wedding.

Essential qualities: If you have ever tried to grow mint, you know the biggest dilemma isn’t keeping it alive, it’s keeping it from choking out the rest of your garden. Keep it at bay (and keep your guests cool) with this slushy take on a classic Southern cocktail.
Serve it with: Barbecue, grilled lamb or vegetables and pretty much any dish hailing from the South.

Get the Recipe: Frozen Mint Julep Cocktail

Summer cocktail

Summer cocktail

Photo by: STEPHEN MURELLO ©Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

STEPHEN MURELLO, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Essential qualities: Margaritas can be delicious, but they usually aren’t. That’s because margarita mix is, well, just not very good. Fix that with this simple cocktail recipe: Just mix together high-quality silver tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and a seasonal twist — cubes of juicy watermelon. Repeat after me: I no longer need margarita mix. Putting it down. Now.
Serve it with: This summery drink pairs well with farm-fresh produce — think corn on the cob or roasted pepper and mozzarella bites.

The Michelada Cocktail

The Michelada Cocktail

Mexican beer joins with spicy sidekicks for a drink that's easy to make and a perfect complement to guacamole dip and nachos.

Essential qualities: This drink makes what’s already a quality beverage — beer — a little more refreshing for summer. Take your favorite Mexican beer (a light lager is best) and mix in a squeeze of lemon, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Pour it into a chilled glass rimmed with salt. It might sound a little weird, but trust me, it tastes delicious.
Serve it with: Big, bold, flavorful dishes, like spicy tacos or bacon cheeseburgers.

Get the Recipe: The Michelada

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.

Essential qualities: Okay, so you have four delicious alcoholic cocktail options, above. Avoid being that person who offers margaritas and juleps but has only lukewarm tap water for non-drinking guests. The new plan: Serve this grown-up take on lemonade, spiked with spicy ginger beer and topped with fresh raspberries.
Serve it with: Ice. No, seriously…drink this all summer!

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