Though it isn't officially summertime yet, the month of May promises longer, warmer days and balmy evenings worth celebrating with some new drink orders. As you swap out your boots for sandals and ditch your sweater for an off-the-shoulder top, consider ushering in the summer with some tropical-inspired cocktails, too. To help you choose which drinks to make for a gathering in the backyard or park, we rounded up seven refreshing recipes that give the old classics a photo-ready upgrade.
Even if you aren't headed to the beach anytime soon, these will quench your thirst for a vacation sans faraway-island getaway. So whether you're sipping through a straw while lounging on a beachfront hammock or hanging out with some friends on a stoop, say hello to a season of fun with passionfruit, hibiscus, watermelon, and more. Ready to find your drink order? Summon your inner bartender with the seven recipes below to up your hosting game and help you relax in sun.
For Love and Lava:
Sweet, tart, and salty, this rhubarb passionfruit recipe from Half Baked Harvest is the tasty and intriguing upgrade to the classic margarita we've all been patiently waiting for. Sprinkle the rim with sea salt and let the sweet honey flow for a drink order that will never disappoint.
The Garden's Treasure:
This recipe from Foodie Crush is super flexible, so it's great to use as a reference if you need a little inspiration but also want to get creative behind the bar. It calls for white peaches, pear juice, mint, and cherries, plus some white wine. In other words, it's seasonally perfect. Just be sure you make enough to share because your guests will definitely be passing the pitcher around for seconds.
A glass of this strawberry rum hibiscus smash will transport you to the tropical island of your dreams. From Half Baked Harvest, this tie-dye-pink drink is highly photogenic thanks to the hibiscus petals, fresh strawberry, and tropical fruits. Plus, it tastes amazing.
Hula for the Moon:
This Minimalist Baker upgrade from the classic cocktail is super refreshing, making it the perfect drink order after a day in the sun. Plus, next time someone asks you what three items you'd take with you to a desert island, you can finally give them a quick answer: this coconut gin and tonic. (You'll have to sneak on a lime and some mint, but we're sure you'll manage.)
The Salty Breeze:
What would summer be without at least one watermelon treat? Well, your favorite poolside indulgence from childhood is all grown up, thanks to this 21+ watermelon popsicle recipe from Foodie Crush. Aside from the deliciousness it offers, this beverage also has a killer presentation that's perfect for a special occasion to impress guests.
What the Captain Ordered:
With a mezcal base, this concoction from Half Baked Harvest has a smoky and spicy kick to it that's balanced out by sweeter mango flavors and a tangy blend of lemon and lime. If you don't like spicy drinks, just make sure you have enough chips and guacamole by your side to counteract the heat. Or simply swap out the mezcal with your favorite tequila and ditch the chili powder.
On Island Time:
This grapefruit tonic from The First Mess is topped with sage and agave nectar to bring in some earthy, floral flavors. Make it booze-free or add in your alcohol of choice; we'd love to try it with mezcal on the rocks for equal parts icy and hot. Either way, it's a simple crowd-pleaser to make in a pinch.
Which summery cocktail do you want to try first? Let us know your favorite in the comment section below.