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Top 20 Refreshing Cocktails to Try

Nothing beats the feeling of sipping a refreshing cocktail on a hot day. As someone who loves to serve up the perfect drink, I find that cocktails crafted with citrus juices, herbs, and crisp flavors hit the spot every time. They’re perfect for any occasion, whether you’re chilling at home or enjoying time with friends. With a focus on ingredients like lemon, lime, mint, and cucumber, these drinks offer a light, crisp taste without overwhelming sweetness. For anyone seeking a light yet flavorful refreshment, this roundup of refreshing cocktails is the go-to guide.

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Banana Daiquiri

banana daiquiri in glass on a wooden rustic table

The banana daiquiri is a well-known beverage that has been around for many years. A balanced and refreshing drink that is ideal for any occasion is created by the bright citrus notes of the lime, orange, and banana. The taste of the Banana Daiquiri is a delightful blend of sweet and sour, with a hint of rum that adds a warm and slightly spicy flavor to the mix.


classic margarita cocktail on a bar in a mexican restaurant

A traditional Margarita is one of the best choices for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day. Because of its traditional flavor and ease of preparation, it will never go out of vogue. Lime juice, tequila, and sweet agave nectar are excellent, well-balanced ingredients. If you’re looking for a refreshing and zesty drink that is sure to please, give the Margarita a try and experience its delicious taste for yourself.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz Cocktail

A light and sparkling beverage that has grown in popularity recently is the aperol spritz. The sweetness of the Prosecco counteracts the slightly harsh and lemony taste of the Aperol to provide a balanced and delectable flavor. The addition of club soda gives the beverage a bubbly texture and makes it a cool option for hot summer days. Aperol Spritz is a refreshing and light cocktail that is perfect for those who enjoy a sweeter taste with a slight bitter note.


Brazilian Caipirinha

A traditional Brazilian cocktail that has grown popular among drink connoisseurs is the caipirinha. The tangy and acidic flavor of the lime pairs well with the cachaca, a distilled alcohol created from sugarcane juice, which has a somewhat sweet and smoky flavor. The taste of the beverage is balanced and excellent thanks to the sugar’s subtle sweetness.

Vodka Lemonade

a delicious and refreshing vodka lemonade cocktail in a highball glass

Vodka lemonade is a popular summertime beverage that is perfect for warm days. The tangy and energizing flavor of this beverage will quench your thirst. Vodka, lemonade, ice, and lemon slices are the ingredients. Vodka’s neutral base makes it possible for the lemonade’s sweet and tangy flavors to stand out. The lemonade offers a sweet and tangy flavor that is nicely balanced, complementing the crisp and refreshing taste of the ice. With just a few ingredients, it is easy to make at home and great for entertaining guests.

Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiri

Strawberry Daiquiri is a refreshing cocktail consisting of mild rum, fresh or frozen strawberries, simple syrup, lime juice, and ice. The tartness of the strawberries and lime juice perfectly contrasts with the sweetness of the simple syrup. Ice keeps the cocktail cold and refreshing, while the light rum lends a smooth kick. This tasty and easy-to-prepare cocktail is ideal for a sweltering summer day, whether you’re hosting a party or simply unwinding at home.

Gin Rickey

gin rickey cocktail with lime

A classic drink, the Gin Rickey has been around for well over a century and is still popular today. The overall taste is light and refreshing, making it a great choice for those who want a flavorful cocktail without the heaviness that often comes with other drinks. This drink requires only four basic ingredients and can be put together in a matter of minutes, making it the ideal option for a summertime get-together as well as a quiet night at home.

Mint Julep

Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe

The minty flavor of the Mint Julep has made it a staple of traditional Southern cocktails. It is made with bourbon, simple syrup, and fresh mint leaves, making it a simple yet delicious drink. The smokiness of the bourbon and the sweetness of the simple syrup make an excellent combination. Because of the mint leaves’ cooling effect, this beverage is ideal for a warm summer day.


refreshing paloma cocktail with ingredients

The Paloma is an iconic Mexican drink known for its refreshing blend of sweet and sour tastes. The blend of robust tastes and bright, citrusy overtones is what makes the Paloma such a pleasant cocktail. The sugary grapefruit soda softens the tequila’s strong flavor, and the zingy sharpness of the lime juice is stimulating and refreshing. Whether you are lounging by the pool or enjoying a barbecue with friends, the Paloma is the perfect cocktail to help you beat the heat.

Cuba Libre

cuba libre rum and coke

The Cuba Libre, also known as rum and Coke, is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for over a century. The tanginess of the lime wedge is offset by the bubbly base created when cola and white rum are combined. The ice cubes serve the dual purpose of keeping the drink cold and improving its overall flavor and mouthfeel. Cuba Libre is a delightful and easy-to-make cocktail that can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a refreshing and classic beverage.

Tequila Sunrise

tequila sunrise cocktail with ingredients on the background

The traditional drink, Tequila Sunrise, features a stunning color gradient and is guaranteed to amaze any guest. This cocktail is not only beautiful to look at, but it also has a wonderful flavor. The orange juice’s sweetness, the tequila’s acidity, and the grenadine syrup’s subtle bitterness come together to provide a taste that’s hard to put down. Tequila Sunrise is a refreshing cocktail that is perfect for warm weather or any time you want to add a touch of tropical flair to your drink.

Long Island Iced Tea

Cocktail Long Island Iced Tea

A Long Island Iced Tea is a potent and sophisticated beverage that contains a blend of five distinct liqueurs and delivers an intense flavor. This drink’s distinctive taste combination is what makes it exceptional. Even though the recipe calls for a variety of spirits, they all work together to provide a pleasing flavor. The cola and sour combination give a little sweetness that counteracts the heavy alcohol concentration. This drink is ideal for individuals seeking a distinctive take on classic cocktails and who prefer a powerful, complex beverage.

Piña Colada

Pina Colada Cocktail

The wonderful mix of rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and lime juice in the Piña Colada will carry you away to a beach paradise. A large glass filled with lots of ice is the best way to consume a Piña Colada in order to completely appreciate its flavor. A cherry or a slice of pineapple might be used as a garnish to give it a hint of the tropics. It’s a refreshing and creamy drink that’s perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or anytime you want to indulge in a tropical flavor. 


hurricane cocktail with ingredients in the background

The exotic tastes of a traditional Hurricane drink will make you feel like you’ve been whisked away to the tropics. This cocktail’s fruity and tangy flavor comes from the aged Jamaican rum, lemon juice, and passion fruit juice used in its creation. Serve with a slice of lemon or a passion fruit wedge for an added burst of brightness. Whether you’re throwing a party or just kicking back at home, the Hurricane is the perfect drink to serve your guests.

Mai Tai

a glass of mai tai cocktail

A tropical drink called a Mai Tai mixes acidic lime and citrus tastes with the sweetness of rum. This drink is a real classic and is made with aged rum, Rhum Agricole, lime juice, orange curaçao, almond sugar syrup, and simple syrup. The combination of the various components to produce a delicate mix of sweetness, tartness, and nuttiness gives this beverage its unique flavor character. Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of lime, and you’re ready to transport yourself to a tropical paradise with every sip.

Red Sangria

classic red sangria in a pitcher with glasses

The ideal beverage for individuals who enjoy sweet and fruity flavors with a touch of bitterness is red sangria. With the combination of apples, oranges, lemons, and sugar, this drink is bursting with fruity flavors that will awaken your taste buds. For parties or get-togethers with friends and family, this cocktail is ideal because it is simple to consume.


a glass of Americano cocktail

The Americano drink has a light flavor that is refreshingly bitter with a touch of sweetness. The sweet vermouth and Campari combine to give the beverage its distinctive bitterness and sweetness. The club soda gives the beverage a cool effervescence that is ideal for a hot day. The orange twist garnish enhances the drink’s taste by adding a zesty scent.  All things considered, the Americano is a light and cool drink that is ideal for enjoying on a hot summer day. 

Ranch Water

a ranch water cocktail made using the best recipe

Ranch Water is a classic cocktail that originated in West Texas and has gained immense popularity across the United States. Tequila, lime juice, and sparkling water combine to make a cocktail that is light, effervescent, acidic, and sharp. Ranch Water is one of the best refreshing cocktails out there due to its simplicity and versatility. 

Sea Breeze

sea breeze

The Sea Breeze is a time-honored drink that blends the zesty tastes of grapefruit and cranberry with the clean, refreshing taste of vodka. Just blend up some vodka, bottled cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with some ice, and you’ve got yourself a Sea Breeze. The vodka lends a balanced, silky finish to the mix of grapefruit and cranberry’s tart and sweet flavors. This cocktail is easy to make and perfect for any occasion, from a casual afternoon with friends to a sophisticated evening out.


greyhound cocktail

The combination of gin or vodka with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice creates a simple and pleasant beverage known as a Greyhound. The alcohol smooths out the sharpness of the grapefruit juice, making for a lively and revitalizing beverage. The added acidity and freshness of a squeeze of lime juice on top are fantastic. The Greyhound is a favorite on hot summer days because of how refreshing it is. It is one of the best refreshing cocktails that you can enjoy at home or at a bar.

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A refreshing Banana Daiquiri cocktail focusing a clear, elegant glass filled with a creamy, pale yellow Banana Daiquiri. The cocktail is garnished with a slice of ripe banana on the rim and a small umbrella. In the background, there's a tropical beach ambiance with gentle waves, palm trees, and a clear blue sky, providing a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. The Banana Daiquiri is the main focus, with the beach setting subtly enhancing its tropical appeal.

20 Refreshing Cocktail Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
4.5 from 4 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Refreshing Cocktails
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Discover light, crisp cocktails perfect for summer. Featuring citrus, herbs, and more. Click for refreshing drink ideas.


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Top 20 Refreshing Cocktails to Try
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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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A Red, White, and Blue Colada cocktail, served in a tall glass, set on a beachside table. The cocktail features distinct layers of red, white, and blue, symbolizing the colors of a national flag. The red layer is made from a strawberry blend, the white layer from coconut cream, and the blue layer from a blue curaçao mix. The glass is garnished with a slice of pineapple and a cherry on top. The setting is a beautiful beach with white sand, blue skies, and a few palm trees, reflecting a tropical, festive atmosphere. The sunlight highlights the vibrant colors of the drink, making it look refreshing and inviting.

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A Vodka Soda cocktail, served in a highball glass, placed on a sleek, modern bar counter. The drink is crystal clear, with a few ice cubes floating within, and a twist of lime garnishing the rim. The simplicity of the vodka and soda water is evident in the clarity and minimalistic presentation of the drink. The background should feature a contemporary and sophisticated bar setting, with soft ambient lighting, creating a chic and upscale ambiance. A subtle reflection of the glass can be seen on the polished surface of the bar counter, enhancing the elegance of the scene.

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