Summer Drinks for Adults

Celebrate sun-soaked days and balmy nights with a glass of something chilled and utterly delightful. Embrace the spirit of summer with drinks that are as colorful and exciting as the season itself.

Discover seasonal, and sometimes regional, drink recommendations from library staff along with complimentary recipes or tips to make preparation a breeze. Tangy, sweet and spicy, these flavors will keep the party going and make entertaining easy.

Aperol Spritz, opens a new window

Check out the original recipe from the 1950s.  For this recipe, you’ll need prosecco, Aperol, club soda and an orange slice garnish.

Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade, opens a new window

Staff suggested recipe: 1 handle of Tin Cup bourbon, 2 quarts lemonade, blackberry syrup (boil blackberries and sugar together, let boil down and filter). Finish it off by mixing in fresh berries.

Blackberry Mojito, opens a new window

This twist on a classic cocktail uses fresh blackberries, simple syrup, lime juice, mint leaves, white rum, ice cubes and club soda. Omit the white rum to keep it as a family-friendly mocktail.

Brandy Old Fashioned, opens a new window

It’s called a Wisconsin Classic for a reason! This drink features brandy, orange slices, cherries and cocktail bitters. Perfect for accompanying a fish fry or a long day spent on the lake.

Mezcal Fizz, opens a new window

This drink includes Mezcal, grenadine, lime juice, watermelon juice, habanero bitters or shrub and club soda. A staff member suggested using citrus bitters if you can’t find habanero ones.

Pineapple Habanero Margarita, opens a new window

Staff suggested recipe and tips: 250ml silver tequila, 250ml patron citronage OR triple sec, 11.5 oz pineapple juice, 6 oz lime, 6 oz simple syrup. To make simple syrup, slice 2-3 habaneros, 6 oz cane sugar. Pour 6 oz almost boiling water over them and let cool. Top with lime soda water to tame the spice and sweet.

This is a good drink to mix outside since the habaneros have a strong scent and can make people cough. You can multiply the recipe to make a batch.

Pineapple Upside-Down Mule, opens a new window

Staff suggested recipe: 1.25 oz Vanilla Vodka, 1.5 oz pineapple juice, splash of grenadine, top with ginger beer. Serve over ice in a mule mug with a cherry/pineapple skewer.

Red Beer, opens a new window

Red beer has roots in Mexico, Germany and New Orleans. If you’re looking for a twist on a Bloody Mary or something to go along with your favorite salty snacks, this is the drink for you.

Staff suggested recipe: We use V-8, squeeze in a quartered lime and add spicy pickled green beans, or any sort of pickled hot peppers. Use really cold beer (it has to be light!) and don't bother straining it.

St. Germaine or Hugo Spritz, opens a new window

Staff suggested recipe: Fill a Collins glass with ice, 3/4 glass champagne (prosecco or other sparkling wine) and add shot of St. Germaine or other elderflower liqueur (or to taste). Then top with sparkling water or club soda and a squeeze of lime. You can vary all the elements to taste. It's very refreshing!

Slushy Citrus Vodka Punch, opens a new window

Suggested staff tip: You can mix all the ingredients together or leave the sprite (lemon-lime soda) out and add it to the slushy mixture before serving.

Looking for more ways to celebrate summer? Explore summer events, blogs and book lists including family-friendly drinks and more.