School’s out, the temps are up, and it’s time to entertain poolside. Whether you’re taking the kids out and just want to relax by the pool, or throwing a killer summer soiree for your friends, there are some simple cocktails to try out that will impress. Why stick with beer and wine? Put your spin on these classics, along with summer’s trendiest tastes.


Classic Sangria

Some things are a classic for a reason. Sangria, white or red, is a crowd-pleaser and refreshing in the heat. Sangria is also easy to customize — pick your favorite fruits or whatever is in season, just make sure you use a dry wine and let it sit before serving. Martha Stewart’s recipe starts with a dry red wine and includes brandy, lemon-lime soda, and an orange, granny smith apple, green grapes, and a lime.  


Alcoholic slushies have been a go-to for adult pool parties. But recently, frose has become the latest slushie beverage to take center stage. For your own, you’ll need to plan ahead and start with a bottle of darker, bolder rose, like merlot or pinot noir. Pour the rose into a pan and freeze for at least six hours. Bon Appetit’s recipe includes blending frozen rose with strawberry simple syrup, lemon juice, and crushed ice. The best part: You can make frose up to one week ahead of time.

Aperol Spritz

Though a classic cocktail, the Aperol spritz has seen a resurgence this year as a popular summer drink. Thanks to a marketing campaign by Campari, the company that owns Aperol, you can find the beverage all over social media and bar menus alike. But for good reason — the Aperol spritz is very easy to make (just a combination of Aperol, Prosecco, and a splash of club soda) and low in alcohol.

Peach Tipsy Tea

Take advantage of seasonal fruits with this super easy spin on a classic warm-weather drink: iced tea. The is the perfect beverage to make ahead of time and serve in a pitcher or beverage dispenser. The easiest recipe is from Crown Royal, made with the company’s limited edition Peach Crown Royal and iced tea, plus a lemon wedge. If you can’t get your hands on the peach variety, you can use traditional Crown Royal and make peach simple syrup using fresh peaches and equal parts sugar and water.


The Paloma is making the rounds on cocktail menus around town as a refreshing summer option. This is a classic tequila-based cocktail traditionally made with lime and grapefruit soda. For the soda option, a paloma usually is made with Fresca or Squirt, but it can also be made with fresh grapefruit juice and club soda.