Best Summer Cocktails (Updated 2023!) You Haven't Tried

Summer is off to a sizzle and that means it’s time to kick back with a refreshing summer cocktail in hand. Bored of your regular cocktail order? This list of summer cocktail recipes reimagines the basics so your patio will be the hottest spot to hit refresh all summer long. Whether you’re craving a fruity fizz or a smokey sip, we’ve got your back. Combining tried-and-true ingredients that are already on your bar cart with intriguing new elements will kick your blasé rosé up a notch. Trust us: this is the summer of trying anything once.

And there’s a new word on everyone’s lips: mamajuana by Candela. This honey-hinted spiced rum native to the Dominican Republic is about to be your summer drink secret ingredient. This summer just went from hot to fuego!

Fruit, Fizz, and Fiesta

These fruit-forward cocktails combine simple, classic ingredients into novel summertime pleasures. Best enjoyed poolside perfecting your tan lines.


Feel the fuego with this dangerously refreshing cocktail. Smooth and citrusy.


  • 2 ounces Candela Mamajuana spiced rum
  • Fever Tree grapefruit soda


  • Mix and enjoy chilled over ice.

Sweet Stinger

Floral and fruity, this cocktail is reminiscent of sipping sweet tea on the front porch swing, but with an elevated edge.


  • 2 ounces peach-flavored vodka
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 ½ ounces chilled chamomile tea


  • Combine ingredients, mixing well to fully incorporate honey.
  • Enjoy served over ice and topped with a lemon wedge 

Mama Tai

Like being at the beach in Punta Cana.


  • 1 ½ ounces Candela Mamajuana spiced rum
  • ¾ ounce orange liquor
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce orgeat


  • Combine ingredients and serve over ice.
  • Add pineapple or orange slice to garnish.

Piña Mojito

Sweet but surprising, just like you. Pineapple zing takes this classic cocktail a step further.


  • 1 ½ ounces pineapple-infused simple syrup
  • ¼ cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 5 lime wedges, reserve one for garnish
  • 5 fresh mint leaves, reserve one for garnish
  • 2 ounces Candela Mamajuana spiced rum
  • 2 ounces club soda


  • Muddle simple syrup, pineapple, lime wedges and mint leaves.
  • Add Candela and ice.
  • Top with club soda and garnish with reserved lime wedge and mint leaf.

Bitter Is Better

The following summer cocktails might appeal to your dark side. Bitter and mysterious, they’re sure to pique your curiosity.

Sugar Daddy

The Domincan Old Fashioned.


  • 3 ounces Candela Mamajuana spiced rum
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Dash of bitters
  • Orange twist


  • Mix ingredients thoroughly and serve over a single large ice cube.
  • Garnish with an orange twist.

Love Bite

The perfect cocktail to accompany the heat of summer love.


  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 1 ounce Cynar or other amaro
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ ounce sugar


  • Combine ingredients into a shaker with ice.
  • Shake and strain.
  • Garnish with cinnamon bark.


A spicy take on the classic Negroni.


  • 1 ounce Candela Mamajuana spiced rum
  • 1 ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth


  • Mix ingredients together and serve over a large ice cube.
  • Garnish with orange peel.
drink being poured into crystal glass


A dash of bitterness and a splash of something bubbly will cool you right off.  


  • 1 ½ ounces red or white vermouth
  • Soda water


  • Fill a glass with ice and add vermouth.
  • Top with soda water.
  • Garnish with olives or lemon wedge.

Turn Up the Heat

It’s time to graduate from your spicy margarita. These hot little numbers are perfect for the summer heat. They pair well with a sunset at the beach or a caliente dance partner.

Spicy Mama

A cocktail for all spicy mamas.


  • 3 ounces Candela Mamajuana spiced rum
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ounces jalapeño syrup


  • Combine all ingredients in a shaker.
  • Shake with ice and strain.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Chili Paloma

Drinking this infused, refreshing cocktail makes you the hottest person at the party.


  • 5 ounces Aperol
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 grapefruit wedge
  • 2 ounces club soda


  • Infuse the Aperol by pouring it into a jar with the chili pepper and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Strain, discarding chili pepper and reserving the infusion.
  • Mix the other ingredients plus ¾ ounce of chili-infused Aperol in a shaker with ice.
  • Shake and strain into glass with ice.
  • Top with club soda and garnish with grapefruit wheel.

Simple Is Sexy

Sometimes minimal effort gives maximum pleasure. These cocktails are low-maintenance yet high-brow.

On The Rocks

A simple and smooth way to bliss out.


  • Serve Candela Mamajuana neat or on the rocks.
  • Garnish with an orange twist.


This misbehaving brunch drink takes the Greyhound off-leash.


  • 1 ½ ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces sparkling rosé
  • Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice


  • Add all vodka and rose to a glass over ice.
  • Top off with grapefruit juice
  • Garnish with a grapefruit wheel.




This is your summer to be the life of the party.


  • Pour Candela Mamajuana into 2 ounce shot glasses.
  • You know how to do the rest.


Serving these curiosity-provoking cocktails might make this summer the hottest yet. A fresh menu of drink recipes will keep your social calendar full and your spirits high. And be sure you’re ahead of the trends, being the first of your friends to serve Candela mamajuana, the legendary spiced rum of the Dominican Republic. Summertime always moves too quickly so stop and savor these sultry days with something new.

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