4 Must-Have Summer Cocktail Recipes

I swear my sister’s eyes almost popped out of her head.

“What is this? You know what, I don’t even care. I just want another.”

But she hesitated before giving me the cup, making sure she’d taken care of every last drop because it really is that good.

…And it doesn’t hurt that it has just the right amount of punch to instantly improve even the most uneventful quarantine day.

Lately, I’ve been hosting a weekly socially-distanced get-together with my sister and her family. They come over every Friday and we chat and share cocktails while our kids play outside, and things feel almost like they’re back to normal.

And it really wouldn’t take much pretending, except for the fact that we’re forced to sit outside smack dab in the middle of a Tennessee summer.

So, to tide us over until the sun graciously sets, I’ve put my catering creativity to good use serving up some of my favorite summer cocktails.

I’ll admit, I knew this one would be a hit. I’ve seen that same look hit many client’s faces as they experience that first sip feeling of this particular drink, even if they swear they're not bourbon drinkers. And they always go back for more.

I’m talking, of course, about the Bourbon Slush.

But let’s call it what it is: an adult Icee, coke flavor (it’s true. Even my 8-year-old begs for one every time I bring out my Bourbon Slush stash and is disappointed every time I say no.)

It’s hands-down one of my most-requested drinks, and if you’re anything like me, you’re always on the hunt for a fun new summer cocktail to throw in the mix. So today, I’m sharing the full recipe for my famous Bourbon Slush.

But I won’t stop there.

Building up a solid rotation of signature cocktails is a must when it comes to good hosting, so I’ve rounded up a few of my very favorites to share with you before the summer season ends.

Happy sipping! If you try any of these, be sure to let me know what you think!

And, once you've read over all these yummy cocktail recipes, I suggest you find the perfect snacks and apps to pair with them!

Bourbon Slush

Bourbon Slush

2 cups strong brewed tea

1 cup sugar - stir into the tea after it's brewed

6 cups cold water

3 cups Bourbon (Belle Meade Bourbon is a local favorite!)

6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate (1/2 can)

12 oz frozen lemonade concentrate (1 can)

Combine all ingredients and freeze overnight. Stir thoroughly before serving. 

Maxes approx. 12 servings.

Southside Fizz

2 oz vodka or gin

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz mint simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, steep mint in syrup for 30 minutes)

2 oz club soda 

Pour vodka, lime juice, and mint syrup over ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a fresh lime wedge and a sprig of mint. 

Summer Spritz


2 oz Aperol or Ramazzotti

4 oz Prosecco (I recommend LaMarca)

2 oz club soda or unflavored sparkling water

16 oz wine or other stem glass 

Orange slice, for garnish

Add ice to wine glass until it's 2/3 full. Pour in the Aperol or Ramazzotti. 

Pour in Prosecco. Top your drink off with club soda or sparkling water. Enjoy!

(These are the ratios I like, but you can play around with the ratios until your Romazzotti or Aperol Spritz tastes exactly the way you like it.)

French 75

1 oz gin

1/2 oz simple syrup

1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 oz Brut Champagne or a dry sparkling white wine

Lemon twist, to garnish

Combine gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled and strain into a glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist to serve. 



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