21 Classic Summer Cocktails to Beat the Heat

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Frozen Margarita

Nothing could be better than an adult slushie, and a Frozen Margarita is just that. Get out your blender and pour in tequila, lime juice, triple sec, agave syrup, and lots of ice to create a cold refresher.

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Gin and Tonic

The Gin and Tonic started out as a pleasant way for British officers in 19th-century India to consume quinine to prevent malaria. Quinine was bitter, though, even in tonic water, so the officers added gin, sugar, and a slice of lime to improve the taste. The tonic water you find in liquor stores today contains less quinine, so there is even less bitterness in the drink.

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Gin Rickey

Although gin is the favored ingredient in a Rickey, the cocktail can also be made with bourbon. In fact, it started that way when it was invented by a bartender and Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey in 1880s Washington, D.C. The gin or bourbon is mixed with lime juice and carbonated water.

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Mai Tai

Perhaps the most famous of tiki cocktails – a group of drinks known for their generous use of rum, fruity flavors, and garnishes – the Mai Tai burst onto the bar scene in the 1930s and 1940s. Both Vic Bergeron, founder of the Trader Vic’s chain, and Donn Beach, whose restaurants bore the name Don the Beachcomber, claimed to have invented it. It’s a mixture of dark or light rum, an orange liqueur (either triple sec or CuraƧao), lime juice, and almond-based orgeat syrup.

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Michelada

If you like your cocktails with a bit of heat and less alcohol, then the Michelada is for you. Recipes for this Mexican drink standby, but its basis is cold beer, lime juice, hot sauce, tomato juice, and sometimes Worcestershire sauce, all served in a salt-rimmed glass.