Summer Cocktail Recipes with Farmer’s Market Ingredients
5 minute read
June 25, 2021


Summer is here, and it will be a hot one. Thankfully, we can keep cool by sipping refreshing cocktails all season long. You might be getting a little bored with your go-to drinks, though. To take your bartending skills up a notch, incorporate local, seasonal fruits and herbs. Whether you’re making drinks to impress guests or satisfy your thirst, try out these summer cocktail recipes with farmer’s market ingredients.

Summer Cocktail Recipes with Farmer’s Market Ingredients


Cucumber Collins

Cucumbers are in season, and you’re probably wondering what else you can do with them besides pickling. Let me introduce you to the Cucumber Collins. This seasonal twist on the classic Tom Collins incorporates sliced cucumber and fresh lemon juice to add a cool, refreshing taste.

Here’s the recipe:

    • 1oz London Dry Gin
  • 1/2oz elderflower cordial
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Four thin cucumber slices
  • 3oz soda water


Basil Lime Cooler

Basil is an herb that I’m usually unsure what to do with if I’m not putting it into pasta. This basil lime cooler is a sparkling, refreshing cocktail that uses those lonely basil leaves and some fresh limes for a quick refreshment. This recipe calls for a basil simple syrup that can be sealed and kept in the refrigerator for up to seven days. That means you can enjoy this drink without much work for the next week.

Here’s the recipe:

Basil Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 basil leaves

For the Cocktail

  • 1oz basil syrup
  • 1/2oz fresh juice from one lime
  • 1 1/2oz vodka
  • Three basil leaves
  • 2 to 3oz seltzer or your favorite sparkling water
  • Garnish: basil sprig


Cilantro Margarita

Margaritas have always been a classic summer drink. Popular at happy hours and remarkably refreshing, the margarita doesn’t need any help staying delicious. However, this simple twist of adding cilantro adds an almost spicy quality to the drink that pairs well with the fresh lime and sweetness. This drink is perfect as a precursor to a Tex-Mex dinner.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2oz fresh lime juice
  • 2oz tequila blanco
  • 1oz simple syrup (you can take some from the basil simple syrup in the basil lime cooler recipe before adding the basil leaves)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedge for serving


Whiskey Smash

The whiskey smash is like a mint julep with a citrus twist. It includes one of the most versatile herbs: mint. Mint is excellent in many different dishes and drinks, but this whiskey smash recipe is one of the best ways to use that big bunch of mint you got from the farmer’s market. If you made simple syrup for one of the previous recipes, use it for this one, too. If not, no worries. You can use maple syrup for this cocktail and give a bit of earthiness. If you use maple syrup, we recommend pure maple syrup rather than imitation stuff.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2oz (4 tablespoons) whiskey
  • 1/4 lemon, sliced into two wedges
  • Five large mint leaves
  • 1oz (2 tablespoons) simple syrup or maple syrup
  • Soda water for serving
  • Crushed ice for serving


Lemon & Rosemary Bourbon Sour

Lemons are popular in summer drinks because they’re abundant, sweet, tart, and refreshing. If you’ve been reading along, you’ve already seen them in several recipes here. However, rosemary is a less commonly used herb in cocktail recipes, but it gives your drinks an excellent taste and pleasant, floral aroma.

Here’s the recipe (makes 4):

Rosemary Simple Syrup

  • Three sprigs of rosemary
  • Six tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Six tablespoons water

For the Cocktail

  • Rosemary simple syrup
  • 8oz bourbon
  • 4oz fresh lemon juice
  • Ice cubes for shaking and serving
  • Sprigs of rosemary for garnish (optional)


Hard Watermelon Limeade

Watermelon is the epitome of summer fruits. This hard watermelon limeade recipe takes a sweet, refreshing drink and adds rum to it to turn it into an incredible summer cocktail. The trick here is to cube 3/4 of your watermelon, then freeze those overnight to make watermelon ice cubes. Then mash the remaining watermelon quarter and strain it. This recipe makes two delicious cocktails to enjoy on the patio.

Here’s the recipe:

  • One small seedless watermelon
  • Two medium limes
  • Two shots white rum
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1-liter club soda


Grapefruit Kombucha Agua Fresca

Looking for a refreshing summer drink without alcohol? Look no further than this grapefruit kombucha agua fresca. Pick up some kombucha from the farmer’s market (or make your own), a grapefruit, rosemary, and maple syrup and you’re ready to go.

Pro Tip: Rub the rosemary sprigs between your hands a bit before putting them in the drinks to release the oils.

Here’s the recipe:

  • One cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • One cup unflavored kombucha
  • One teaspoon maple syrup + more to taste
  • Two sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • optional: pure sparkling water

Enjoy a Summer Cocktail

What summer cocktails do you plan on making this season? Try one from this list next time to shake things up a bit.

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