32 Cool Drinks for a Hot Day

Bonus: You can make them at home, and most feature antioxidant-rich additions like herbs, spices, or fruit.

Cherry Gin Rickey
Photo: Victor Protasio

Nothing says "summer" like a cool drink on a scorching day. Whether you're looking for the perfect iced tea, a kicked-up lemonade, or a fabulous tropical cocktail, a sip or two from this collection of summer drinks will help cool you off when the weather gets hot.

The drinks in the first half of this list provide alcohol-free refreshments for all ages. The second half is a collection of boozy libations for the over-21 crowd. Cheers to a long, hot summer!

01 of 32

Kombucha-Pomegranate Tonic

Kombucha Pomegranate Tonic
Greg DuPree

Kombucha is a probiotic-rich food that helps you maintain a healthy gut, and pomegranate is full of antioxidants that ward off chronic disease. So you might say this drink is a little bit good for you! With its punchy ginger (also healthy!), this non-alcoholic cocktail is a lively and somewhat nutritious pick-me-up.

02 of 32

Mango Smoothie

Mango Colada
Maura McEvoy

We gave this mango smoothie some tang by blending in yogurt. Use a sweet, ripe mango for best results—and try our hassle-free method of cutting a mango.

03 of 32

Raspberry Fizz

Raspberry Fizz
Charles Maraia

Top a ginger ale–cranberry juice combo with scoops of raspberry sorbet. For this recipe, we'll also show you how to make your own lime syrup.

04 of 32

Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca

Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca
Greg DuPree

We sweetened this refreshing watermelon drink with mint-infused syrup. Not a watermelon fan? You can also make it with cantaloupe or honeydew.

05 of 32

Peach Iced Tea

Peach Iced Tea
Kevin Miyazaki/Meredith

For this recipe, you’ll rehydrate dried peaches in honey-infused water and English breakfast tea. It's a low-sugar version of a summer classic that you can feel good about drinking.

06 of 32

Cold-Brew Iced Tea

Mason Jar Iced Tea
Grace Elkus

Brewing tea bags in cold water is definitely the way to go on a hot summer day. This naturally sweet tea looks great in a mason jar. Screw on a lid and take it with you wherever you go.

07 of 32

Tropical Creamsicle Smoothie

Tropical Creamsicle Smoothie
Greg DuPree

This fiber-rich smoothie is sweetened with mangoes, carrots, and honey. The "cream" of the creamsicle comes from coconut milk. There's also a slight tang that comes from adding apple cider, which is good for the gut.

08 of 32

Strawberry Thyme Lemonade

Strawberry-Thyme Lemonade
Danny Kim

Give the traditional summer cooler a tweak with your favorite fresh fruit and herbs. This refreshing drink will give you spa vibes. Or, add vodka for a cocktail by the pool!

09 of 32

Coffee, Oat, and Maple Smoothie

Coffee, Oat, and Maple Smoothie
Greg DuPree

Iced coffee can be a healthy drink—as long as you don't go overboard with sugary syrups and whipped cream. Another option? Make this coffee smoothie that's sweetened with banana and maple syrup.

10 of 32

Gingery Berry and Oat Smoothie

Gingery berry and oat smoothie
Grant Cornett

With the healing antioxidants in blueberries and the gut-healthy fiber in rolled oats, this smoothie is as good for you as it is delicious. It also has a bit of a kick from adding fresh ginger to the blend.

11 of 32

Kale Smoothie With Pineapple and Banana

Kale Smoothie With Pineapple and Banana
Christopher Baker

People commonly buy coconut milk for a recipe (like, say coconut curry sauce) but throw out what they don't use. Instead, why not use it to add texture to your next kale smoothie? If you don't have kale on hand, swap it out for spinach.

12 of 32

Hibiscus Lemon Iced Tea

The gorgeous color of Hibiscus Lemon Iced Tea comes from dried hibiscus flowers.
Greg DuPree

This bright, colorful, sweet-tart tea is made with just three ingredients: hibiscus tea, lemons, and sugar. The fuchsia color, which comes from dried hibiscus flowers, is a pick-me-up in itself!

13 of 32

Tropical Lemonade

Tropical Lemonade
Antonis Achilleos

This recipe is a bit work-intensive (it requires fresh juice from about 12 lemons), but the end result is worth it. Pineapple juice and apricot nectar are a few of the other ingredients that give this lemonade a tropical upgrade.

14 of 32

Sparkling Pineapple Ginger Ale

Sparkling Pineapple Ginger Ale Mocktail Recipe
Yunhee Kim

Pineapple juice sweetens the tang of ginger ale for a cool drink with tropical vibes. Then you can up the ante by adding fresh pineapple triangles to float in this delicious drink.

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Creamy Date Shake

Creamy Date Shakes Recipe
Greg DuPree

If you love milkshakes but are trying to cut back on sugar, this shake is for you. It's sweetened with ground cinnamon and Medjools dates, which taste a bit like caramel. This recipe also calls for healthy hemp seeds, which bring protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

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Espresso Slushy

Espresso Slushy
Charles Maraia

Instant espresso gives a low-cal cool drink some kick. For a more decadent experience, drizzle heavy cream on top.

17 of 32

Tom Collins

Tom Collins
Guillermo Riveros / Food Styling by Oset Babür-Winter

This classic cocktail has been popular for decades, and our version calls for just two ingredients: gin and lemon soda. Mix the gin and soda in a 1:2 ratio and make sure to serve this drink in a highball glass.

18 of 32

Raspberry Rum Cocktail

This Raspberry Rum Cocktail recipe comes to us from a bartender at La Samanna, a Belmond Hotel in St. Martin.
Belmond La Samanna

To make this unique and flavorful cocktail, start with dark rum, then add pureed raspberries, fresh apple juice, lime, and a splash of ginger ale. This recipe is courtesy of Marco Nobile, Head Bartender at La Samanna, a Belmond Hotel in St. Martin.

19 of 32

Boozy Watermelon Frozen Slushie

Frozen Watermelon Rosé Sangria Slushies
Half Baked Harvest

It takes less than five minutes to whip up this refreshingly cool drink on a hot day. Your choice of rum or vodka will provide the "boozy" element. There's no better beverage to celebrate summer.

20 of 32

Kombucha-Blood Orange Mule

Kombucha Blood Orange Mule

The blood oranges give this fizzy, spicy-sour drink a beautiful hue. If you don't have them, use freshly-squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice. The kombucha will do the rest.

21 of 32

Sex on the Beach


bhofack2/Getty Images

This popular vacation cocktail has been around for decades and calls for vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Refreshing and sweet, it will instantly transport you to a tropical island.

22 of 32

Classic Margarita

a margarita on the rocks with a salted rim
Chef John

Break out the tequila! It's margarita time. This easy recipe has only one big decision to make: Should you rub the rims of the glasses with a lime slice and dip them in salt? Whether or not you serve this drink in salt-prepared glasses, make sure you add ice and garnish with slices of lime.

23 of 32

Mai Tai

Mai Tai
Antonis Achilleos

This classic tropical cocktail combines pineapple, lime, and maraschino cherry juice with rum and Curacao for a fun and festive drink. (Don't forget the pineapple and maraschino garnish!)

24 of 32

White Sangria

White Sangria
Charles Maraia

Club soda adds fizz to white wine, white grape juice, and a veritable fruit medley for a light, summery take on the standard sangria. This drink sweetens with time, so let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

25 of 32

Grapefruit Kombucha Margarita

Grapefruit Kombucha Margarita
Stephen DeVries

Take the classic elements of a margarita (tequila and lime juice) and add a splash of grapefruit juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. The fizzy kombucha comes last.

26 of 32


Vodka mojito garnished with mint leaves and lime

The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

This classic cocktail derives from Cuba and requires just five ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, mint, and soda water. Always use citrus juices that are freshly squeezed. It's the difference between a so-so mojito and a great one.

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Boozy Dole Whip

boozy dole whip
Debbie Galbraith/Getty Images

Transport yourself to a tropical beach (or your favorite Disney park) with this fun pineapple-and-coconut frozen concoction. Whether you sip it with a straw or scoop it with a spoon, make sure to add extra pineapple and coconut flakes on top.

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Partida Passion Fruit Cocktail

Berry Vodka Spritzers
Rob Howard

Tequila fuels this citrusy-sweet and tart drink, featuring grapefruit, lime, and passion fruit. For added refreshment, slip some sliced apples and berries into this tequila cocktail, from Partida Tequila.

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The Easiest-Ever Way to Make Frosé (Frozen Rosé) At Home

Freeze your favorite rosé into ice cubes so you can blend together this easy cocktail recipe for your next happy hour. Add strawberries, grenadine, and a shot of vodka to the mix, and this adult slushie is ready to go.

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Gin, Grapefruit, and Thyme Cocktail

Gin, Grapefruit, and Thyme Cocktail
Levi Brown

Freshen up this cocktail of gin, grapefruit juice and seltzer with an extra punch of herbs from your garden. Garnish with a fresh grapefruit slice and serve to your delighted guests.

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Cherry Gin Rickey

Cherry Gin Rickey
Victor Protasio

Cherry and lime make the perfect sweet-tart combination for this summery cocktail. Strain the cherries yourself to extract their full flavor and use freshly-squeezed lime juice for the best drink possible.

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Moscow Mule Slushy

Getty Images

What's better than a Moscow Mule? The slushy version. Turn this popular vodka-and-ginger-beer cocktail into a slushy to help you really keep your cool.

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