5 Refreshing Vodka Cocktails for Summer

by | Jun 27, 2019 | All, Batch Cocktails, Tips, Vodka

Summer is here in full swing and we are ready to beat the heat! Make entertaining easy and serve one (or more) of these 5 Refreshing Summer Vodka Cocktails at your next party, barbecue or happy hour. 

Lowball glass of Vodka Elderflower Lemonade garnished with straws and lemon slices.

Summer is always great for spontaneous happy hours and cocktails by the fire. Or at the lake. Or on the deck….pretty much any way we can be outside here in Minnesota!

Don’t fret about what to serve with this collection of summer libations we love. You will be ready for whatever comes your way if you have the ingredients for the 5 best vodka drinks on hand. 


Single Bootleg Vodka Cocktail in a low ball glass on a white background. the drink has a yellow and white straw in it and is garnished with fresh lime wedges and fresh mint leaves.

Let’s start the list with one of our all-time favorite Minnesota drinks – The Bootleg Cocktail. This summer sipper is so refreshing it will soon become a staple in your summer cocktail rotation.

Why drinks are easier to serve to a group than wine

Whenever we are having people over I immediately panic: Do I have enough wine? Is it chilled? Do I have enough of the same kind?

The easiest way to solve these problems? Serve cocktails for summer entertaining. 

Not only is it easier to serve cocktails than wine, but it’s also more economical! You can get a lot of individual drinks out of a liter of alcohol versus the 4- 5 glasses of wine out of the bottle.

So keep things simple and grab that bottle of vodka from the freezer and toast the summer!

Cucumber Vodka Gimlet recipe in coupe glasses with a pitcher of the cocktail in the background.

Straight up or on the rocks, you can’t go wrong with this refreshing Cucumber Vodka Gimlet recipe – a perfect thirst-quencher for hot summer days!

Ingredients you need to make these 5 summer vodka drinks

  • Vodka
  • Elderflower
  • Prosecco
  • Ice
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Tonic water
  • Club soda
  • Simple syrup
  • Fresh mint
  • Strawberries
  • Basil
  • Cucumber
  • Lemonade


Two lowball glasses filled with ice and Elderflower Vodka Soda recipe.

Tired of the same old, boring happy hour cocktail? Try this tasty, 4-ingredient Elderflower Vodka Soda recipe! A splash of elderflower liqueur takes this standard cocktail from familiar to fantastic.

Is there a difference between brands of tonic and club soda?

Believe it or not, the kind of club soda or tonic you mix in your cocktails makes a difference. A huge difference.

The best ingredients give you the best tasting drinks and this applies to tonic and club soda too.

Our go-to favorites are Fever Tree and Q Tonic. They both have several different varieties of mixers and we love them all.

Try them out and we bet you’ll never buy the big plastic bottle again.


straight on shot of vodka elderflower lemonade drink in low ball glass garnished with fresh lemon slices and striped straw.

Vodka Elderflower Lemonade is a refreshing way to turn a classic cocktail into a fancy drink. You are just 4 ingredients away from the best summer drink!

Tips for making the best batch cocktails

  • Keep your ingredients chilled. Drinks stay colder longer when you start with cold ingredients!
  • Use lots of ice. No one likes a lukewarm drink.
  • Make sure to stir well. There is nothing worse than taking a sip of your cocktail only to find a big float of vodka in your glass. 
  • Fresh juice is always best. That little bit of prep makes these vodka cocktails extra special.
  • Don’t forget the garnish. It may seem extraneous, but the fresh herbs, lemon or lime wedges, cucumber rounds or strawberries add a flavor boost. Check out your local farmer’s market to get the freshest produce at a reasonable price!

Why do I keep my vodka in the freezer?

That’s easy – it makes the drinks colder! When you start with chilled ingredients the ice doesn’t have to work so hard which keeps it cold longer without diluting it.

That’s what we call a win, folks.

A single lowball glass filled ice and Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail. Garnished with fresh strawberries and basil.

Happy hour just got a lot tastier with these gorgeous Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktails. Grab your summer berries for this perfect patio sipper!

What is the best kind of vodka for drinks?

Make sure you use a high-quality vodka of your favorite brand, not the cheapest stuff at the liquor store.

Not only do high-quality vodkas taste a lot smoother, but they are also less likely to lead to a hangover if you overindulge. Trust me on this one.

So be sure to save your pennies to buy better vodka. Some of our favorites are Tito’s, Norseman, Ketel one, and Stoli – all solid brands that will never steer you wrong.

What’s your current favorite? Let us know. We are always game to try new spirits!

More summer cocktails

Want to mix it and forget it? We love these summer sangria recipes!

Lowball glass filled with a strawberry basil vodka cocktail. Garnished with fresh basil, strawberry slices and lemon wedges.

5 Refreshing Vodka Cocktails for Summer

Make entertaining a snap and grab a bottle of vodka to get your next outdoor party started. These updated classic cocktails are easy summer sippers.

You’ll never go wrong when you have one of these 5 Summer Vodka Cocktails on hand for summer entertaining!

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

Our Story

About Lisa

Hi, I’m Lisa! Looking for the party? It’s probably at my house. Nothing brings me more joy than sharing good food with friends and family. That and a seriously good cocktail.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Y.U.M. I love summertime cocktails! Thanks for the raspberry smash love. Happy Summer!


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