23 Ice Cold Drinks to Cool You Down on a Hot Summer Day
You can count on these healthy, refreshing beverages to help you chill out when the heat goes haywire. These alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks use summer produce like cantaloupe, watermelon and strawberries to bring fruity freshness to a hot day. Recipes like our Sparkling Strawberry-Ginger Lemonade and Frozen Mojito are delicious, cold refreshments that are sure to hit the spot.
This frozen blender cocktail pays homage to the classic Cuban mojito cocktail, a refreshing blend of mint, limes, sugar and rum. This easy-breezy sipper is easy to make for 2 people in minutes.
Whipped Frozen Cantaloupe Creamsicle
Got a lot of leftover cantaloupe? Don't worry about wasting it--just throw it in the freezer and you'll be ready for cool cantaloupe creamsicles whenever you get the craving. Frozen cantaloupe cubes make this blended treat refreshingly juicy, and when blended with milk or a nondairy alternative, you get a summery treat that's just sweet enough.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
This refreshing drink is served by roadside vendors all over Mexico. Not too much fruit, not too much sugar, just a beautiful way to quench your thirst on a summer day.
Whipped Frozen Lemonade
Whipped frozen lemonade combines the creaminess of a milkshake with the thirst-quenching tanginess of freshly squeezed lemonade for an incredibly refreshing treat. And this simple frozen lemonade treat comes together with just four ingredients and a blender. You can use light coconut milk or refrigerated coconut milk in place of full-fat coconut milk, though the end result won't be as rich and creamy. Leftover simple syrup will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Creamy Watermelon Smoothie
This creamy vegan watermelon smoothie has a subtle coconut flavor thanks to coconut-milk yogurt. Strawberries add color and banana adds a smooth texture while letting the watermelon flavor shine through.
Frozen Peach Bee's Knees Cocktail
The Bee's Knees is a popular classic cocktail made with a blend of gin, lemon and honey. This fruity frozen version is blended with frozen peaches and plenty of ice for a crisp and refreshingly light summer cocktail.
Pressing the raspberries through a fine-mesh sieve will get every drop of juice into this refreshing limeade while leaving those pesky seeds behind. If you want to make it ahead, don't add the seltzer until the last minute.
Sparkling Strawberry-Ginger Lemonade
This sparkling lemonade is inspired by red drink, a red strawberry soda that is traditionally served for Juneteenth. Read more about red drink in the essay "For Many in Texas and Beyond, It's Just Not Juneteenth Without Red Drink."
Ginger-Thyme Sparkling Lemonade
Leave the jug at home—this homemade lemonade concentrate is easier to tote, plus gives you the option to make drinks to order at your picnic. Bring sparkling and still water along with gin and vodka for a bar in your basket.
This summer-fresh lemonade with a DIY watermelon base is sure to cool you down on a hot day.
Whipped Frozen Creamsicle
For those of you who always loved to run to the curb to buy a little bit of summer on a stick, this drink is right up your alley. The secret to the straight-from-the-ice-cream truck taste of this creamy frozen treat? Double the fruit! A little bit of frozen mango helps thicken the drink naturally in the blender while boosting the juicy flavor of fresh orange juice. Unsweetened vanilla coconut milk brings just a hint of sweetness while keeping this added-sugar-free and vegan. You could also use a sweetened coconut milk if you prefer a little more sweetness. Enjoy this refreshing and nostalgic drink on its own, or add a splash of your favorite vodka or rum for a summer happy hour indulgence. P.S.: Unlike the ice cream version, this one travels well in an insulated cup if you want to take it poolside!
Basil and lemon pair beautifully in this refreshing summer sipper, sweetened with a touch of honey. Make ahead and allow the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes to 1 hour before straining for a stronger basil flavor.
Whipped Frozen Limeade
This whipped frozen limeade is a blast from the past--but much better for you! It's got the nostalgic taste of a lemon-lime slushie, and this time it's made with real lime juice and fresh, homemade syrup. Just a splash of dairy is enough to evoke the creaminess of vanilla soft serve mixed with the cool and tangy iced slush. Or use coconut milk creamer for a tropical twist.
Layered Strawberry-Mango Margaritas
Swirl layers of red strawberry margarita with yellow mango margarita in this skinny frozen cocktail for a festive party drink that will wow your guests. It tastes just as good as a restaurant frozen margarita, without all the sugar!
Summer Berry Citrus Spritzer
A fresh berry puree and zippy citrus juices come together with bubbly seltzer for an exceptionally refreshing beverage for hot days. It's also a great alternative to sangria if you'd prefer to skip the alcohol. Double the recipe if you are expecting a crowd.
Sparkling Pomegranate Tea
Perfectly refreshing, this fizzy pomegranate drink is sure to quench your thirst!
Frozen Mango Margaritas
Frozen mango chunks aren't just for smoothies anymore. Whir them up in your blender with all the other classic margarita ingredients to make a skinny frozen cocktail at home that's just as good as (if not better than, and definitely healthier than!) restaurant versions.
Cucumbers and mint pair delightfully in this refreshing spritzer that's perfect for a summer afternoon on the porch.
This hurricane cocktail is refreshing with less sugar and calories than the original. The fruit-forward flavor is amplified by passion fruit-flavored sparkling water, which adds effervescence and a sweet floral finish. Serve this drink for Mardi Gras or anytime you want a fruity cocktail.
Strawberry, Basil & Lime Infused Water
Meet your daily hydration goals with a refreshing fruity spa water. Adding sliced fruit and torn herbs is a simple way to boost the flavor of still or sparkling water without adding calories. It's also a beautiful beverage option for showers or parties.
Watermelon Cucumber Basil Seltzer
Watermelon, cucumber, fresh basil, and lime juice flavor a summer drink that's fancy enough for guests. The soda takes only minutes to put together. Keep the fruit concentrate, simple syrup, and seltzer water separately in the fridge, then mix just before serving.
Honeydew Melon Agua Fresca (Agua de Melon Verde)
We've knocked back the sugar quite a bit in this healthier Mexican agua fresca recipe. This refreshing drink is often a way that Mexicans use up their leftover fruit, so feel free to use this technique with whatever fruit you have, especially other melons and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango.
Frozen Watermelon Cocktail
Watermelon is the dominant flavor in this frozen rum and watermelon cocktail, with a subtle hint of mint shining through. Making simple syrup is easy, plus, having leftover mint syrup on hand is nice for whipping up extra cocktails.