Top Ten Summer Cocktails

afternoon tea.

Cocktails are generally considered to refer to any drink that is created by mixing together different elements to create the final product. Mixing together different types of liquors and fruit juice in different amounts can create some very interesting drinks. While many are quite sweet, there are many, such as a negroni that is more bitter or sour.

Cocktails are often sorted into separate ‘families’ which can give you clues as to the origin of the drink and how strong it will be. The family of spirit forward cocktails often involves mixing multiple spirits together to create the drink, for instance, the martini. Classic cocktails generally have a set recipe to follow, with the proportions of each spirit and sweetener mapped out. However, these proportions may be changed depending on the bartender serving the drink or the various spirits used to create the drink. Many liquors will have slightly different flavours and tastes, so it makes sense to alter the recipe to suit these differences.

While many unique cocktails are created each year, many of the classics such as a whisky ‘old fashioned’ have been around for over a century. With a multitude of flavours and methods of creation, this article will discuss some of the most enduringly popular summer favourites for you to try this season. Here at One Warwick Park Hotel we serve a range of delicious drinks including cocktails at our bar, such as the infamous French martini.

1. Mojito

The Mojito has been enjoyed by rum fans since before prohibition, with the mixture of sugar, mint, rum and lime proving to be an enduring classic. This drink is refreshing and light, perfect for a hot summer’s day. While the Mojito was supposedly created in South America originally, it has steadily traversed the globe and you can now order a version of this drink in bars across the world.

The Mojito is a traditional Cuban highball and is often served in a tall glass with mint leaves, lime juice and crushed ice. The sweetness is complemented by the strong mint and lime taste which has made this cocktail a wildly popular drink.

2. Pina Colada

Made with white rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice, this drink is associated with tropical climates and is an iconic drink often bought by tourists and beach visitors. The Pina Colada was said to have been originally created in Puerto Rico by a Spanish bartender, later becoming the official drink of Puerto Rico.

Adorned with decorative cherries, straw and small umbrellas, this is the ultimate beach drink. This cocktail shot to international fame after Rupert Holmes’ song ‘Escape’, known as ‘the Pina Colada song’.

3. Passion Fruit martini

A more recent craze, this fruity drink is perhaps the most popular cocktail in the UK and is served at bars around the world. Created using vanilla vodka, sugar syrup, passoa, prosecco, and lime juice, with a sliced passion fruit half as a decoration on the top, the sweet and tropical taste of the drink combined with its refined appearance makes it suitable for nearly everyone.  This cocktail was created by Douglas Ankrah in 2003 and was an instant hit, becoming one of the UK’s most popular drinks.

4. Pimms

This 200-year-old formula was created in 1823 by a Mr James Pimm; the original had a gin base with botanical flavours added as a tribute to the summer. Topped off with fruit slices such as oranges, strawberries, mint and cucumber, this refreshingly light drink was an instant hit and is now considered a British staple.

Pimms is served at barbeques and garden parties around the UK, as the fun fruity appearance of the drink can create the perfect atmosphere for a summer party.

5. Negroni

This cocktail is an Italian drink created in Florence, Italy in 1919. The drink was supposedly created when Count Negroni asked for a stronger version of his favourite cocktail, the Americano, adding gin to the mix. The recipe calls for gin, Vermouth, Campari and an orange peel, and has remained a mainstay of the cocktail scene ever since.

6. Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan is a contentious drink with no real known creator. This is mostly because there were many drinks around at the time with similar ingredients, but which were not quite on the nose. The pretty pink look of the drink and fruity cranberry taste have made this cocktail an iconic summer drink for those of all ages. It is made with vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec and lime juice, served together in a martini glass to create the iconic pretty pink look of the drink.

7. Expresso martini

Made with vodka, coffee liquor, and espresso, this cocktail is a cult classic, with many variations of the main recipe. Similar drinks with slightly altered tastes, such as a mint espresso martini or a mocha martini, are also popular as the coffee base allows many other flavours and liquors to be added to create your own unique flavour.

8. Sangria

This Spanish classic is a summer favourite, often served in a large jug and poured into wine glasses. While the name Sangria can be translated as a ‘bloodletting’ in Spanish, the drink is fairly innocuous. The traditional mixture of red wine, fruit juice, citrus, and spices has remained widely popular as a summer drink. Both Sangria and mulled wine likely share a common ancestor in the Roman watered and spiced wine that was widely drunk across the empire.

9. Mimosa

Made with an equal amount of orange juice and champagne, this is a popular brunch drink that suits the hot summer weather to a T. Often served in a champagne glass, this drink is considered a fruitier version of Bucks fizz, a British drink that contains far more wine than juice. This is a fantastic choice for a lunch, or for an evening drink when you are kicking off the evening with a summer cocktail.

10. Margarita

This ubiquitously Mexican drink is a mix of tequila, Cointreau and lime and is generally served in a glass rimmed with flavoured salt. This drink evolved from a popular form of the cocktail known as a Daisy that was experimented with throughout the 1930s and 40s. The base form of the drink involved a spirit, citrus, and a sour, combined to make the perfect drink.

If you are interested in learning more about the cocktails we serve here at One Warwick Park Hotel, then please contact us here. We would be delighted to serve you our specially formulated summer cocktails.

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One Warwick Park Hotel is perfectly located in the centre of Tunbridge Wells, Kent between the historic Pantiles District and the High Street. Being close to the border of West Kent and East Sussex, you can gain easy access to the A21 and the M25. Tunbridge Wells mainline train station is only a short walk or quick taxi ride away and links to London are frequent.
One Warwick Park Hotel
01892 520 587
1 Warwick Park
Tunbridge Wells