The right beach cocktail can take your summer vacation up a notch. But you don’t have to go anywhere to enjoy them; even sipping one in your own backyard can make every day feel like a beachy getaway.
Lacking inspiration? We’ve got you — here are some of our favorite warm-weather cocktails perfect for drinking with your feet in the sand.
1. Piña Colada
The piña colada is a quintessential beach drink. It’s tropical, refreshing, and perfect for sipping when the temperatures climb. The drink was invented in 1954 by a Puerto Rican bartender, Ramón “Monchito” Marrero, before being named the country's official drink in 1978.
To make four piña coladas, here’s what you need on hand:
- ½ cup fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
- 6 ounces sweetened cream of coconut (not coconut cream)
- 2 ounces coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 8 ounces white or aged rum
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Add the pineapple to a plastic bag and put it in the freezer, making sure that the pieces lay flat, so they cool more quickly and evenly. It should take about three hours.
Once they’re frozen and you’re ready to get your piña coladas started, add the pineapple, cream of coconut, coconut milk, rum, lime juice, and about three cups of ice to a blender. Make sure to shake the cream of coconut and coconut milk before measuring, as they separate when sitting. Puree until smooth, then freeze for another half an hour (you can keep the mixture in your blender pitcher because you’ll be using it again!).
After the mixture is close to milkshake consistency, take it out of the freezer and blend again. You’re looking for a slush-like consistency. Divide into four glasses (they make piña colada glasses, but they’re not necessary), drizzle each with 0.5 ounces of dark rum if desired, and garnish with a pineapple chunk, cherry, or lime and a cocktail umbrella.
The daiquiri is another of the most famous beach cocktails with a slightly older history than the piña colada. The original daiquiri traces its roots back to 1902, but plenty of exciting variations have popped up in the years following. One of those variations, the Hemingway daiquiri, was even named after its most famous consumer — the Nobel Prize Award-winning Ernest Hemingway.
We’ll focus on the most popular variation, the strawberry daiquiri. Here’s your shopping list for making one cocktail:
- 1.5 ounces rum (try substituting Haus Strawberry Basil for a lighter, more complex twist)
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 0.75 ounce fresh lime juice
- 4 large strawberries
Blend all ingredients with about six ice cubes until smooth. Pour into a coupe or margarita glass, and garnish with a strawberry slice. Combine strawberry daiquiri and piña colada side-by-side in a glass to make another beach cocktail — the Miami Vice!
3. Bahama Mama
We don’t know why the Bahama Mama has gotten such a bad reputation as just being a “girly drink” because it really packs a delicious, complex punch! It’s less fruit-forward than other beach cocktails, thanks to the addition of coffee liqueur.
To make a single cocktail, you’ll need:
- 1 ounce coconut rum
- 1 ounce dark rum
- 0.5 ounce coffee liqueur
- 2.5 ounce pineapple juice
- 0.75 ounce fresh lemon juice
Shake all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker, then strain over ice into a hurricane or collins glass. Garnish with a cherry, pineapple wedge, and the almost mandatory cocktail umbrella.
We love a Paloma and don’t understand why it doesn’t get more attention! The traditional Paloma recipe involves using a grapefruit soda (like Jarritos or Squirt), but we wanted to offer you an even fresher, slightly spicy option.
For one Paloma, you’ll need to have:
- 2 ounces Haus Grapefruit Jalapeno
- 2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
- 0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce tequila Blanco (or mezcal to make it slightly smokier in flavor)
- 2 ounces sparkling water
- 0.25 ounce simple syrup, if desired
Salt the rim of a highball glass, then add all the ingredients except sparkling water. Mix briefly, fill halfway with ice and then pour in the sparkling water. Adjust to taste, then garnish with a grapefruit slice. If you want to up the spice level even further, add a little chili powder to the salt before rimming your glass!
5. Mai Tai
The Mai Tai is classified as a “tiki drink,” a drink category that has fallen out of favor lately due to cultural appropriation claims. However, you can and should make these drinks, as long as you’re aware of the history and avoid the controversial barware to serve them.
Like many beach cocktails, the Mai Tai is rum-based. It also contains a unique ingredient called orgeat, a sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose or orange water. Here’s what else you’ll need:
- 1.5 ounce white rum
- 0.75 ounce orange curacao
- 0.75 ounce fresh lime juice
- 0.5 ounce orgeat
- 0.5 ounce dark rum
Briefly and gently shake all ingredients except dark rum in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour over ice (crushed works best) into a double rocks glass, and drizzle the dark rum on top of the cocktail. Garnish with lime and fresh mint.
6. Blue Lagoon
You can’t discuss beach cocktails without featuring a drink with blue curacao — the tell-tale blue liqueur with an orange flavor. You can make a blue lagoon either shaken or blended, depending on how much time you have and how you like your drinks.
One blue lagoon cocktail requires:
- 1 ounce vodka (try substituting with Haus Citrus Flower for a lower ABV, brighter cocktail)
- 1 ounce blue curacao
- 4 ounces lemonade
Shake all three ingredients with ice until well-chilled, then strain over crushed ice into a hurricane glass (or blend briefly for a frozen cocktail). Garnish with a cocktail umbrella, lemon wheel, and cherry.
While rosé may not be traditionally “beachy,” it is an excellent summer drink. But don’t just settle for drinking a glass of wine on the beach; make the most of your vacay by blending up a batch of frosé.
For a pitcher of this frozen drink, you’ll need:
- 750 mL bottle of rosé wine (cheap will do!)
- ½ cup Haus Rose Rosé
- ½ cup white sugar
- 16 ounces whole, frozen strawberries
Blend the Haus Rose Rosé and sugar on high speed until the sugar has mostly dissolved. Add strawberries and wine, pureeing until smooth. You may need to add ice to get the consistency you want. Serve immediately, or keep it in the freezer and reblend briefly when ready!
8. Sex on the Beach
Yes, the name is a little on the nose. But the Sex on the Beach cocktail lives up to its name, making it one of the top beach cocktails in our book.
Grab the following for a single cocktail:
- 1.5 ounce vodka
- 0.5 ounce peach schnapps
- 1.5 ounce fresh orange juice
- 1.5 ounce cranberry juice
- 0.5 ounce Haus Citrus Flower
Shake all ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker until chilled thoroughly. Strain over ice into a highball glass and garnish with a cocktail umbrella and orange slice.
The classic mojito is one of the best summer cocktails because it’s super light, incredibly refreshing, and easy to throw together. It can also be adjusted to allow for seasonal fruits like watermelon and passion fruit, keeping it fresh and interesting.
Let’s start with the basic drink recipe, which will make a single mojito:
- 3 fresh mint leaves
- 0.5 ounce simple syrup
- 2 ounces white rum
- 0.75 ounce fresh lime juice
- Club soda
Muddle the mint and simple syrup at the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add rum, lime juice, and ice, shaking briefly before straining into an ice-filled highball glass. If you prefer to use nugget or pebble ice, stir instead of shake. Top off the glass with club soda and garnish with more fresh mint and a lime wedge and enjoy this classic cocktail.
10. Strawberry Basil Crush
Are you on vacation with a group of friends and need beach cocktails with a little fizz for the whole crew? Instead of making individual drinks, mix up a batch of strawberry basil crush. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 bottle Haus Strawberry Basil
- 1 cup sparkling water
- 4 ounces vodka
- 6 fresh strawberries, cut into slices
- 2 - 3 sprigs of basil, torn
Put the strawberries and basil in the bottom of a pitcher, then cover with ice and the remaining ingredients. Stir and serve! You should get between eight and 10 cocktails.
Beach cocktails won’t make or break your vacation, but they can take it to a whole new level. Hopefully, you found something on our list that you can see yourself sipping on with your toes in the sand and a beach umbrella overhead. The right cocktail can even make the most benign events, like a lazy Saturday spent in your own backyard, feel like an occasion. As always, make sure you enjoy the moment and drink responsibly!