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Top 5 summer cocktails

Nothing says summer more than poolside BBQs, balmy nights and colourful cocktails with umbrellas poking up at the top. While it’s fun to experiment when making drinks, here are five delicious cocktails that will always hit the spot.

White wine sangria

Anyone up for a round?

In Australia, we have the summer lifestyle down pat. As soon as the temperature soars, the beach gets busy, work winds down and we ditch warming wines in favour of refreshing cocktails. Fruity, colourful drinks have a summer vibe and are the staple of beachside bars and at-home entertaining. While there are as many cocktails as there are beaches in this country, if you know how to whip up these five cocktails — some classic and some with a twist — you’ll be set for all summer occasions.

White wine sangria

A lighter version of the traditional red wine-based drink, white wine sangria is tasty but not as sickly sweet as other “girly” cocktails. Best of all, it’s super easy to make, but pace yourself — it’s stronger than it looks.

Best for: Serve up jugs of sangria with a side of gossip at girls’ nights.


  • 50ml of lemon juice
  • 250ml of white wine (try pinot gris or sauvignon blanc)
  • 60ml of white rum
  • 50ml of sugar syrup
  • 10-15 mint leaves
  • Apples, pomegranate, pears


  1. Mix the lemon juice, wine, rum and sugar syrup into a carafe. Add the mint leaves and pieces of fruit. Stir it all up and top with ice just before you’re planning to serve it. Pour into wine glasses and sip away!

Carpe diem

The carpe diem is a newcomer on the cocktail scene, but taste it once and you’ll soon find out why it’s here to stay. Colourful and light with the perfect amount of sweetness, this concoction really is a jug of fun.

Best for: Pre-dinner drinks with family or friends (and it also works well with light meals).


  • 10 strawberries, halved
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
  • 90ml of apple juice
  • 30ml of lime juice
  • 150ml of gin
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 40ml of Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 6 cucumbers


  1. Blend the strawberries, sugar, and juices until smooth. Pour into a 1-litre jug over ice.
  2. Add gin and basil and stir well before pouring in the Champagne or sparkling wine.
  3. Serve over ice in a tall glass and garnish with a basil leaf and slice of cucumber.

Next up: More summer cocktails >>

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