Summer’s here, and it’s the ideal time to introduce refreshing, tantalizing cocktails to your friends and family as you host sophisticated garden parties, elegant receptions, chic dinners, and classy soirees. Numerous expensive cocktails abound.  But with these superb recipes below, you can create your own exquisite concoctions that will rival some of the most costly blends.

Summer Solstice Punch by Mount Gay Rum

Summer Solstice Punch by Mount Gay Rum

Established in 1703 in Barbados, Mount Gay Rum is home to its oldest commercial rum distillery. The purest filtered water, exceptional molasses, an exclusive strain of yeast, a selective aging process, and its blending of single and double distillates in copper pots passed down through the generations by master blenders yields its bold, unforgettable flavor.

  • Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum – 1 Bottle
  • Fresh Lime Juice – 6 oz
  • Fresh Grapefruit Juice – 6 oz
  • Falernum Syrup Liqueur – 12 oz
  • Angostura Bitters – 12 dashes
  • Soda Water – 12 oz

DIRECTIONS – Add Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, Fresh Lime Juice, Fresh Grapefruit Juice, Falernum Syrup Liqueur, Angostura Bitters to a punch bowl. Add large format ice cubes. Finish with Soda Water. Garnish with Grapefruit Wheels, Lime Wheels, Bitters, and Mint.

The Botanist Gin, Blueberry Fields Forever

Blueberry Fields Forever by The Botanist Gin

Created by Bruichladdich Distillery, The Botanist is an artisanal gin from the Scottish island of Islay. Its 22 hand-foraged botanicals, with flavors ranging from herbal and sweet to citrus and floral, masterfully blends with the nine customary gin aromatics.

  • The Botanist Gin – 2oz
  • Fresh Lime Juice – .5oz
  • Fresh Blueberries – ¼ cup
  • Tonic Water – 2oz

DIRECTIONS – Add The Botanist Gin, Fresh Lime Juice, and Fresh Muddle Blueberries into a shaker. Gently muddle. Add ice and shake—fine strain over ice into a Highball glass and top with Tonic Water. Garnish with Fresh Mint and Blueberries.

Cointreau Coconut Ginger Margarita Square with Bottle 

Coconut Ginger Margarita by Cointreau

Produced in Saint-Barthélemy-d’Anjou, France, the orange-flavored triple sec liqueur, known as Cointreau, has inspired more than 350 internationally renowned premium cocktails creations.

  • Cointreau – 1 oz
  • Blanco Tequila – 1 oz
  • Fresh Lime Juice – 1 oz
  • Coconut Water – 1 oz
  • 5-7 sliced Ginger Coins

DIRECTIONS: Add Cointreau, Blanco Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice, Coconut Water, and Ginger Coins into a cocktail shaker. Shake all ingredients and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with Lime Peel or Candied Ginger

Frosé Watermelon Granita by Santa Margherita

Frosé Watermelon Granita by Santa Margherita

Since Count Gaetano Marzotto in 1935, the Santa Margherita name has been synonymous with excellence. Their distinctive, authentic, flavorful, and premium quality Italian wines are appreciated globally.

  • 1 bottle Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé
  • 1-quart watermelon-rosemary sorbet
  • 2 cups diced, seedless watermelon

DIRECTIONS – Purchase sorbet from a gourmet market or make your own. Spoon a scoop of sorbet into the bottom of a chilled glass and top with a tablespoon or so of the watermelon cubes. Pour the Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé over the sorbet and melon. Garnish with mint. Serve immediately with a silver spoon.

Limoncello Mule by Brooklyn Crafted

Limoncello Mule by Brooklyn Crafted

Made with 100% unfiltered, fresh ginger pieces and pure cane sugar, the refreshing Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer can be relished on its own with its extra spicy ginger kick or as a tantalizing cocktail mixer.

  • 1 oz. Limoncello
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • Brooklyn Crafted Lemon-Lime Ginger Beer

DIRECTIONSAdd all the ingredients together in a Julep cup, and garnish with a lemon wheel and a mint sprig.

Black Velvet by Guinness

Black Velvet by Guinness

Since Arthur Guinness secured a 9,000-year lease on a brewery in Dublin, Ireland, in 1759, the Guinness dark Irish dry stout, with its colorful flavor, has been a worldwide favorite in more than 50 countries.

  • 1 part Guinness Extra Stout
  • 1 part Champagne

DIRECTIONS – Fill half of a flute with Champagne and top with Guinness Extra Stout.

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Leslie E. Royal is an international travel writer, author, micro-influencer, and veteran multi-media journalist. She loves to travel with her wonderful husband Tony, grandbaby Kedei Savanna, children Antasha and Jay, and son-in-love Jules! When she's not traveling, she's writing and working on other exciting projects. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including Chicago Tribune, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, Upscale Living, Medium, The Ashro Blog, AAA Midwest Traveler, Upscale, and AAA Southern Traveler. She is an Ashro Brand Ambassador and the host of their popular video series called Onward and Upward with Leslie E. Royal. The creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information blog, she has two books: Leslie Lane The Book!: Your One-Stop Internet Resource Guide to Links for Jobs, Inspiration, Discounts, FREE Stuff, Scholarships, Travel & More ( $14.95) and How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book for FREE with Amazon’s KDP: An Easy Way to Complete Your Manuscript in Seven Stress-Free Steps ($9.95). Follow Leslie on Instagram @LesliesLane and see her Amazon Author Page.