Gallery: 22 Ways To Use Summer Fruit in Cocktails

  • Apricot and Mint Cocktail

    The color alone makes this apricot and gin cocktail appealing, and the fragrance will really draw you in. We like how well Hendrick's gin goes with the mint in this drink, but you can use whichever gin you have on hand.

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    Balsamic Strawberry Smash

    We love the combination of ripe strawberries with tangy balsamic vinegar, so this cocktail was a natural for us. Strawberries in their juices (with a little sugar) make a vivid syrup that is luscious with the addition of lemon, balsamic, and bourbon.

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    Sparkling Strawberry Sangria

    This bubbly sangria gets a lovely strawberry flavor from a quick simple syrup. Cava makes a great, affordable base, though you can also use prosecco or any other sparkling wine you have on hand. Garnish with more strawberries and other seasonal fruit—this recipe leaves you some room for improvisation.

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    Plum Spiced Hard Cider

    Plums, spiced with cinnamon, maple syrup, and star anise, are excellent when combined with hard cider and applejack in this tall, brunch-friendly cocktail.

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    Perfect Peach

    Ripe peaches and cherries, muddled together, make the backbone of this fruity rum cocktail. Demerara syrup adds more complex flavor than your standard simple.

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    Rum Shrub

    Shrubs are an old-fashioned way of preserving fruit, but we find them seriously delicious today. Sweet-tart homemade shrub syrup can be sipped on its own with seltzer, or you can add a little dark rum.

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    DIY Strawberry Liqueur

    Preserve summer's precious berries in a naturally flavored homemade liqueur. It's delicious with sparkling wine or seltzer, or used in the place of orange liqueur in classic cocktails.

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    Lucy Basilia

    This juicy muddled blackberry cocktail from Lucy's Fried Chicken in Austin, Texas has a light herbal side from a bunch of fresh basil. They make it with vodka, but we bet it would be nice with gin, too.

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    Fresh Cantaloupe Margaritas

    The understated sweetness of cantaloupe is even better with a touch of lime, and it's easy to make these perfectly balanced cocktails for a crowd by using your handy-dandy blender.

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    Sour Cherry Americano

    This refreshing drink from Blue Hill Stone Barns in New York uses muddled sour cherries and chocolate mint set off by the bitterness of Punt e Mes, an Italian vermouth.

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    Rhubarb-Strawberry Margaritas

    If you're tired of pie, put your strawberries and rhubarb into a flavorful simple syrup, then add lime, tequila, Cointreau, and orange bitters to make a pitcher of these tangy margaritas.

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    Blackberry Margarita

    We love a traditional margarita, but it's hard to resist a variation flavored with fresh fruit. Muddled blackberries lend sweet-tart flavor and vivid color to this cocktail—don't forget the salted rim!

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    Blackberry Royal

    This cocktail from The Spotted Pig in New York is more complex than it looks—this is a cocktail drinker's cocktail, not a syrupy Kir Royale.

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    Blueberry Bourbon Cocktail

    We like to think of this as the Old Fashioned's slimmed-down summer look. Fresh lemon and a little seltzer lighten it up, while muddled blueberries add sweetness.

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    Watermelon Sangria

    This fresh and fun sangria starts by tossing watermelon cubes in a blender. The addition of tart white wine, a little lime, and rum makes for a perfectly cooling pitcher drink.

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    DIY Peach Liqueur

    Capture the flavor of ripe peaches in this homemade liqueur. It's super-easy to make: all you need is vodka, lemon, sugar, water, and a little time. Add a little to your Daiquiri or Sidecar, or sip it with sparkling wine and a bit of citrus juice.

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    Sour Cherry Caipirinha

    Sour Cherry Caipirinha

    As summer days get hot, this cachaça cocktail made tart with muddled sour cherries and fresh lime juice is just the right refreshment.

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    Raspberry Rum Iced Tea

    This pitcher of raspberry iced tea starts with an easy raspberry syrup and gets party-ready with the addition of both light and dark rum.

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    Fresh Watermelon Margaritas

    Seedless watermelon is great for summer drinks because there's so much liquid in the fruit itself. Just pop some ripe chunks in the blender with a little kosher salt to bring out the sweetness. We added a little elderflower liqueur instead of triple sec to complement the floral side of the melon.

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    DIY Raspberry Liqueur

    Red wine and brandy add deep flavors to this homemade raspberry liqueur. Use a little to spike your ginger ale or top it off with sparkling wine (though it's also delicious poured over ice cream.)

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    Lillet Rouge and Cherry Cocktail

    Lillet Rouge is an aperitif that's lovely with muddled cherries and a touch of citrus. If you like sangria, you should put this slightly more complex-tasting cocktail on your must-make list.

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    Strawberry Sake Cocktail

    Muddled strawberries and mint make this crimson cocktail delicious. Sake adds a delicate richness—there's not too much alcohol in this drink, so you can have two.

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