Our Staff’s Picks for the Best Summer Drinks

Perfect drinks for the summer
Photo by Sang An

The days are long, the sun is shining and we’re ready to enjoy our drinks outside. Here’s what the Wine Enthusiast crew sips to celebrate the season.

“CL Smooth, a.k.a. C-Minus, a.k.a. Coors Light, hopefully covered in dust while camping or sand while on the beach. Make sure the mountains on the can are blue!” —Matt Kettmann, contributing editor

Sauvignon Blanc is the adult version of lemonade, puckering up my mouth with bright acidity while backing that zap with a touch of fruity richness. Honestly, I almost can’t drink it in the winter, because to me, it tastes tart for the season. But I crave it in the warmth of summer and can drink a glass every evening before dinner.” —Jim Gordon, contributing editor

“Pink pét-nat all day, every day! Also, pitchers of Margaritas with tacos on the deck of a Mexican eatery and the occasional ice-cold Martini with a twist.” —Christina Pickard, contributing editor

Easy Big Batch Cocktails Perfect for Entertaining

“I think of lobster rolls, clam bellies, watermelon, tomatoes. What I want to drink with those delights ranges from rosés to crisp whites. Vermentino became a summer go-to after I had it in Sardinia. Sipping this salty, citric-perfumed white reminds me of swirls of pasta topped with red mullet bottarga, watching the island’s water lap at the sand.” —Lauren Mowery, contributing editor, travel

“Summer is all about rosé for me. I drink gallons of the pink stuff during Seattle’s oh-so-brief sunny season.” —Sean P. Sullivan, contributing editor

“An array of Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers fills my fridge all summer long. Their pristine Pilsner is great for the beach, the Blood Orange Wheat radler refreshes during a game of volleyball and a Smoke & Dagger Black Lager complements barbecue.” —Lauren Buzzeo, managing editor

“Two of my favorite summer drinks, especially when I was bartending at a rooftop bar, were a Spicy Peach Margarita (with silver Tequila, fresh lime juice, Scotch bonnet peppers and white peach purée) and gin muddled with blueberries and basil, topped with a splash of St-Germain elderflower liqueur and club soda.” —Craig Chamberlain, tasting coordinator

“Chilled reds make me feel like summer: sylph-like Pinots, but also Zweigelt and Loire Cabs. If I need a thirst-quencher in a heat wave it’s a G’pritzter, which is Gelber Muskateller with sparkling water.” —Anne Krebiehl, MW, contributing editor

“I campaign for bubbles all year but, if it’s possible, prefer them even more during summer. Pét-nat (obviously), col fondo and good ol’ Prosecco are on repeat. Pink wines and lighter, more acidic, chilled reds also make me happy. But, if I happen to be in Maine, I can’t not drink Maine Mead Works’ Ram Island Lavender Lemonade. It’s an accidental tradition.” —Sarah E. Daniels, associate editor

Gin Botanicals, Decoded

A Round of Gin & Tonics

When asked what summer tastes like, several editors responded the same way. Here’s what our G&T fan club had to say.

“Gin and tonic, with lots of ice and fresh lime, preferably Distillery 209 Gin and Fever-Tree tonic, though Q is also good, especially in the little to-go cans. Aperol Spritz will also do the trick.” —Virginie Boone, contributing editor

“Gin, gin, gin and specifically G&Ts: tennis whites during the day, summer porch sipping as the sun goes down, tall glasses of ice and lime wedges.” —Kara Newman, spirits editor

“Gin and tonic. Enough said.” —Alexander Peartree, tasting director

“Gin and tonic: Plymouth gin, Fever-Tree tonic, yum.” —Susan Kostrzewa, executive editor

“I’m so devoted to gin and tonics that, as of press time, I’m working with an artist to design a juniper-branch tattoo. Currently, I’m into Koval Gin for its clean, woodsy quality that cools me right off.” —Layla Schlack, senior editor

Published on June 10, 2019
Topics: Summer


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