It’s going to be a long, hot summer. Usually, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat: A day at the pool, a walk on the beach, a shady spot. Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to access those options right now. 

Luckily, you can still cool down with a classic summer cocktail. If you’re looking for an excuse to bust out the barware and mix a cool cocktail, this is it. These are three of our favorite summer cocktails.

Summer Negroni:

The Negroni is a classic, and it is strong. Just one of these flavorful concoctions is enough to take the edge off, so consume with an appropriate amount of discretion. This cocktail has been enjoyed for over a century. Its origins can be traced back to Italy, but it was Orson Welles who popularized it in America saying: "The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other."

The ingredients of a Negroni couldn’t be simpler. It’s just an ounce each of Gin, Campari, and Sweet Vermouth. If you don’t have Campari and Vermouth on your bar cart we suggest you remedy that immediately as they’re staples in many classic cocktails. Simply pour your three ingredients over ice (preferably in a rocks glass), stir, and garnish with the skin of an orange.

The summer twist on the Negroni involves substituting the Campari with Aperol and blackberries. Simply pour your 1 oz of Aperol into your glass along with two blackberries. Mash it up with a spoon, and then combine the rest of your ingredients as before. This will reduce the Negroni’s characteristic red hue but will create a sweeter, fresher, more ‘summery’ flavor. Which version do you like more?

Hard Lemonade:

You may already be a fan of that lemonade that Micheal makes, but we promise you it’s just better when you make it from scratch. Not only is it terribly easy, but it also allows you to control just how much booze is in your drink. Finding the perfect balance of spirits and sweetness is a great way to pass a hot summer afternoon.

Making lemonade is as simple as combining 1 cup each of water, sugar, and lemon juice and stirring it all up. That said, you can make sure that the sugar dissolves by first creating ‘simple syrup’. Just put 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar into a saucepan and heat it up at medium heat. Stir it until the sugar entirely disappears and mix it with your lemon juice after it’s cooled. If the lemonade is too sweet, simply add more water until it tastes right to you.

Serve this stuff in a mason jar with ice. We recommend you use vodka, but you can feel free to experiment with whatever hard stuff you have lying around. Start with about an ounce and increase as desired. You can also forgo the booze entirely for a refreshing and wholesome alternative. 

Dark and Stormy:

Despite its tempestuous nomenclature, the Dark and Stormy is suited for tranquil beaches, sunny days, and easy times. This drink originally comes from the Caribbean, which means you’re going to need some rum. As the name suggests, that rum should be dark. That said, it should not be spiced rum. It’s got enough flavor already.

The other half of a dark and stormy is a good ginger beer. Ginger beer grew to prominence during prohibition as a temperance beverage. Back then, you couldn’t legally drink a beer, but a ginger beer wasn’t bad in a pinch. It was only by adding forbidden rum to the mix that the true magic occurred.

These days, you can legally make a Dark and Stormy by pouring two ounces of rum and three ounces of ginger beer into a highball glass. Some mixologists will also add a squeeze of lemon juice, but that is entirely optional. Garnish with a wedge of lime and enjoy!