8 Refreshing Summer Drinks Recipes

Suns out, (reusable) straws out! What better way to spend the bank holiday weekend than lounging in the sun with an ice cold beverage – here are 8 delicious and simple summers drinks recipes for all the family to enjoy.

With the summer holidays looming, we’re busy planning our family BBQs, garden parties, and weekends in the sunshine.  And of course with a busy summer calendar ahead, it’s important to stay well hydrated with a refreshing ice cold drink in hand – especially in the heat. That’s why we’ve pulled together some of our favourite summer drinks recipes – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – to try this summer.

Top tip – Keep it as sustainable as possible using ethical spirits and mixers, organic and Fairtrade ingredients, and remember to compost any food waste.

Cocktails – with alcohol

Sangria Lemonade 

A super simple twist on the Spanish classic – using only six ingredients, you can re-create this fruity sensation.


4 cups of lemonade (we love Karma Cola’s Lemony Lemonade for this one) 
750ml organic white wine 
1 cup of rum (try Fair drinks rum)
2 tablespoons Fairtrade fine sugar
1 orange (sliced)
1 organic apple  (chunks)


Pour the liquid in to a large pitcher.
Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
Add all of the fruit, cover tightly and refrigerate.
Leave for at least one hour to let the flavour develop.

Cola Cooler

If it ain’t broke… add a dash of lime to the timeless rum and cola for a splash of summer. 


1oz spiced rum
2oz cola (we love Karma Cola)


Slice 1/2 lime
Add all ingredients to a glass of ice
Stir and serve

Mocktails – without alcohol

Strawberry Virgin Mojito

No alcohol, no problem. Crushing the strawberries and mint releases a flavour sensation.


Sparkling water (try One Butterfly glass sparkling water)
5 organic strawberries, sliced
4-5 mint leaves
1 lime, sliced


Put 4 sliced strawberries and mint leaves in a glass and crush them
Add ice to the glass
Pour sparking water over ice
Add the remaining lime and strawberry slices
Garnish with fresh mint and strawberries

Elderflower Iced Tea

The fragrant floral flavour is perfect for making champagne and cordial, but it’s a stand out success in this Iced Tea recipe.


1 tbs dry elderflower
1/2 cup of boiling water
1 cup of cold water
1 lemon, juiced
Fine Fairtrade sugar


Pour boiling water over dry elderflower, cover and let it soak for about 10 minutes
Strain the liquid 
Add the cold water, lemon juice and sugar
Stir well
Pour over ice into a tall serving glass and garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint leaves
Pour sparking water over ice
Add lime the remaining lime and strawberry slices
Garnish with fresh mint and strawberries

Cucumber Mint Lemonade

A summer twist on the classic lemonade, this drink gives new meaning to the phrase ‘cool as a cucumber’.


1 organic cucumber
1 cup of lemon juice
3/4 cup of Fairtrade sugar
1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves
6 cups of water
1 lemon


Chop half of the cucumber
Add lemon juice, sugar and half of the mint leaves to a large pot with the chopped cucumber. 
Place over a medium heat and stir occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Pour the liquid through a fine strainer to remove the cucumber and mint pieces
Add the liquid to a large serving pitcher
Slice the remaining lemon and cucumber and add to the pitcher
Cover with water and add the remaining mint leaves.
Serve over ice

Spiced Apple Mocktail

This sophisticated mocktail is the perfect combination of sugar and spice.


1/2 glass organic apple juice
1/2 glass of ginger ale (we love Karma Cola’s Gingerella)
1 apple, sliced
Serve with ice


Slice apple
Add liquids to a glass of ice
Garnish with apple slices

Vanilla Cola Slushie


3 cups of cola (try Karma Cola)
Vanilla extract (to taste)
8 large ice cubes


Pour 1 1/2 cups of cola into a shallow freezer dish and freeze until completely frozen
Place remaining cola in the fridge to chill
Add frozen and chilled cola to a blender with the vanilla and ice cubes.
Pulse until ice cubes are all broken

Watermelon Cooler 


10 cups of frozen watermelon
2-4 tbsp maple syrup
Juice of 1 large lime
1/4 cup of fresh homegrown mint
1 1/2 cups of water


Add all ingredients to a blender
Blend until smooth

For more drinks inspiration, see our ethical drinks guide.

Pair your homemade beverages with Alexandra’s plant-based BBQ recipes: Charred Asparagus With A Broad Bean And Radish Salsa and Charred Herby Gem Lettuce With Lemon And Macadamia