It’s impossible to think about much on a sweltering summer day when solar radiation is filling your brain like a fog and every sweat gland is working overtime. Days like these call for an herbal remedy, and we’ve got just the fix that’ll have you feeling icy cool in no time: minty cocktails. Mix up one of these mint-forward delights, feel your body cool from the inside out, and thank us later.
8 Minty Cocktails to Refresh You All Summer
The classic Julep has a long, storied history as it first emerged from the pharmacy as a medical concoction back in the 18th century. While the drink was once made with Cognac instead of bourbon and served sans its signature silver Julep cup, the mint has always been an integral part of the refreshing beverage—it’s right there in the name, after all.
The Prescription Julep started out as a joke. The drink first appeared in an 1857 issue of Harper’s Monthly as a humorous riff on the standard Julep and its remedial origin (the Harper’s writers knew that booze was more recreational than medicinal). Ironically, the mix of Cognac and rye in the Prescription variation is closer to the original Mint Julep recipe than the bourbon-based Derby cocktail we know today.
fresh mint leaves, plus more to garnish
The minty Mojito may not have saved Sir Francis Drake from dysentery as the drink’s invention myth claims, but it will rescue you from a stifling day. The Caribbean potation makes good use of the green herb, so be sure to muddle plenty of leaves to get the full effect. The formula of white rum, simple syrup, lime and mint is perfect as is, but feel free to experiment with other herbs and fruits to jazz up the classic.
This frosty absinthe drink was once a popular morning tipple in New Orleans. While we don’t suggest imbibing one for breakfast, the frappé’s early bird reputation does tout the drink’s ability to rouse you from a sun-drenched summer nap. Absinthe’s naturally cooling anise flavor pairs perfectly with the bright mint, and the duo only gets better when you add simple syrup and soda.
The most refreshing cocktails are often the simplest. The Southside was almost lost in the annals of cocktail history, nearly ousted from the minds of imbibers by Prohibition-era drinks made with stronger hooch and powerful sweeteners. But the Southside has made its return, reviving mint’s starring role along with lime, gin and simple syrup.
Cooling mint is an oxymoronic pairing for spicy peppers, but the combo is an undeniable match. This hot take on a Paloma balances raw jalapeño heat with the icy flavors of a Mojito to create a hot-cold sensation that somehow remains refreshing on the hottest of days. Take your taste buds on a spicy voyage and schvitz your way out the other side, totally rejuvenated.
Muddle some mint at the bottom of a Whiskey Sour, and you have yourself a Whiskey Smash. The Smash has everything a summer drinker needs: Rye whiskey warms the soul, lemon juice puckers the palate, simple syrup helps the medicine go down, and mint keeps the engines cool as you burn your way through another glass. The drink will hammer its way through even the toughest of heatwaves.
The swizzle was invented for humid days in the Caribbean, but this new take from New York’s Porchlight is equally as refreshing for drinkers further north. Mint gets a bit of help from a liquorice-flavored anisette, while Aperol and Batavia Arrack enhance the herbal punch and fill out the tall glass of pebble ice. It’s a bitter sipper you can nurse all afternoon long.