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Entertaining
The 7 Best Cocktails to Serve at a Cookout

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If your summer calendar looks anything like ours, it’s filled with invites to backyard parties and outdoor cookouts to celebrate long days and warm weather. If you plan to throw your own shindig this year, it’s important to plan the menu and stock your bar beforehand so you can actually socialize with guests on the big day. Whether you’re a seasoned cookout vet or a first-time host looking to impress your friends with that new steak rub, throw the best summer barbecue party of the season by serving up one of these delicious cookout cocktails. Make them in batches so friends can help themselves while you achieve that perfect sear.

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The sipper of the season is frosé, aka, frozen rosé. This frosty drink combines the pink wine with dry vermouth and a homemade berry syrup for a sweet-tart cocktail that’s as fruity and refreshing as it is easy to make. It also guarantees that your guests will be Instagramming your cookout with the rosy beverage in hand. #froséallday

The Essentials

Rosé
Dry Vermouth
Berry Syrup
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The equal parts, three-ingredient Negroni is an excellent fallback for when you want to mix up a classic cocktail but don’t have the time or patience to carefully measure. Transform it into a light, effervescent tipple by forgoing the gin and replacing it with sparkling wine. The result is less boozy than the original—perfect for day drinking—and more fit for the special occasion, thanks to the bubbly.

The Essentials

Campari
sweet vermouth
sparkling wine
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Popsicle cocktails are going to be all the rage this summer, so stay ahead of the trend by serving this sweet and herbal pop-tail. White rum, pineapple juice and lime juice get mixed with melon-flavored Midori, which gives this drink a neon green hue. The sweetness of the blend mellows out with the addition of an herbaceous popsicle—made from cucumber and fresh mint—for a whimsical, yet balanced, final product.

The Essentials

white rum
pineapple juice
lime juice
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If you’re going to be too preoccupied searing steaks, flipping burgers or charring shrimp skewers the day of your cookout, prep your cocktails the night before. This Mango Margarita—tequila, mango juice, lime juice and agave syrup—is made in a plastic sandwich baggie and frozen to a slushy consistency, which yields a tropical frozen cocktail that doesn’t dirty the blender.

The Essentials

Tequila
Mango Juice
lime juice
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Frozen Daiquiris are a summer staple, so you’ll win barbecue season by serving a real frozen Daiquiri, made with fresh strawberries and bananas instead of a syrupy pre-bottled mix. Spiced rum gives the drink caramelly depth while rhum agricole brings out some funkiness. Garnish the smoothie-like drink with slices of fresh fruit and a festive mini umbrella for a vacation in a glass.

The Essentials

spiced rum
lime juice
Frozen Strawberries
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Summer doesn’t mean your whiskey has to hibernate in the back of the liquor cabinet until winter. Whiskey makes an appearance in lots of cooling summer cocktails, from the Whiskey Smash to a Bourbon Rickey. Our favorite is the Prescription Julep, a Mint Julep variation that combines spicy rye whiskey, sweet Cognac, rich simple syrup and aromatic mint. It’s one of the tastiest Mint Juleps you’ll ever have, and one that’ll make you want to drink whiskey all summer long.

The Essentials

cognac
fresh mint leaves, plus more to garnish
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Don’t choose between liquor or beer at your cookout when you can serve both in the same glass. This smoky, sweet and sour take on a Mexican Bulldog features a Mezcal Blackberry Margarita base. And though it may seem like an unlikely combo, porter is a nod to the classic Mexican pairing of dark chocolate and mezcal. For your backyard barbecue, flip it and serve it directly into a Solo cup for easy drinking.

The Essentials

mezcal
blackberries
porter

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