HandsDown Top 10 Refreshing Summer Drinks

When it’s hot hot hot outside, all I want is a cold cold cold drink. You too? Not surprised. Whether you’re sweating it out at a family reunion, or hosting a backyard dinner party, the drink supply is top priority. (Or let’s be honest, even if you’re mostly driving your kids around and not throwing parties, you’re still gonna need some chilled beverages to get you through summer.) And as fun as summer cocktails are, sometimes you need a drink that’s non-alcoholic but non-boring. Enter the mocktail! 

If you’re looking for refreshing summer drinks beyond La Croix or Coke, here’s a collection of Faves from the HandsDown community. I’ve gathered a variety of pre-made summer mocktails, hydrating drinks, and mocktail recipe ingredients. Plus, I snuck in a few adult-only beverages at the end. Cheers!

Note: Some of the mocktails, while alcohol-free, contain ingredients that are not safe or recommended during pregnancy or if you have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications. Always check the label!

Best Pre-Made Summer Mocktails

CURIOUS ELIXIRS

Fave of Paulina

“These drinks have layers that tell stories in the form of complex and playful flavors. It makes you want to be poetic and have a curly mustache when drinking it; damn if it isn’t delicious. It makes ‘having a drink’ a worthy experience without the alcohol.”

Lightwave: A Non-Alcoholic Relaxing Drink

Fave of Jenna

“I appreciate most of the Kin Euphorics product line but this is my current favorite. It replaces a cocktail for me. The taste has hints of ginger I think and it’s excellent on ice. The cans are small so I throw them in my bag when headed to a friend’s place, or out to a bar.”

The Recess sampler

Fave of Sorcha

“The best way to relax sans-booze.”

TEPACHE: A fermented & probiotic beverage, made from fresh pineapples!

Fave of Sonia

“Delicious alternative to kombucha with less sugar. My favorite flavor is mango.”

Refreshing Summer Fitness and Hydration Drinks

CELSIUS® Fitness Drinks

Fave of Valerie

“My new favorite way to start my morning! Non-carbonated, delicious, low calorie caffeine.”

Plink! Watermelon

Fave of Carina

“Delicious electrolyte drink mix. This refreshing cooler leads with juicy-sweet watermelon, and a light zip of cucumber, and is crisped with a salty finish.”

Best Summer Mocktail Recipe Ingredients

For you who enjoy mixing your own summer drinks, here are two mocktail recipe ingredient Faves.

Blood Orange Juice, Fresh Squeezed | Natalie’s Juice

Fave of Park

“Fresh-squeezed blood orange juice in a bottle with a stunning color and flavor!”

One Touch Sparkling Water Maker – SodaStream Carbonated Water

Fave of Michael

“I am obsessed with fizzy water. It’s refreshing and crispy. However, buying all these plastic bottles is not great for the environment (those poor fish). So enter SodaStream. All you need is a SodsStream machine, CO2 Canister and some water. BOOM! Fizzy water. And it saves you money too. Saving the planet and savings in your wallet. Sounds like a win-win to me!”

Best Summer Cocktails

Actually, just margaritas…

MARGARITA, READY-TO-DRINK CRAFT COCKTAIL | F!VE DRINKS CO

Fave of Sonia

“Margaritas are my favorite adult beverage and this is the absolute best pre-made cocktail I have ever had. With hints of jalapeño and hibiscus, I’m embarrassed to admit how often I have these.”

Best Margarita Recipe – How to Make the Perfect Margarita Cocktail

Fave of Jamie

“The only way to make/drink a margarita. Add a few jalapenos or cucumbers to take it up a notch.”

I hope you found your new favorite summer drink in this round-up. If you did, add it to your own list of Faves and share it with your friends. Cheers to staying cool, relaxed, and hydrated this summer!

HandsDown Fave Entertaining Must-Haves

Whether you’re gearing up to host your first shindig or it just feels like a lifetime since you organized your last, I think we can all agree that a refresher course is in order. Beyond the basics of plates, napkins and a solid playlist—we’ve compiled a list of recommendations from our network of real-life hosts that we hope will add ambiance, ignite inspo and help you emcee an exciting and energetic evening for your crew.

For some pre-party interior ideas to impress the incoming

Leanne Ford Interiors

Recommended by Maya, who says: Everything Leanne does is chef’s kiss— my decor inspiration spirit animal.

For room brightening, conversation starting wall candy

Wallpaper from Chasing Paper 
Recommended by Jessica, who says: This stick on wallpaper can change the entire look of a room! It’s so easy to use and cheers me up every time I see it.

For some serious (wireless) sound

Sonos One SL WiFi Speaker
Recommended by Yoni, who says: I like playing music throughout the house and this is the best way to do it. Such rich sound, no wires needed other than plugs and the sonos app is slick and compatible with Alexa.

For keeping your powder room fresh (without flame or Febreze)

P.F. Candle Co. Amber & Moss Reed Diffuser
Recommended by Sonia, who says: Best diffuser everrrrr. I fell in love with this brand because of their candles, the fragrances are earthy and not too sweet. But I’m lazy and don’t want to light candles all the time, so I replaced them all with this diffuser. People always comment how amazing our bathroom smells!

For when you need the bottle open in three seconds flat

The Rabbit Vertical Corkscrew
Listed by Cassidy, who recommends it: ‘Cause opening a bottle of wine is hard and you deserve to relax.

For keeping that bottle perfectly chilled the whole time

Vinglacé The Original Wine Chiller
Recommended by Amanda, who says: Beautiful and sleek – keeps that rosé COLD for the entire time it takes to drink the bottle. No sweat rings on the table either. It’s amazing.

For the perfect (color-coded) vino vessel

Estelle Glassware
Recommended by Sydney, who says: They’re so beautiful! Handmade in Poland. Nordstrom just picked them up as a vendor – so you can get select styles there too.

For a game night classic, without the 3 hour commitment

Monopoly Deal
Recommended by Rebecca, who says: This is my family’s most recent game-obsession. We can play five rounds in a night. Each round is quick, but we are no less competitive when playing!

And Alex, who says: All the joys of monopoly but the game takes 20-30 min!

For an obsessed-over espresso machine to keep partiers perky when the rosé runs out

Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine, Brushed Stainless Steel

Recommended by Emily, who says: Love this espresso machine. Experienced, top-quality espresso making for the novice. Can never go back to pour-overs or pods after using this.
And Lauren, who says: I bought this espresso machine when I had my second child! It’s a game changer. Fresh, hot coffee whenever you need it. I usually skip the frothed milk but that does make for a special treat. I love this because I can make a single cup of coffee!
AND Alyssa, who says: Coffee lovers, hear me out… after a couple of months, this thing pays for itself. I love the convenience of this machine and the quality of the shots (coming from an ex-barista). And it’s gorgeous just to look at 😉

For turning the coffee table into the perfect place to pontificate post-party

Flikr Mini Fire Pit
Recommended by Tiffany, who says: There’s just something about fire, right? This little guy is a favorite at our house. I’ve served toast-able apps alongside it, used it to create cozy warmth while reading in winter, and enjoyed it on the porch during summer evenings. Great gift, too.

Now that you’re prepared to unleash your inner party animal, all that’s left to do is lean back and raise a glass to yourself for putting it all together and another glass (why not?) to the good times and good company that await. Is there something truly excellent that we missed? Add your favorite party starter to your own list or comment below to share your soirée suggestions.

Our Fave Summer Recipes

We all have a meal that has a special place in our memories that we love to share with others. There’s the one that’s a guaranteed hit at parties, the new one that you simply can’t keep to yourself, the hero meal that your kids will eat with no hesitation, and the one that takes you over at first bite and makes you do the delicious food dance involuntarily. But along with the scores of recipes you already have in your dossier of delicacies, there’s always room for new ideas and novel ingredients that will spur serene summer memories to share and enjoy with loved ones.

In addition to throwing some protein on the barbie, our HandsDown community of culinary adventurers offers some of their favorite dishes to add new zest to your kitchen repertoire and leave your foodie friends raving.

For a wholesome, comforting start to your day

Congee

Recommended by Cassandra, who says: My acupuncturist recently turned me onto Congee, a wet rice porridge usually eaten for breakfast and made with endless topping combinations… I like to top mine with sliced ginger, avocado, cilantro or basil, green onions, toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of tamari and sesame oil. It’s so comforting and satiating. And in case you’re not yet sold, it also makes a great hangover cure 😉

For a Middle Eastern classic perfect for when you’ve got a small (or large) crowd to please

NYT Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Recommended by Ryan, who says: The recipe itself is great. But what I really love is that it’s a family tradition. Every time my boys are home, or there is a special occasion, they request this meal. I revel in their stuffing themselves, the great conversations, the fun. Pure joy.

For a light and easy, no cook, colorful, veggie-packed lunch (that’s also kid-pleasing)

Loaded Hummus Pita

Recommended by Kate, who says: Current favorite summer dinner. My 3 and 5 yr olds LOVED it too! Easy, no-cook, and super yummy.

For when you almost forgot to work some greens into your day

Eggless Caesar Salad Dressing

Recommended by Angela, who says: Addictive. I make this like 3 times a week.

For a more healthful approach to making a Mexican favorite

Avocado Black Bean Enchiladas {skinny}

Recommended by Amy, who says: My go-to recipe. Turns out well every time and a favorite of everyone who I’ve made it for. You can add meat inside, like ground beef, but I prefer it without any meat. I use 2 Trader Joe’s green salsas as the sauce: salsa verde and hatch valley salsa. Together they create a perfect medium spice.

For when you want to make a crowd pleaser from scratch and get all the “I made that” glory

Roberta’s Pizza Dough Recipe

Recommended by Jason, who says: We got started on a major homemade pizza making kick and this recipe is 100% the best. So easy, so delicious. Make it now, and tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that…

For when you need a top-notch sauce for the aforementioned crowd pleaser

Best Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce

Recommended by Mike, who says: Simple ingredients, simple process, and tastes AMAZING! Very versatile, I use it over pasta, as a pizza sauce, or a dipping sauce. You’ll love the way your home smells as it cooks.

For that special place inside that always has room for a decadent dessert

Recommended by Paige, who says: Trader Joe’s mochi cake mix is so freaking delicious. I have used it to make chocolate cake, mochi donuts and tayaki. The regular flavor without chocolate is just as good.

Or for when you prefer a dessert that refreshes and brings the zing

Recommended by Andrew, who says: These are so delicious. I love them more tart than sweet so I hold back a bit on the sugar and increase the lemon. They turn out perfect every time. A crowd fave.

And lastly, for something to wash it all down (and keep the party—or solo party—going)

Recommended by Jamie, who says: The only way to make/drink a margarita. Add a few jalapenos or cucumbers to take it up a notch.

Et voila! Whether it’s something spicy, savory, sweet or salty that you’re craving this season—get your oven mitts out and get ready to prepare your next great meal. With food being such a strong connecting force between us all, we’d love to hear about your favorite summer dishes. Share a recipe in your own list or comment below!