Cocktails Painted With the Colors of Summer

Cherry Bourbon Tea, photo by Danielle Macdonald

Cherry Bourbon Tea, photo by Danielle Macdonald

Goodbye grey, hello color! Push aside the gloomy dark cocktails and pour a cup of color into your glass. Summertime is pushing through the clouds, and happy cocktails with beautiful shades, are blooming into bars. So why be dull and predictable? Order or make something that’s not only delicious and attractive but will expand ones’ sunny cocktail repertoire. Let's live life in full color and enjoy these refreshingly bright delights (even on the rainy days).


On those steamy summer days, whether sweating in the city or breathing country air, what could be better than a spiked ice tea? Thirst quenching, with the fullness of bourbon smoke and a subtle side of cherry sweetness, this drink will be a vibrant hit.


  1. Combine tea, bourbon, cherry syrup and ice into a shaker
  2. Shake well and strain into a tall glass
  3. Top with club soda
  4. Garnish (optional) with cherry or lemon twist


Emerald green in shade, this cocktail is simple and invigorating, - perfect to sip on a warm summer afternoon. Replace the ginger ale with club soda if less sweetness is desired.

  • 2 ounces/60 mL light rum, such as Bacardí Superior rum (gold medal winner, 2018 NY International Spirits Competition)
  • ½ ounce/15 mL apple syrup
  • squeeze of lime
  • ginger ale
  • Garnish: thin slice of apple or lime wedge
  • Crushed ice


  1. Pour the rum, apple syrup, squeeze of lime and crushed ice into a shaker and shake vigorously.
  2. Strain and poor into a tall glass then top off with ginger ale.
  3. Garnish as you please.
Gun Metal Blue, photo for Porchlight by Andrew Kist Photography

Gun Metal Blue, photo for Porchlight by Andrew Kist Photography


This drink with the vibrant blue hue is one of the signature cocktails of Porchlight Bar in New York City, and featured in New York Cocktails by Amanda Schuster.

  • 1 ½ ounces/44 mL mezcal joven, such as Bosscal (silver medal,2018 NYISC)
  • ½ ounce/15 mL Blue Curaçao
  • ¼ ounce/8 mL peach brandy
  • ¾ ounce/22 mL fresh lime juice
  • ¼ ounce/8 mL cinnamon syrup
  • orange coin
  • over proof rum


  1. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
  2. Float the orange coin skin side–down over the drink, careful not to wet the inside.
  3. Gently fill coin with a couple of drops of the rum, then light on fire.


A summer gathering would not be the same without Champagne or sparkling wine. Make the party vibrant with this decadent cocktail, which combines the multi-layered botanicals of a quality gin, the delicate flavor and color of a lavender syrup and the sophistication of the bubbly.

  • 2 ounces/60 mL of gin with floral botanicals, such as Striped Pig Distillery Striped Gin (double gold medal winner, 2018 NYISC)
  • 1/2 ounce/15 mL lemon juice
  • 1/4 to ½ ounce/8 to 15 mL lavender syrup (depending on desired sweetness)
  • Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, Crémant d'Alsace or other sparkling wine to top


  1. Pour gin, lemon juice and lavender syrup into a shaker with ice
  2. Shake, then strain into a Champagne flute
  3. Top off with sparkling wine
  4. Garnish with lemon twist