Cheers! To Summer Cocktails

By: Jordan Elizabeth

I always say the best part of summer is imbibing outdoors - especially with girlfriends and light, fruity cocktails! As a rule of thumb, it’s best to ditch the sugary mixes for agave nectar or simple syrup, which is a more natural, subtle sweetener. Most importantly, it’s lower in calories, so you can still keep that summer body (although isn’t that why they invented sarongs!?) Before you invite the gals over Book Club (which is really just a code word for Ladies' Night), try some of these fun, summer drinks to serve!

Kentucky Mule

This is a twist on a Moscow Mule, but a little lighter. Whiskeys always sound heavy, but added with a Ginger Beer, it becomes the perfect sippin' on the porch cocktail.


  • Ice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 4 to 6 oz. ginger beer (use diet to cut calories, it tastes just as good!)

Bartenders fill a Collins glass or Moscow Mule mug with ice and add the lime juice. Pour in the bourbon and fill with ginger beer. Stir and serve. 


Bartenders notoriously hate making Mojitos because it's a process. But all that work is worth it, because they are delicious! Work that elbow grease (Or even better, make your husband do it and promise him your famous meatloaf! Hopefully he'll have a cocktail, too, and forget you bartered it.)


  • 6 lime slices
  • A pinch of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz. white rum
  • 1.5 tsp. of lime juice
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 4 oz. club soda

Muddle the lime slices and mint leaves with the agave and lime juice. Add ice, and pour in the rum and club soda. As a garnish, take one mint leaf and slap it between your hands - this makes the mint really pungent. Now sip!

Rosé Sangria

Sangria is a fun drink because you can eat part of it. It's like a cocktail and a snack in one, what could be better? (Wait, I'll answer that: someone bringing it to you!) Using a rosé is lighter than a red, but has a little more flare than a white. 


  • 2 bottles cold rosé wine (Whispering Angel is a good choice!)
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • Simple syrup, to taste
  • Ice cubes
  • Club soda

Combine the rosé, apple, orange, raspberries in a pitcher, and add simple syrup to taste. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to 1 day, if you’re that prepared!) Serve over ice, and top with a few splashes of club soda, to keep it light!

Skinny Margarita

Everyone loves margaritas, but those frozen ones are laden with sugary calories and will leave you with a stomach ache and a terrible hangover! Here’s a healthier version (so you can have more than one AND skip the stomach ache!).


  • Kosher salt or coarsely ground sea salt
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) silver tequila
  • 1½ oz. (3 tablespoons/about 1.5 small limes) fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. (2 tablespoons/about ½ of a medium orange) fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp. light agave nectar
  • 1 lime wedge or round, for garnish

Pour a layer of salt onto a small plate. Slice off a piece of lime and wet the rim of your glass. Dip the top of the glass into the salt and twist to catch the salt. Next, pour the tequila, lime and orange juice and agave nectar over ice. Stir it up and enjoy with some guacamole!

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Jordan Elizabeth is a comedian, TV Writer/Producer, collector of hobbies, and master of putting off adulthood. She can be heard on the Podcast "3 Dudes and a Broad" and performs stand-up comedy with "Girls Gone Funny." She lives in Manhattan with her fiance and two dogs. Read more about her life at Jordie Elizabeth and follow her on Twitter at@JordiElizabeth.