5 easy summer drinks (with non-alcoholic variations)

With summer in full swing, it’s hard not to think of fun cocktails, drinks around a bonfire, barbecues with friends, and lazy summer afternoons. But let’s face it: these kinds of days can be expensive and time-consuming to prep for. So I’ve decided to lend you a hand and make your lazy summer days even lazier, more fun than ever, and cheaper too!

Here’s a list of five super simple and quick drink recipes that all contain six or fewer ingredients and take under 20 minutes to prep for. Oh, did I mention you can grab everything you need for them at your local Wal-Mart?

But before I tell you what these amazing summer drinks are, I must disclose… I lied a little. There’s really 10 drink recipes since I’ve adapted every alcoholic recipe to be kid-friendly, too. So pick your favorites and head over to your closest store to stock up, your summer will thank you.

Strawberry Whiskey

Adapted from Life As A Strawberry

Strawberry Whiskey Lemonade - 5 Easy Summer Drinks (with Non-Alcoholic Variations)
image credit: Life As A Strawberry

Is there anything more summery than some fresh strawberries? The strawberry flavor is subtle and perfect for those who like their drinks on the not-too-sweet side.

Makes: approximately 2 cups

Total time: 20 minutes

Strawberry syrup

  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of water


  • ⅓ cup of strawberry syrup
  • 1 ⅓ cup of lemonade

Adult version

(Instead of the above)

  • ⅓ cup of strawberry syrup
  • ⅔ cup of whiskey
  • ⅔ cup of lemon juice

How to make it

For syrup: Combine strawberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a light simmer. Stir the syrup mixture occasionally until strawberries have softened and all of the sugar is dissolved (approximately 15 minutes). Once the sugar is dissolved, strain syrup into a container and save the strawberries for garnish (optional).

For drinks: Combine all ingredients for your chosen drink variation in a pitcher and serve immediately over ice. Use leftover strawberries as garnish (optional).

Not in the mood for strawberries? No problem, you can substitute the strawberries for blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries. If you’re looking for an even fresher twist on this summery drink, add a little bit of muddled mint or basil.

Easy Bourbon Slush

Adapted from Amanda’s Cookin’

Want an easy set it and forget it drink for party prepping or lazy summer days? This drink could not be more perfect for you! It takes only 15 minutes to make a batch large enough for a cookout. But a word of warning: you might want to make an extra just for yourself. I won’t tell.

Makes: approximately 6 ½ cups

Total time: 15 minutes (prep) 8 hours (freezing time)


  • ½ cup of tea
  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • 3 cups lemonade
  • ½ cup of sugar

Adult version

(Add to the above)

  • 1 cup of bourbon

How to make it

This drink could not be easier to make! Simply brew some tea and dissolve the sugar in while it’s hot, combine all the ingredients for your chosen drink variation, throw the mix in a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container, and store in your freezer until you’re ready for a refreshing and delicious slushie.

Watermelon Slush

Adapted from Damn Delicious

Watermelon Slush - 5 Easy Summer Drinks (with Non-Alcoholic Variations)
image credit: Damn Delicious

This super simple drink recipe is refreshing and involves less than 5 minutes prep time so you can get on with your lazy summer afternoons faster than ever before.

Makes: approximately 4 – 5 cups

Total time: 5 minutes


  • 5 cups of seedless watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Ice
  • Juice of one lime (optional)

Adult version

(Add to the above)

  • 1 cup of vodka

How to make it

Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, and enjoy immediately.

Bonus: want a frozen watermelon slush? Pour the mix into a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container and pop it in the freezer for a bit.

Gingery Peach Cooler

Adapted from Real Simple

The crisp, dry flavor of ginger ale is complimented by the sweet, tangy flavor of fresh peaches, giving this drink a refreshing and sweet twist. Plus it’s super quick, easy to make, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering!

Makes: approximately 4 – 5 cups

Time: 15 minutes


  • 3 cups ginger ale
  • ½ cup peach nectar
  • 2 thinly sliced peaches
  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger

Adult version

(Add to the above)

  • One cup of whiskey

How to make it

No blending required, just combine all ingredients in a pitcher, serve over ice, and you’re ready to go enjoy your summer.

Like Moscow Mules? Swap of the whiskey for some vodka to give this drink an extra kick.

Vanilla Cherry Bourbon

Adapted from Sweetpeas and Saffron

Vanilla Cherry Bourbon - 5 Easy Summer Drinks (with Non-Alcoholic Variations)
image credit: Sweetpeas and Saffron

If you’re not a huge fan of bourbon on the rocks, this drink may make bourbon more approachable for you. The sweet, fruity flavor of the cherries combined with the mellow flavor of vanilla tames the taste of the bourbon for a smoother and sweeter drink that’s perfect for lounging in the yard on a hot day.

Makes: one drink

Time: 5 minutes


  • ½ cup of pitted cherries
  • ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons of fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of club soda

Adult version

(Add to the above)

  • One shot of bourbon

How to make it

In a glass, combine all ingredients of your chosen drink variation, and muddle cherries until the cherry juices are released. If you don’t have a muddler you can grab a wooden spoon, and that should do the trick just fine. Add ice and serve immediately.


Wait! One more thing!

Before you hit your local Wal-Mart to grab supplies, don’t forget to share this article with your friends so they can vote on which drinks to serve at your next gathering and download Shopkick so you can earn free gift cards while you shop.