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Ramona King

frozen strawberry margaritas


8 patio perfect cocktails that will keep you cool all Summer long

The summer brings warmer weather for us to enjoy out on the patio, but it doesn’t necessarily place a cold drink right in our hand when it’s time to cool off. That’s why we’ve rounded up recipes of refreshing cocktails from our database and elsewhere to quench your thirst and tease your taste buds as you soak in the summer sun.

Frozen Strawberry Margaritas
Tequila, strawberries and a breezy patio? What more could you want? This made for Summer cocktail is the perfect drink to break out with the temperatures get unbearable. While this recipe does call for fresh strawberries—they are currently in season—feel free to use frozen ones if they're easier to find. 
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Oaks Lily Cocktail

The unsung cocktail hero of Churchill Downs, the Oaks Lily is perfect for those who may not be in the mood for a mint julep. The cocktail is a slightly sweeter riff on a cosmopolitan; however, the sweetness is tempered by the tartness of the cranberry juice. Simple syrup is incredibly easy to make at home. Just combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Cool and store until ready to use.
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Grapefruit Margarita 
Brought to you by Southern Kitchen’s own Chef Jeffrey Gardner, this refreshing drink calls for pink grapefruit, grapefruit juice, chili powder, salt, sour mix, sugar and tequila. Just use a fork to mix the chili powder, salt and sugar on a plate, then coat the rim of the glass with your mixture and slide a slice of grapefruit around the rim. Combine grapefruit juice and wedges, ice, sour mix and tequila in a cocktail shaker, shake 'til your heart’s content and pour your handcrafted drink into an ice-filled glass.
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White Peach Sangria
White sangria is perfect for drinking outdoors during the warmer months. Seasonal summer fruit, such as peaches and raspberries, add floral notes while gently boosting the sweetness of the drink. Bonus tip: For a lighter, adults-only dessert, serve the wine-soaked fruit with some Spanish cheese and a drizzle of honey.
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Sweet Tea Mint Julep
Enjoy this delightful marriage of two of the South’s signature drinks: sweet tea and the mint julep. While traditional mint juleps can be too intense for some palates, adding sweet tea to the equation ensures a smoother experience, all while preserving the signature aromatics of bourbon and mint. This drink is a natural fit for any rip-roaring Kentucky Derby party or 1920s speakeasy-themed soiree. Just follow the recipe and whip up a batch for your next front porch hangout.
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Grown-Up Jack and Coke
This flavorful highball cocktail is a grown-up version of the classic Southern drink, Jack and Coke. Molasses and angostura bitters hint at Coca-Cola, while your favorite bourbon (or Jack Daniels, if you’d like) provides the oomph. Top it all off with club soda and a splash of lime.
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Texas Margarita
Picture this: A hot Summer evening, friends laughing and a ice cold margarita in your hands. Doesn't that sound like heaven? This recipe, courtesy of Hemingway’s Tropical Bar and Grill in Atlanta is the perfect mix of sweet, salty, tart and of course boozy. Made by combining freshly squeezed citrus juices with tequila, Cointreau and of course a sweetener (we love agave), this is the margarita recipe to reach for when you want to impress your guest, or yourself!
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The Pear-fect Chamomile Cooler

Here pear liqueur, vodka and chamomile simple syrup work to create a cocktail that makes you want to sit out in the spring sunshine and enjoy a glass (or two) on your porch. It’s dainty enough to enjoy alongside teacakes but also assertive enough to sip on its own.  You will need to make the syrup at least 1 hour in advance. You will have leftover syrup; store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
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Photo Credit 
Photo (Oaks Lily Cocktail, White Peach Sangria, Sweet Tea Mint Julep, Grown-Up Jack and Coke, Texas Margarita): Ramona King
Photo (The Pear-fect Chamomile Cooler): Ryan Hughley

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Ryan Shepard is the editor-in-chief at Southern Kitchen. Though originally from Los Angeles, she has lived in Atlanta since early 2017 and cannot imagine calling any other city home (except maybe New Orleans). Before joining Southern Kitchen's staff, Ryan worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on public policy issues. When she's not at work, she enjoys hunting down the best Mexican food in the city and drinking whiskey, obviously. 

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Daryl Mitchell is a member of Southern Kitchen's digital content team. A student at New York University, she majors in broadcast journalism and international relations, and minors in French studies. She is a Georgia resident, raised on Southern food, family, traditions and values, and she is always ready for a hearty helping of Mom's beloved homemade mac and cheese.