Bright, sweet, refreshing, and fun; nothing tastes like sunny summer like an ice-cold glass of lemonade. Ever wonder what makes us start reaching for this easy, breezy summertime drink as temps start rising? Turns out, it’s not just the trademark delicious sweet and sour taste of lemonade that gets our mouths watering — the citric acid literally makes our mouths water, helping to keep us cool and feeling light.

So, how do you improve on this perfect summer drink? By adding in a little “oomph” from a trusted trifecta of premium summertime spirits — Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray Gin, or Don Julio Tequila. Light, crisp, and complementary; mixing in these premium spirits will make your homemade lemonade cocktails shine as bright as the summer sun.

Without further ado, here are six homemade lemonade cocktails to try this summer — so darn delicious you may consider opening your own private in-home lemonade stand.

Bubbly Gin and Elderflower Lemonade

This tasty take on the classic French 75 cocktail feels just as classy but comes off more relaxed. The strong juniper and citrus notes in the Tanqueray London Dry Gin pair well with the cocktail’s fresh lemon juice and sparkling wine components. Looking for the perfect cocktail to float around your next poolside summer social? This is it.

Ingredients
● 2 ounces Tanqueray London Dry Gin
● 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
● 1 ounce simple syrup
● ½ ounce elderflower liqueur
● Prosecco topper
● Thinly sliced lemon wheel, for garnish

Directions
1. Place gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and elderflower liqueur into a shaker tin.
2. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
3. Strain into a Champagne flute.
4. Toss in the lemon wheel and top with Prosecco.

Bee’s Knees

Why mess with perfection? At its heart, the famous Bee’s Knees cocktail is a take on classic lemonade — just sub out the sugar for honey syrup. In this version of the Bee’s Knees, the additional fresh whole fruit citrus botanicals — lime, white grapefruit, orange — of Tanqueray No. Ten Gin help the drink’s bright citrus notes really sing.

Ingredients
● 2 ounces Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
● ¾ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
● ½ ounce honey syrup
● Lemon peel, for garnish

Directions
1. Place all ingredients into a shaker tin.
2. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
3. Strain into a coupe glass.
4. Garnish the edge of the glass with a lemon twist.

Sparkling Guava Tequila Lima

Technically, this drink is a limeade, but it’s so dang tasty it’s worth the exception. Plus, while we love lemonade — secret’s out — limeade is just as refreshing on a hot summer day, especially when paired with tequila. Don Julio Blanco Tequila’s crisp agave notes and light body make it a no-brainer for this tart, tropical summertime beer cocktail.

Ingredients
● 1 ½ ounces Don Julio Blanco tequila
● ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
● ¼ ounce guava juice
● Cerveza topper
● Salt or chili lime salt, for rim
● Lime wedge, for garnish

Directions
1. Rim a highball glass with salt or chili lime salt.
2. Fill the glass with ice, and add 2 ounces of light beer (preferably a cerveza).
3. Place Don Julio Blanco, lime juice, and guava juice into a shaker tin.
4. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
5. Strain into highball glass.
6. Top with a splash of beer, and garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

Jalapeño Agave Lemonade

Try this sweet & spicy jalapeño lemonade cocktail.
Try this sweet & spicy jalapeño lemonade cocktail.

This simple lemonade cocktail comes in sweet and hot, just like the perfect summer day. Adding a serve of Don Julio Reposado Tequila will help mellow out the heat and bring a subtle yet deeper sweetness to the drink. This lemonade cocktail is best experienced by sipping slowly, preferably by the pool.

Ingredients
● 1 ½ ounces Don Julio Resposada Tequila
● 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
● ½ ounce agave syrup
● Fresh jalapeño slices
● Candied lemon wheel, for garnish

Directions
1. Place all ingredients except the candied lemon wheel into a shaker tin.
2. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 15 seconds.
3. Strain into rocks glass filled with ice.
4. Garnish with candied lemon wheel.

How to Make Quick Candied Lemon Wheels
Ingredients
1. 1 cup water
2. 1 cup sugar
3. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions
1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan, stir, and bring to a light boil.
2. Toss in cut lemon slices and arrange in a single layer.
3. Continue to flip lemon slices periodically until they become translucent (about 15 minutes).
4. Remove lemon slices from the pan and place on a nonstick surface to dry.

Double Cherry Pink Lemonade Cooler

This cherry lemonade cooler is a fun throwback that lends the cheerfulness of a bright lemonade a playful cherry kick. Part Shirley Temple, part Moscow Mule, this lemonade cocktail is sweetened with Maraschino cherry juice, Grenadine, and ginger beer. Fresh cherry-infused Ketel One Vodka keeps the cocktail feeling light, balanced, and fruity.

Ingredients
● 1 ½ ounces homemade cherry-infused Ketel One Vodka
● 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
● ½ ounce Maraschino cherry syrup
● 2 ounces ginger beer
● Splash of Grenadine
● Lemon wedges, for garnish
● Maraschino cherries, for garnish

Directions
1. Place vodka, lemon juice, and cherry syrup into a shaker tin.
2. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
3. Pour ginger beer into a highball filled with crushed ice.
4. Strain shaker contents into highball glass.
5. Garnish with a lemon wedge and three Maraschino cherries.

How to Make Cherry-Infused Ketel One

(make up to one week beforehand)

Ingredients
● Fresh cherries, preferably bing
● 1 cup Ketel One Vodka

Directions
1. Clean cherries, slice in half, and remove pits and stems.
2. Pour one cup Ketel One vodka into a lidded glass jar
3. Slightly crush cherries before adding them to the jar of vodka.
4. Seal the jar, give it a shake, and place it inside the refrigerator for at least 48 hours before serving.

Southern Summer Sweet Tea & Lemonade

Create a twist to traditional sweet tea lemonade with this Ketel One Botanicals vodka cocktail.
Create a twist to traditional sweet tea lemonade with this Ketel One Botanicals vodka cocktail.

Lemonade may reign supreme as summer’s go-to drink, but a sweaty glass of sweet tea isn’t far behind. But why choose when you can have both? Regular Ketel One Vodka works just fine, but for that extra hint of Southern flare, try using Ketel One Botanicals Peach & Orange Blossom Vodka. Even if you don’t have a creaky rocker on a wraparound porch to sip this cocktail on, if you close your eyes, it just might feel like you do.

Ingredients
● 1 ½ ounces Ketel One Botanicals Peach & Orange Blossom Vodka
● 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
● 2 ounces iced black tea
● 1 ounce simple syrup
● ½ ounce spring water
● Mint sprig

Directions
1. Place ingredients into a shaker tin.
2. Add ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds.
3. Strain over a highball filled with ice.
4. Garnish with a mint sprig.

For an Easy Simple Syrup or Honey Syrup:
1. Dissolve 1 ounce of sugar or honey in 1 ounce of hot water and mix.
2. Allow to cool.

This article is sponsored by Diageo.