3 Hydrating Cocktails to Sip on When You Can’t Escape the Sun

Plus, some general tips to follow when you feel like enjoying a spritz on a summer day, according to the pros.

<p>Oleksandra Iablochnikova / Getty Images</p>

Oleksandra Iablochnikova / Getty Images

Staying hydrated is already challenging enough—but when you’re out at summer happy hour or having a pool day in mid-July, it’s all the more important. While it’s obvious that you should always have a glass of water nearby while enjoying a cocktail (or two), there are a few other creative ways to avoid dehydration when drinking.

When temperatures are high and not sweating is impossible, you need to replenish the water you’re losing more frequently to regulate your body temperature and avoid symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, and dry mouth. Adding hydrating ingredients and avoiding certain types of alcohol when mixing up your beverage can help make a difference—but it’s still essential to drink responsibly. You also have the option of turning your beverage into a mocktail by using an alcohol-free alternative.

Related: The 13 Best Drinking Glasses of 2023

The key thing to remember when deciding what to drink on a hot summer day is to choose cocktails that have extra dilution built into the recipe with juice, seltzer, or a tonic water, says Tiffany Nahm, bartender at Death & Co. East Village.

“My favorite types that fit the bill are spritzes and Collins variations,” she says. “You’ll want to steer clear of stirred cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan, which don’t receive nearly as much dilution from booze-free ingredients.”

Spritzes make extra refreshing options—they usually contain alcohol with a lower ABV percentage, fruit, and sparkling water. The Intravenous, a drink Nahm created and serves at Death & Co., is topped with tonic to dilute it and add an element of hydration.

Jake Ireland, founder of Off Hours Bourbon, created his Zesty Bourbon Lemonade with this in mind along with fresh ingredients, like lemon and mint, over juices and lemonades you buy at the store.

Related: 10 Fresh and Fruity Lemonade Recipes to Beat the Heat

“Picking a cocktail that contains water like soda water or club soda will help keep you more hydrated while enjoying a cocktail in the warmer months,” he says. “Using fresh lemon juice adds some beneficial Vitamin C. Along with the mint, this makes the Zesty Bourbon Lemonade super refreshing. Picking fresh citrus over bottled eliminates extra sugar and provides better flavor with some nutritional benefits.”

3 Hydrating Cocktail Options for Summer

<p>Adrian Martin</p>

Adrian Martin

Zesty Bourbon Lemonade, created by Jake Ireland


  • 2 oz Off Hours bourbon

  • 1 oz lemon juice

  • 3/4 oz simple syrup

  • Fresh mint leaves

  • Soda water

  • Ice

  • Lemon slice (for garnish)

Muddle mint leaves in a cocktail shaker, and add Off Hours bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice, and shake well. Strain it into a glass with ice, top with soda water, and garnish with a lemon slice.

<p>Shannon Sturgis</p>

Shannon Sturgis

The Intravenous, created by Tiffany Nahm


  • 1 oz Lemorton Calvados

  • 1 oz Cap Corse Quina Blanc

  • 0.5 oz Amaro Ciociaro

  • 0.25 oz Giffard Lichi-Li Lychee liqueur

Measure and add all the ingredients to a Collins glass, and top with tonic water. Garnish with pickled olive on a spear.

<p>Shannon Sturgis</p>

Shannon Sturgis

Bergamotto Blackberry Spritz, created by Jason Hedges

“The floral Italicus shines in this spritz, especially with the counterpoint of tangy blackberries and bright citrus,” says Hedges, author of The Seasonal Cocktail.
It’s a low-ABV cocktail that begs to be refilled on a long, lazy summer afternoon.”


  • 1½ oz Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto

  • ¾ oz lemon juice

  • 4 ripe blackberries

  • La Marca Prosecco

  • 1 thyme sprig

Muddle the blackberries and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker, then add the Italicus. Shake with ice, and fine strain into an ice-filled white wine glass. Top with the Prosecco and garnish with a blackberry, lemon peel, and thyme sprig.

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