Patio drinking season is upon us. After an especially grueling winter, everyone is ready to spend more time outside. Nothing pairs better with a warm afternoon than a cool adult beverage, so we compiled a list of the best drinks to for summer 2014. Instead of drinking played out daiquiris and mint juleps, venture outside your comfort zone with these new twists on popular drinks.

Citrus drinks are especially popular in the summer because of their refreshing flavors. Margaritas are always a classic, but we recommend trying a new flavor this summer. One unique flavor to try is a cucumber-cilantro margarita. Not only do these margaritas taste amazing; they’re extremely simple to make. Simply blend:

8-10 Slices of Cucumber


2 shots of tequila,

1 shot of triple sec

1 shot of lime juice

Strain the mixture, and then serve over ice. This recipe yields two tasty margaritas.

For the beer lovers out there, you can make your drink more refreshing by trying out a “Michelada”. This is a traditional cocktail in Mexico that uses beer as a base and is often referred to as a “beertail”. This is a fairly simple drink to prepare as well. You’ll need:

¼ cup of lime juice

A bottle of your favorite Mexican beer

2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons of hot sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Freshly ground pepper

Simply mix all of the ingredients (except for the pepper) to prepare and serve over ice. Sprinkle the pepper on top and enjoy!

If you prefer drinks on the stronger side, consider sipping on a “Blood and Sand” cocktail. Don’t let the name scare you off; this delicious cocktail is a great way to integrate scotch whiskey into your summer cocktails.  For this drink you’ll need:

Top 5 Summer Drinks

¾ ounce of scotch whiskey of your choice

¾ cherry brandy

¾ ounce sweet vermouth

¾ fresh squeezed orange juice

An orange slice for garnish

To prepare this drink, simply mix all ingredients together in a shaker with ice. This recipe yields one cocktail.

Sangria is a refreshing and delicious summer drink. This is perfect if you are hosting guests, since most recipes yield a big batch. To put a fun twist on your traditional sangria recipes, try out watermelon sangria. This drink is lighter than the traditional red wine sangrias and will wow guests. This watermelon sangria recipe contains 16 servings. For this recipe you will need:

12 cups cubed watermelon, divided

1 bottle of a white wine of your choice

1 cup of vodka of your choice

½ cup triple sec

½ cup simple syrup (sugar melted into water)

1 medium lime cut into quarters

1 orange, wedged

1 cup of blueberries

To begin, blend 9 cups of watermelon until smooth and then strain into pitcher. Add all alcohol and simple syrup to the pitcher and stir. Finally add in the last 3 cups of watermelon, lime, orange and blueberries and stir. Chill the sangria for 4 hours and serve!

Last but not least is the Kahlua iced coffee. This drink is simple and to the point. We don’t recommend replacing your usual morning coffee with this recipe, but it is a tasty afternoon refresher for coffee lovers. For this drink, you’ll need:

2 parts Kahlua liqueur

2 parts iced coffee

1 part milk or creamer

To prepare, pour the Kahlua over ice, and then add in the iced coffee and milk.

This summer, go outside of your comfort zone and try one of these twists on classic summer drinks. Not only do they taste delicious, but they will wow summertime guests.

Written by the staff at Willie’s Pub and Pool. Willie’s has great drink specials and is one of the most atmospheric sports bars Columbia Mo has to offer.