cocktails with cotton candy

Entertaining with friends and family is something fun and chillaxing that we look forward to doing on the weekends after a long work week. Whether your setting is a rooftop patio in your city abode with your partner, chilling poolside with the family in your swoon-worthy backyard, or cozying up with your bests around a roaring fire pit, there are a few necessities every gathering requires for success. An intimate group of friends is a must, but, arguably the most important ingredient that can kick off the evening is a signature drink you’ll enjoy serving to your loved ones or crew.

A cocktail is defined as an "iced drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients." But, it’s actually much more. With so many classic cocktails and combinations of exotic drinks out there, it’s an important and challenging task to identify which cocktail suits your vibe and the occasion at which you’re serving it. That’s why Tasting Table has put together a list of unique cocktails you absolutely must try. Once you’ve tasted them, you’re sure to find a spectacular spirit that suits your palate and plan perfectly.

It’s really a known fact that summertime is the best time for good times, great friends, and grand cocktails. So, check these out, and be ready to serve up some cheer. After all, ’tis the season, and you don’t need a reason!

Every tea drinker needs to check out this Earl Grey tea cocktail

Earl Grey tea cocktail

Every tea drinker needs to check out this Earl Grey tea cocktail, just because. It consists of 1 ¼ ounces of your favorite gin, 6 ounces of Earl Grey tea (cold), ¼ ounce of freshly squeezed lemon, 1 ¼ ounces of honey syrup, and two sprigs of fresh lavender to add the perfect garnish to this beautiful drink. The only other think you may want to have to enhance this cocktail is a beautiful front porch down South, complete with a comfy rocker and a gorgeous view. Are we right?

Of course, the first step is to whip out your Earl Grey tea, and brew it. You will need it to be cold for this recipe, so be sure to do this part in advance and place it in the fridge to chill. Next, whip up some honey simple syrup, which is really quite simple. Add 1 cup of honey to 5 cups of water, then simmer the mixture on your stove until all the honey dissolves. Chill this in the fridge as well.

Once everything is cold, mix everything up in a shaker (along with ice and your lavender sprigs), and, well, shake things up. Put one large ice cube into each glass. Use a strainer, and pour your cocktail mix through it into your glasses right over each ice cube. Have some extra lavender on hand to fancy up your drinks.

Get your moonshine on with the prohibition cocktail

orange cocktail in fancy glass

If you’re looking for a real conversation starter, you should definitely give this fun, easy-sipping cocktail a try. First off, the prohibition cocktail is made with Apple Pie Melbourne Moonshine, and it will transport you to a cool speakeasy no matter where you’re sippin’ it. Served in a classy, Hollywood-style glass, this drink is bound to get noticed and be loved by everyone you share it with.

The ingredients include ¼ cup of Apple Pie moonshine. If you can’t find the moonshine, you can substitute bourbon. You’ll also need to round up 2 tablespoons of Shiraz, 1 egg white, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 lemon (juiced), 2 tablespoons of amaro Montenegro, and ground cinnamon. Be sure to have cinnamon sticks on hand, as they make a nice garnish off this tasty and mysterious sip.

Get your large cocktail shaker to place your ingredients into, along with three ice cubes. Next, mix by shaking for approximately one minute. Now, you are ready to serve your concoction. Once the cocktail is poured, sprinkle each glass with cinnamon, and even add a cinnamon stick for a great look.

Spice things up with this charred chili pepper and orange Aperol Spritz

aperol spritz in glass

If you’re an Aperol Spritz fan, but want to spice things up this season, do yourself a solid and try this charred chili and orange Aperol Spritz. It’s a very fresh, trendy cocktail (with a spicy kick!) that’s best enjoyed when toasting and cheering with your crew in the summertime. It’s a surprisingly simple beverage to make, and it doesn’t require many ingredients. You will only need Aperol, Prosecco, soda water, and a slice of orange. The preparation time is only about five minutes.

Here’s how to prepare a classic Aperol Spritz. Fill your favorite wine glass with your ice. Then, mix together the same amount of Prosecco and Aperol. Combine a quick sprinkle of soda water, then add a bright big orange slice to pretty-up your glass.

If you want to (literally) spice up your typical Aperol Spritz, we found a spectacular recipe you may want to try via Taste Magazine. You prepare the spritz in a similar way, but you also need 6 long fresh red chilies. You will grill the sliced oranges and the red chilies on high heat until they are charred, which should be approximately six to eight minutes, then use both as garnishes for your spritz. It’s a very creative twist, and can really be the life of your party.

This cotton candy margarita is a sweet and sassy summertime sip

cotton candy cocktails

If you’re looking for a summery sip that’s sweet and sassy, consider preparing a cotton candy margarita. Not only is this drink Instagram-worthy with its vibrant hues and cotton candy topping, but it practically transports you to a weekend in the tropics.

You can find many recipes for this delicious cocktail, and we’re going to tell you how to make it. You’ll need 1/8 cup of your favorite tequila, 1/8 cup of cream soda, ¼ cup of your favorite orange liqueur, ½ cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, a package of cotton candy, and ice. Don’t forget pink sugar and fresh lime slices for the rim of your margarita glass, as these are two of the most important touches!

You’ll want to chill your glasses. Next, mix your liquid ingredients in a jar or shaker, and, well, shake it up. Before the next step, dazzle the rim of your margarita glasses with pink sugar. To do this, rub either lime or orange on the rim of your glasses, then dip each glass into a plate that’s filled with pink sugar. Coat the rim nicely. Next, place a bit of cotton candy in each of your glasses (about ½ to ¾ full). Add a bit of ice to each glass, then pour your shaken mixture over top of the cotton candy. Cut your lime slices for garnish, add more cotton candy to the top of your glasses, and you’ll be ready to serve.

This piña colada with a popsicle smack-dab in the middle looks and tastes summer-ready

GoodPop piña colada with popsicle

There’s no fruit that screams tropical weather, summer socials, and outdoor fun more than pineapples do. And this GoodPop piña colada recipe is, well, so refreshing and just right for a season that sizzles. It’s pretty easy to make, and it is a drink that looks and tastes summer-ready.

According to GoodPop’s piña colada recipe, you will need ½ cup of coconut milk, 1 cup of frozen pineapple, Coconut Lime GoodPop frozen pops, some fresh lime juice, and a dash of chili powder to season your drinks.

This cocktail is just as easy to make as it is to enjoy. First, you will blend together your frozen pineapple with the fresh lime juice and coconut milk. Next, you will pour your mixture into your glasses. Then, add your Coconut Lime GoodPop right in the center, and garnish with extra chunks of pineapple and chili powder. If this isn’t a refreshing cocktail to try ASAP to kick off and enjoy a whimsical season in the sunshine, we’re not sure what is.

This ice cream cocktail is just screaming for you to make it, taste it, then devour it

Manhattan ice cream float

Calling all ice cream lovers! We have an icy cocktail that’s just screaming for you to give it a try — and that’s a Manhattan ice cream float. Everyone’s likely in agreement that cocktails are fun, and so is ice cream. This divine combination, along with bourbon, is something to simply indulge in, complete with all the cherries on the top your heart desires.

There are several recipes out there to try, in order to prepare this cocktail, but here are the basics. This recipe will require 2 pints of lightly softened vanilla ice cream, ½ pint of heavy whipping cream, 3 ounces of bourbon, ¾ ounce of sweet vermouth, 1 tablespoon of sugar, a dash of Angostura bitters, a liter of chilled cherry soda, and Maraschino cherries for the picture-perfect topping.

Pull out your blender to combine your ice cream and bourbon thoroughly. When it’s mixed completely, put it in an airtight container, then place it back into the freezer for 15 minutes until it firms up. Next, whip together your heavy cream, sugar, vermouth, and Angostura bitters. Once this mixture forms peaks, place it in the refrigerator. Next, choose four tall glasses that are worthy of ice cream floats. Put one scoop of ice cream into each of your glasses, and top them off with your whipped cream mixture. Finally, your maraschino cherries belong right on top of your whipped cream. Enjoy!

The majestic Phoenix cocktail can sparkle and change colors

flaming Phoenix cocktail

You can actually prepare the Phoenix cocktail with just three simple ingredients, or take things a step further to make it change colors for a super cool touch. There are different spins on the recipe out there, but whichever one you choose is a must-try and taste. The easy route is to mix up 2 ounces of pineapple mango juice, 1 ounce of coconut rum, 1 ounce of pomegranate liquor, ice, fresh pineapple (sliced), and be sure to have some extraordinary looking straws for that very fancy drink-worthy touch.

You will shake together the pineapple mango juice, coconut rum, and ice until it’s super chilled. Next, you will line up your glasses and pour in your pomegranate liquor. Then it’s time to strain your mango juice and rum mix over the liquor. Finally, you will dress up your glasses with the sliced pineapple, along with the extraordinary looking straws that you found for just this occasion.

Check out The Flavor Bender’s recipe if you’d like to go an extra step for the color-changing shimmery cocktail your TikTok followers will swoon over. (Their recipe utilizes lemon and elderflower syrup, in addition to dried butterfly pea flowers to make the shimmery gin that changes colors.) You may have just the right occasion that warrants this particular recipe, and we are certain you will not be disappointed by putting in the time to make your drink extra magical.

The beach blossom cocktail tastes oh so tropical

white rum cocktail

If you’re looking for an elegant, picture-worthy drink that is scrumptious and totally thirst-quenching, consider mixing up a beach blossom cocktail. It looks and tastes oh-so tropical, and once you take a sip, you are sure to be a fan for life.

To mix this delectable cocktail together, the ingredients include 2 ounces of white rum, ½ ounce of guava syrup, ¾ ounce of cream of coconut, ½ ounce of pineapple juice, 1 ½ ounces of lemon juice, 2 dashes of orange flower water, pineapple leaves, and edible flowers for aesthetics.

Once you have your ingredients all lined up, mix them together with ice in a cocktail shaker that’s filled ¾ of the way with ice. Shake it up until it is nice and cool. When you’re done shaking, strain the mixture into a rocks glass that’s filled with crushed ice. When your glass is filled, feel free to get creative. Consider some mint leaves, pineapple leaves, orange slices, or edible flowers for the prettiest garnish. And don’t forget a coordinating straw for an extra Insta-worthy touch.

Drink up, honey, because it’s Paloma cocktail time

Paloma grapefruit cocktails

If you’re a tequila fan, you will definitely fall head over heels in love with this honey Paloma cocktail. It will remind you of a margarita. The honey Paloma such a brightly mixed cocktail that will definitely look amazing on your bar and go down superbly with your crew. A must-try in our book!

This sip has a tequila base, and one of the ingredients is honey syrup (2 teaspoons), hence the honey name. You will also need 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice, 2 ounces of freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice, 2 ounces of tequila, 2 ounces of club soda, and sliced ruby red grapefruit for garnish. You will use salt and grapefruit zest to coat the rim of your glass. There are plenty of recipes out there that you can check out if this cocktail sounds like your jam.

There are a few extra steps to prepare this refreshing cocktail, but it’s definitely an attention-grabber and worth the extra fuss. First, you will fill your glass halfway up with ice, and pour in your freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice. Next, add the fresh lime juice and honey syrup. Then, pour in your club soda. The tequila will go in as your last ingredient. Stir it up, and fancy it up with your grapefruit slices. Drink up, honey, because it’s Paloma cocktail time.

The Lavender Collins may very well be one of the prettiest drink creations you’ve ever made

lavender lemon cocktail

A Lavender Collins is a bit of a switch-up from a Tom Collins, only with lavender. The lavender touch gives an old drink a new, trendy beginning and kicks it up a notch. It’s the cocktail you need to make a splash at your next social gathering.

You’ll need several ingredients to prepare the Lavender Collins, but the most important part is 12 lavender flowers, of course. In addition, gather 6 ounces of Collins mix, 2 ounces of gin, 1 cup of ice cubes, 3 cups of boiling water, and two maraschino cherries.

The instructions are simple — you’llll need to start the process way ahead of time. You will grab an empty ice cube tray and place your lavender flowers in each box. Next, boil your 3 cups of water, and pour it over your lavender. Once you’re done with that step, put your ice tray in the fridge for approximately 15 minutes. Once cool, move the tray into the freezer until it is frozen solid, which should take approximately three hours.

When you’re ready to serve, grab your glass and add your ice cubes. Then, pour your gin and the Collins mix over the ice cubes and stir. Once that is done, take out a lavender ice cube, and decorate your beautiful cocktail with your maraschino cherries. This may very well be one of the prettiest drink creations you’ve sipped.

This papaya-strawberry cocktail is pure sweet goodness

fruity colorful drinks

Whether you’re planning a brunch, lunch, or cocktail party, a papaya-strawberry cocktail should absolutely make it onto the guest list. It’s a delicious and unique mixed drink everyone should taste at least once in their life, but we’re sure once you do, you will include this cocktail on your favorite list. It’s made with yummy fruits, making it a vibrant orange glass of pure sweet goodness.

To whip up this papaya-strawberry cocktail, Southern Living has an absolutely amazing version that we love. You will need six chopped strawberries, 24 cubes of papaya, ¾ cup of fresh lime juice, 1 ½ cups of orange juice, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of tequila, six mint leaves, ¾ cup of lime juice, and ¾ cup of simple syrup.

When you’re ready to put this recipe together, combine your fruit and mint leaves in a mixing bowl, and mix lightly with a hand blender. Next, put your orange juice and lime juice into the mix, ¾ cup of the simple syrup, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of tequila, and lime juice. Stir the mixture well, then put the mixture into a pitcher in the fridge. Serve it up chilled with sliced oranges, sliced lime, sliced strawberries, or even with edible flowers on top!