Nothing beats the feeling of sipping a cold cocktail on a warm summer day. The options for a summer cocktail are near-endless, from simple highballs to complicated, layered concoctions. However, it seems the most favored creations are those that fall somewhere in the middle.
Our SOMM TV cast may spend their days tasting or talking about wine, but their preferences for summer cocktails show that flavor, authenticity, and sometimes a touch of spritz reign supreme.
Read ahead for their choices for go-to summer bevvies that are NOT wine.
I love pastis. In Corsica a few years ago, I loved hanging around very casual cafes, watching the older crowd gossip, play games, or chill while slowly drinking pastis in the sunshine. I was like—I want to do this all the time. So yeah, I like to drink pastis in the summer to emulate some old Corsican dudes who appeared to be enjoying their lives more than me daily. —Sarah Thomas
Afternoons: a 50/50 Spritz (1/2 Aperol 1/2 Campari). Evenings: A proper Daiquiri. —Sabato Sagaria
Margarita or Aperol Spritz. —Maryam Ahmed
When it’s summertime, I love a proper Aviation cocktail. But, you have to use the correct crème de violet: Rothman & Winter. Otherwise, I go for an Aperol Spritz or a Ranch Water done the traditional way. First, open a Topo Chico sparkling water, then take a big swig, refill the rest of the bottle with a delicious mezcal, and add a slice of lime. HEAVEN. —Matthew Kaner
Hands down, gin and tonic. —Jill Zimorski
Aperol Spritz. Like a true cliché, I got hooked on these back in Firenze when Sara and I visited for the first time, maybe 20 years ago now. And, true to my scarf-flinging, sprezzatura ways, I can’t get off of them. Hot summer day + aperitivo = Aperol Spritz. Light on the sparkling wine, heavy on club soda, is how I order it when I know that I am more likely to have three instead of one. When it is made right, it looks like a golden sunset, tastes like summer, and transports you right back to Piazza Santo Spirito. Anyone else hungry for Bistecca Alla Fiorentina? —Jonah Beer
Je suis perdu. —Elaine Chukan Brown
Midori Sour (although, I sneak these in the fall as well). —DLynn Proctor
Gin and tonic or ginger beer. But if I can shamelessly promote a friend for a minute, Donna Katz makes these amazing organic bone-dry ginger beers called G’s. My fridge is loaded with them, and I can’t get enough. —Kelli White
I’m a sucker for grapefruit Spindrift. Alternatively, on the boozier side of things, I love an Americano. —Jeff Porter
Topo Chico or a Paper Plane. —Meghan Zobeck
During the summer, I love a good cocktail, especially one with mezcal as the base. I’m not a huge fan of sweeter cocktails, so the savory, smokiness of mezcal makes it a go-to for me. I’ll also drink a lot more beer during the summer months. Nothing beats hitting the beach with your friends, grabbing some waves, catching some sun, and cracking a cold, fresh beer! —Claire Coppi