5 Unexpected Summer Cocktail Ingredients

When most people think about summer cocktails, they tend to think of the classics, such as margaritas and piña coladas. However, you don’t have to stick to the same basic ingredients in order to enjoy delicious cocktails this summer. In fact, you might consider switching things up a bit by incorporating some less-expected ingredients into your summer drink recipes. Here are just a few surprising ingredient ideas, along with some great recipes to accompany them!

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer has a very strong and distinct taste, and it blends perfectly with many types of ingredients. Consider, for example, whipping up a strawberry Moscow mule. Simply combine one can of ginger beer with an ounce of strawberry-flavored vodka. You can even add some fresh strawberries or a watermelon wedge for garnish and additional fruity flavor.


Of course, what better time for popsicles than the dead heat of summer, especially as a means of cooling down? Try mixing up one part ginger ale to one part sweet champagne for a light and bubbly cocktail that’s perfect for summer. Just before you serve them up, add a fresh, juicy popsicle to the drink for extra flavor. Your guests can either watch the popsicle dissolve into the drink, or they can take it out and enjoy it for themselves.


Typically, cranberries are considered to be more of an autumn or winter drink, but they can also be surprisingly delicious in a crisp summer beverage. In fact, you can mix up a yummy cranberry margarita for your next summer gathering; it may sound like an odd combination of flavors, but trust us, it works. To craft this margarita, just start with your traditional margarita ingredients, but add a splash of fresh-squeezed cranberry juice (you can use store-bought if you’re short on time). Toss in a few fresh cranberries for garnish and additional flavor. Try our White Cranberry Margarita for refreshing cocktail, as well!

Port Wine

Thought port wine was just for enjoying on its own? Think again. There are all kinds of great recipes you can incorporate port wine into, especially during the summer months. If you’re in the mood for something fruity, consider making this recipe, which incorporates:

  • an ounce and a half of your favorite rum
  • a half ounce of port wine
  • a half ounce of orange curacao
  • a half ounce of fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice before straining into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge.

Cayenne Pepper

Spices are often one of the last things you’d think about putting into a summer cocktail. However, you’d be surprised at just how delicious of a kick cayenne pepper can add to the right beverage. Consider a cool cucumber cilantro margarita topped with just a dash of cayenne. The combination of subtle cucumber flavor with the punch of the cayenne will have all your guests asking for refills.

These are just a few less conventional ingredients to consider working into your easy to make at home cocktails. Not sure how to try these unique ingredients? Stop by Macayo’s at Scottsdale and Shea to try our new drink menu, complete with our new Macayo Mule, which features fresh ginger beer, Casamigos Blanco Tequila, and Patron Citronge Lime; and our Mule-Jito, a combo of two favorites that is tangy and sweet and features Sauza Blue Reposado Tequila, Licor 43, freshly-squeezed lime juice, club soda, coconut water, ginger beer and mint.