7 Low-ABV Cocktails For Summer

Drink Lists cocktails
7 Low-ABV Cocktails For Summer

It’s summertime, and the sippin’ is easy. But if you plan on day-drinking under the hot sun, you better pace yourself. Might we suggest a low-ABV cocktail? Using vermouths, liqueurs, and sparkling wines, these drinks pack all the flavor of a regular cocktail but with less alcohol, making them a perfect fit for long, lazy days by the pool or extended backyard revelry. Here are five fresh takes on low-ABV cocktails, plus two classics, that will quench your thirst and keep you upright all summer long.

Bitter & Twisted

Created by: Tim Harris, Burke & Wills, New York

1.5 oz Aperitivo Cappelletti (or substitute a 50/50 mix of Aperol and Campari)
1.5 oz. dry white wine
1.5 oz. club soda
2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Directions: Build in a large wine glass with ice, and stir. Garnish with a grapefruit peel.

The Golden #1

Created by: Enzo Cangemi, Babbalucci, New York

1.25 oz. Frangelico
1/4 oz. coffee syrup
2 dashes chocolate mole bitters

Directions: Build in a champagne flute. Top off with chilled prosecco.

Make it Count

Created by: Pamela Wiznitzer, Seamstress, New York

2 oz. Campari
1 oz. Perfect Puree Blood Orange
1/2 oz. Honey Syrup
Splash Soda Water

Directions: Build drink in a Collins glass, add ice, and stir. Garnish with the orange chip clipped to the side of the glass.

La Poire

Created by: Jacques Bezuidenhout, Wildhawk, San Francisco; Photo by Amanda Picotte

2 oz. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Blanc
1/2 oz. Mathilde Pear Liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon
2 dashes orange bitters
Club soda

Directions: Build in a highball glass with ice, and stir. Garnish with lemon wheel & rosemary sprig.

Grande Negroni Sbagliato

Photo by Amanda Picotte

750 ml. Prosecco DOC
750 ml. Campari
750 ml. La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge
1 cup fresh fruit (sliced oranges, apples, raspberries, optional)

Directions: Add the sweet vermouth and Campari to a punch bowl filled with large ice cubes. Add fresh fruit and top with the Prosecco DOC. Stir gently and serve.


americano low.jpg
Created by Gaspare Campari, Milan, Italy; Photo by Jim Sabataso

1.5 oz. Campari
1.5 oz. sweet vermouth
Club soda

Directions: Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add Campari and vermouth. Top off with soda. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist.

Aperol Spritz

Photo by Jim Sabataso

3 parts prosecco (or any dry sparkling wine)
2 parts Aperol
1 part soda

Directions: Add ice and prosecco to a white wine or rocks glass. Add soda. Pour Aperol over the top. Garnish with an orange slice.

Jim Sabataso is a writer, cocktail enthusiast, and bar director for The Palms Restaurant in Rutland, Vermont. Follow him on Twitter @JimSabataso>

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