There's a reason most summer barbecue pairs best with lighter beers: It's hot outside and you want a thirst-quenching and cool beverage, something that you can drink for hours. Summer cocktails should also follow this rule. So at your next outdoor party, offer up refreshing concoctions that pack a little less punch, and also be sure to make use of the season's fresh fruits and herbs. Here are 21 recipes to get you started; make them to individual taste or tinker with the recipes and serve them in a punch bowl (or, for big bashes, a trash can).
Costa Rhode Island
Between a margarita and a michelada, this drink from Joe McGuirk at Highland Kitchen in Somerville, Massachusetts, is one you'll knock back in twos all summer. The name is inspired by Narragansett, the Rhode Island–based lager McGuirk uses, but Budweiser more than does the trick.
1.5 oz blanco tequila
0.75 oz grapefruit juice
0.75 oz elderflower liqueur
6 oz Budweiser
Salt the rim, shake the measured ingredients, and strain over ice. Add beer.
Credit: Photograph by Jamie Chung: Liquid Styling by Karen Evans