Summer Cocktails for a Vacation State of Mind

June 28, 2022

There’s nothing quite like sipping on an ice-cold summer cocktail with your toes in the sand. Whether you live along the beaches of Destin and 30A or are just visiting, a refreshing summer cocktail is sure to get you in a beach state of mind. At Scenic Stays, we consider ourselves professional beach connoisseurs, which means we’ve mastered the art of beach lounging, boogie boarding, and summer cocktail sipping. So what summer cocktails are the best for a classic beach vacation? We thought you’d never ask.

Make at Home Summer Cocktails

Some of the best summer cocktails are easy to make in the comfort of your vacation home or condo. Consume on your balcony while watching the sunset or pop in a tumbler for a beach stroll. Skip the heavy hops this summer with these liquid treats. And as always, drink responsibly.

Hurricane Cocktail

While it’s generally a no-no to say ‘hurricane’ at the beach, we’ll let it slide for this fruity and refreshing summer cocktail. Made famous by Pat O’Brien’s down the Gulf Coast in New Orleans, a Hurricane is quick and easy to whip up on the fly or take with you on the go. All you need is a large container you can seal and pack in the cooler, and you’ll be able to toast to the waves crashing against the shore all evening long.

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 ounce passion fruit puree
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • Garnish: orange half-wheel
  • Garnish: preserved cherry
  1. Add the light and dark rums, lime and orange juices, passion fruit puree, simple syrup, and grenadine into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
  2. Strain into a large Hurricane glass over fresh ice.
  3. Garnish with an orange half-wheel and a preserved cherry.

Mint Julep

A Mint Julep is a fantastic cocktail for Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby and summertime in Florida. It’s best enjoyed sitting on your balcony watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

  • 4 to 5 mint sprigs, leaves only
  • 2 sugar cubes or 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • Mint sprig, for garnish
  1. Place the mint leaves and sugar (or simple syrup) into a julep cup, collins glass, or old-fashioned double glass.
  2. Muddle well to dissolve the sugar and release the oil and aroma of the mint.
  3. Add the bourbon.
  4. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir well until the glass becomes frosty. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Rum Runner

We’re headed to the southernmost point of the continental United States for this next cocktail. The Rum Runner is another classic tropical cocktail created in the 1950s in Key West, Florida. A mixture of fresh juice and rum, this drink will have you filling your cup again and again.

  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice 
  • 1 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce banana liqueur
  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1/2 ounce Chambord
  • 1/2 ounce Grenadine
  1. Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously. Strain into an ice-filled hurricane glass.


When you want dessert and alcohol blended to make the creamiest and tastiest summer cocktail, you want the Bushwacker. With a mix of rum, cream of coconut, and chocolate, you’ll be able to enjoy the tropical vibes of Florida even more with one in hand. It’s a coconutty chocolate milkshake for adults. What’s not to love?

  • 2 ounces aged rum (or white or dark)
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 2 ounces creme de cacao (white or dark; we used white)
  • 2 ounces cream of coconut
  • 2 ounces 2% milk
  • 3 cups ice
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a cup and enjoy.

The Best Summer Cocktails Around Destin and 30A

It’s hard to beat a summer cocktail made by a professional, and Destin and 30A offer an incredible variety of restaurants and bars to choose from. Here are a few of our favorite locations for summer cocktails in Destin and 30A if you don’t feel like whipping the cocktails up yourself.

Great Southern’s b.f.f.

Situated in Seaside, b.f.f. is the go-to place for all things frozen cocktails. Take a bike ride down scenic HWY 30A and rehydrate with one of their specialty frozen drinks. You’ll be everybody’s b.f.f. once you introduce them to their new favorite cocktail bar on the coast.

Visit b.f.f. for a frozen treat with your b.f.f.

Lulu’s Destin

At the foot of the Midbay Bridge, Lulu’s has everything you need, from frozen drinks to specialty cocktails, topped with a family-friendly atmosphere and delicious local cuisine. Try out the top-shelf margarita with the Cadillac Margarita, frozen or on the rocks. Lulu’s has live music most nights, so get ready for an all-around good time.

Visit Lulu’s Destin for a family-friendly experience.

Ruby Slipper Cafe

You’ll head to the Ruby Slipper Cafe for the eggs benedict, affectionately known as Bennies, but stay at the Ruby Slipper for the mimosa flight. The flight pairs sparkling wine with seasonal flavors. No need for bottomless mimosas here, as you’ll get your fill of four different flavors. If you’re looking for something a little less sparkly, try an herbal southern Sazerac, boozy coffee, or spicy bloody Mary to kick your brunch up a notch.

Visit the Ruby Slipper Cafe for the best of bubbles.

Jester’s Mardi Gras Daiquiris

Daiquiris and pizza are a match made in heaven along the Destin Harbor. Stop by Jester’s for a frozen drink and fresh slice while you watch for dolphins in the East Pass. The signature Jester cocktail will have you feeling like you’re visiting the French Quarter with a tropical Destin twist. It’s a fresh and cooling companion for a walk to see what the Destin fishing fleet has caught out on the Gulf. 

Visit Jesters for an icy treat.

Ready to Mix It Up on Your Next Beach Vacay?

Sip your way through your next beach vacation with easy-to-make drinks and visits to local favorite restaurants and bars. If you’re ever missing summer and reminiscing on vacations past, these drinks can help bring you back to a beach state of mind in no time.

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