Summer Cocktails and the Salads That Inspired Them

Salads are a very nice way to add structure, fiber, and flavor to our diet. With the summer months coming, we need more refreshing but delicious food to grace our tables. Not only are they delicious, they are also very nutritious. 

Here’s a few summer cocktails inspired by our favorite vegetable and savory fruit salad. 

Caprese Martini

Celebrate summer with this gorgeous cocktail inspired by Caprese salad. The creamy mozzarella may not be present here but it’s delicious just the same.


Nicole Philips' Caprese Martini



  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 basil leaves
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ oz vodka


  1. Muddle together the tomatoes and basil leaves in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, syrup, hot sauce, salt, and vodka.
  3. Shake vigorously until chilled; about 8-10 seconds.
  4. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with half a cherry tomato and basil leaf.

Caprese Salad

A homage to the Italian flag, this classic Italian salad is a good antipasto to start your traditional Italian meal. It can also be served as an appetizer to whet the appetite if the antipasto is a heavier mix of salmon or chicken.




  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 3 fresh mozzarella cheese balls
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • Freshly ground peppercorn mix (to taste)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt


  1. Carefully slice the tomatoes and mozzarella in half-inch thick slices.
  2. Arrange on a plate, alternating the tomato, mozzarella, and basil leaves.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil. This recipe serves 4 persons.

Cucumber Watermelon Punch

Love this deliciously sweet cocktail that’s surprisingly easy to make. If agave nectar is not available, you can always use honey but don’t expect the same taste. The difference would be slight, though. 




  • 4 oz watermelon juice
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz agave nectar
  • 5 slices cucumber
  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • Ice cubes


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well to mix.
  3. Serve in a whiskey glass with lots of ice.
  4. Garnish with a cucumber wheel.

Watermelon-Cucumber Feta Salad

Who wouldn’t fall for this watermelon and cucumber salad and topped with creamy feta cheese. I like mine with lots of cheese so I usually add more cheese than is suggested in the recipe.




For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil 
  • pinch of salt

For the Watermelon Salad

  • ½ watermelon, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups English (or Hot House) cucumber, cubed
  • 15 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Prepare the dressing
    1. In a mason jar, add the olive oil, honey, lime juice and salt.
    2. Cover the jar tightly and shake well until everything is mixed. Set aside. 
  2. Prepare the salad
    1. In a large bowl, add the watermelon cube, cucumber cubes, and minced mint and basil leaves. 
    2. Add the dressing. Toss lightly.
    3. Top with crumbled feta cheese.

Orange-Pomegranate Cocktail

Another cocktail that crosses seasonal borders is this orange-pomegranate cocktail. If fresh pomegranates are not available, you can always use the frozen arils available in whole foods market.




  • 1 oz rum
  • 2 oz orange juice 
  • ½ oz limoncillo
  • ½ oz pomegranate juice
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnishing 


  1. Fill the shaker with ice, rum, orange juice, and limoncillo.
  2. Shake well to combine.
  3. Fill the glass with ice, pour in the pomegranate juice. 
  4. Add the cocktail mixture in it.
  5. Garnish with pomegranate seeds

Orange-Pomegranate & Fennel Salad

Fill up on vitamin C with this orange overload salad, mixed with pomegranate seeds and sliced fennel. If you are new to fennel, there is nothing to fear about it because it does not have a strong odor, although it can be a bit of all four basic flavors. Just the right kind you need for a burst of freshness and joy.




  • 4 small blood oranges
  • 2 cara cara oranges
  • 2-3 navel oranges
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 fennel
  • seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • olive oil


  1. Peel the oranges and cut them into ½ inch slices.
  2. Chop the red onions and fennel.
  3. Arrange on a platter and top with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.


There you have it! Delicious summer cocktails inspired by equally delicious salads. No need to look for food pairs because they obviously work together. Just throw in some roast beef and you’re on your way to an amazing summer party.






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