9 Bevs & Bites to Toast the End of Summer

Vibrant tequila cocktails + low-key recipes = our perfect warm-weather send-off.

August  5, 2022

We’ve teamed up with Patrón Tequila for an end-of-summer lineup you won’t want to miss (psst: there are cocktails involved). Their handcrafted tequilas—like smooth Patrón Reposado—make for highly sippable beverages that’ll help you savor the season.

The end of summer is upon us (doesn’t it seem to go by more quickly every year?). And while the days are still long and the weather’s still warm, we can’t think of a better time to head outside for a barbecue or throw a last-minute dinner party. With just a few good recipes for simple, grillable dishes (meaty and vegetarian!) and little- or no-cooking-required salads, the food’s covered and you can think about the drinks.

To us, nothing pays homage to the dog-days of summer like a cold, bubbly paloma. You could go classic, of course: typically just grapefruit soda, lime, and tequila (I like to use a smooth, citrusy reposado like the one from Patrón), over ice in a salt-rimmed glass. But on these slow-to-start evenings it’s also fun to spend a little more time on creative drinks. Take some time before the party starts to mix together a simple syrup with fresh fruit or herbs—like raspberry, ginger, or sage, to name a few—to further flavor your cocktail while adding sweetness. I’d recommend making a double batch for your next happy hour or a quick weeknight cocktail, as the syrup will last for weeks in the fridge.


1. Honey-Habanero Paloma

Drink up all the end-of-summer sun during the day, then add a lil’ kick to your evening with this spicy-sweet Honey-Habanero Paloma. If you can’t find Bitterman’s Hellfire Habanero Shrub, which acts as a foil to the fresh agave notes in the Patrón Reposado, try a few dashes of your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce.

2. Raspberry-Rose Paloma

This sweet, floral cocktail is perfect for cheers-ing to summer’s last days. Be light-handed with the rosewater to keep the drink fragrant, not soapy, as well as play off the lightly floral reposado. Hot tip: Make extras of that fresh raspberry syrup—it’s just dreamy in other drinks, from lemonade to a gin and tonic.

3. Santa Fe Sage

The Santa Fe Sage sort of looks like a late-summer sunset, so why not mix one up for a chill happy hour (or hey, how about a pitcher?). Start with a fragrant sage syrup, then shake with Roca Patrón Reposado Tequila and orange bitters. The recipe makes extra syrup, so it’s simple to prep for a crowd.

4. Ginger Devil

A riff on a classic cocktail from the 1940s, this Ginger Devil makes use of Roca Patrón Silver tequila and a spiced ginger syrup. With creme de cassis and ginger beer to top things off, the drink will whet your appetite for fall without feeling out of place at the end of the summer.

6. Tacos Norteños With Chunky Guacamole

Send off barbecue season with a bang—or in food terms, these tacos norteños. With a cheesy skillet filling and chunky guacamole, all you need is corn tortillas and a good cocktail to have a truly excellent dinner.

5. Longhorn Tequila Wings

For those who just can’t get enough reposado tequila, try marinating chicken wings in it. These spicy wings pack a punch, so load up the rest of your plate with salads and dips to cool off.

6. Pita Chip Dinner Salad With Stone Fruit & Chickpeas

Whether you want to serve this stone fruit salad as a main dish or add it to a spread of sides and grilled meat, everyone at the party will be going back for seconds of this summery dish. It goes especially nicely with a spicy drink (looking at you, Honey-Habanero Paloma.)

7. Grilled Zucchini With Big Beans, Kale & Mustard Vinaigrette

At the end of the summer, zucchini is more than plentiful, so hit the market to stock up on summer squash. Give it a good grill, then toss it in tangy vinaigrette with big white beans and kale. It’s another vegetarian dish that’s just as welcome as a main as it is alongside other bites.

8. No-Mayo Peperonata Pasta Salad

We can’t say so-long to summer without a pasta salad. But instead of the mayo-laden ones that can’t sit out for very long, this peperonata-inspired number is made with sweet sauteed peppers and onions and briny capers. Let it cool to room temperature (or even serve it cold if you’d like), then add cheese before serving,

9. Grilled Tofu Cabbage Cups With Garlicky Yogurt

Speaking of vegetarian mains, are you grilling tofu yet? Summer’s almost over, so the time is now! You could eat these grilled tofu cabbage cups with one hand, leaving the other one free for sipping your cocktail (just saying).

What cocktails are you mixing up to send off summer? Tell us in the comments below!

Our friends at Patrón Tequila have been distilling their 100 percent Blue Weber Agave tequilas in Jalisco, Mexico for over 30 years. Each one of their handcrafted tequilas starts with high-quality raw ingredients—from smooth, citrusy Patrón Silver to ultra-sippable, oak barrel-aged Patrón Añejo. To add flavorful depth to your next cocktail, snag a bottle of Patrón at a retailer near you.

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Rebecca Firkser is the assigning editor at Food52. She used to wear many hats in the food media world: food writer, editor, assistant food stylist, recipe tester (sometimes in the F52 test kitchen!), recipe developer. These days, you can keep your eye out for her monthly budget recipe column, Nickel & Dine. Rebecca tests all recipes with Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Follow her on Instagram @rebeccafirkser.