Sydney in springtime is a wonder. The city seems to relax as the days get longer and the afternoon sun glints off the harbour. People can’t keep fighting the impulse to knock off a little early, and mix it up with their mates. The most effective way to do just that is to do so literally, by showing off your home bartending skills.

We’ve put together four drinks that work perfectly with long hot days, cool breezes and lazy afternoons.

For when it’s genuinely sweltering…

Texas Tea
The Long Island Ice Tea gets a bad wrap. As Dale DeGroff points out in his essential book, The Craft of the Cocktail, the key to deliciousness is balance: each of this drink’s spirits should be combined, but in small amounts, and lifted by the presence of lemon. But when it’s seriously stinking hot, your standard-issue LIIT won’t cut it. You need to go to the folks who know something about heat. This is why we recommend its cousin, the Texas Tea.

Fill a shaker with ice and combine your tequila, vodka, rum and triple sec, and vibrate vigorously. Strain the mixture into a Collins glass filled three-quarters to the top with ice. Then, pour over your Coca-Cola and stick in a big ol’ wedge of lemon. You’ve got yourself a hoedown.

Texas Tea
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 1.3 standard drinks.

Ingredients:
15ml tequila
10ml vodka
10ml white rum
15ml triple sec
30ml fresh lemon juice
90ml Coca-Cola
Lemon wedge, for garnish

For sticky evenings…

Indian Summer Cup
There’s a few weeks a year when you’d swear Sydney had moved closer to the equator. The footpaths radiate heat, the ceiling fan’s rotating full tilt and you can only pray (in vain) for a lick of breeze. There’s no point fighting it when the weather’s this way – you’ve just got to embrace it.

The easiest way to do that is to gather friends, set up in the backyard and make an Indian Summer Cup. The appropriate drink for this sticky occasion is the Indian Summer Cup, created by legendary cockney bartender Wayne Collins.

Combine London dry gin, sweet vermouth, elderflower liqueur, crème de pêche and lemon syrup. You’ll need to take a break here and refrigerate the ingredients until they’re chilly (or you can speed things up in the freezer). When you’re ready to go, bung in your (cold) Cascade Tonic and sparkling water, and liberally garnish with apple, peaches, cucumber and mint. Sip. Cool.

Indian Summer Cup
Makes 1 serve. Approx 2 standard drinks.

Ingredients:
40ml London dry gin
40ml Sweet Vermouth
10ml elderflower liqueur
10ml crème de pêche (peach liqueur)
30ml lemon syrup
20ml unfiltered apple juice
40ml chilled Cascade Tonic Water
20ml chilled sparkling water
Slice of green apple
Slice of peach
1 cucumber slice
1 mint leaf
Ice

During a cool change…

Orchard Cooler
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of that sea breeze coming in after a day of blistering heat. Finally, you can switch off the AC and open the windows to the world, and let the jasmine scent of summer drift in through the curtains.

As the sun gently dips over the ocean, celebrate with an Orchard Cooler. The piquant little drink combines a fresh apple taste, with the subtle sourness of passionfruit, and a hint of bitterness from marmalade.

Take an ice-filled cocktail shaker and pour in the vodka, apple juice, lemon juice, passionfruit pulp and marmalade, and give it a good, honest shaking. Strain the resulting mixture into a highball glass brimming with ice, and top with half a passionfruit. It’s a cool change in itself.

Orchard Cooler
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 1.4 standard drinks.

Ingredients:
45ml vodka
30ml cloudy apple juice
15ml lemon juice
1 tsp of orange marmalade 1 tsp of passion fruit pulp
Half passion fruit, for garnish
Appletiser, to top
Ice

During summer twilight…

The Sundowner
This cocktail was built for when the day is stretching long into the evening, and the sun only dips into the sky well after work is done.

Smoky and warm thanks to the influence of whisky and vanilla, and with the sharp clarity of lemon and apple spritz, The Sundowner both looks and feels like a sunset. Take a highball glass filled with ice, combine your whisky, vanilla syrup and lemon juice, then top off with Appletiser and watch the sun sink into the west.

The Sundowner
Makes 1 serve. Approx. 1.9 standard drinks.

Ingredients:
60ml whisky
25ml lemon juice
Dash of vanilla syrup
Appletiser
Lemon

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Coca-Cola South Pacific Pty Ltd. Visit refreshyourspirit.com.au for your chance to win a weekend getaway or $100 voucher at participating venues. Please drink responsibly.