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Published on 24.06.2022

Summer, sun and a good mood: recipes for your sundowner on a sailing trip

Written by Tina Pitter
Summer, sun and a good mood: recipes for your sundowner on a sailing trip

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According to the motto: "Cocktails are coming to the cockpit table", delicious drinks with simple recipes. 😊 We would like to give you a small overview of simply mixed and classic drinks on board. No complicated cocktail knowledge, but suggestions on how you can mix cool drinks for your personal happy hour with just a few ingredients. Create your own ideal sundowner without needing a whole house bar as provisions.

What are the most popular mixed drinks?

Although not the classic sundowner, the white spritzer, with 2/3 soda water and only 1/3 white wine, is and remains one of the most popular simple mixed drinks when it is hot, also known as the summer spritzer. This, together with the soda beer, where you simply top up your beer with some soda, tops the list of the most popular drinks to quench thirst on board on hot days. 🍺

Which mixed drinks are still popular on hot days when sailing?

Small cocktails 🍹 made from fruit juice mixed with sparkling sparkling wine or prosecco are a tingling temptation and particularly popular with women. Whether you use sparkling wine or Prosecco, you can choose according to your own preference, the drinks are successful with both. One difference lies in the carbonic acid. With Prosecco, the carbonic acid is created, unlike with sparkling wine and sparkling wine during bottle fermentation, it is only added afterwards. Prosecco therefore usually contains less carbonic acid - but whether the natural or the lesser carbonic acid is more digestible depends on the type and brand. It is usually the high-quality Proseccos that are better tolerated in summer because, in addition to less carbonic acid, the alcohol content of Prosecco is significantly lower.

  • Sparkling wine Latin Lover: Pour 4 cl mango-orange juice into a glass with cold sparkling wine and garnish with a thin slice of orange
  • Sparkling wine Siciliana: Pour 4 cl blood orange juice into a glass with cold sparkling wine and serve with Weitrauben on a skewer
  • Sparkling wine Hawaii: Simply pour 4cl pineapple juice into a glass with cold sparkling wine
  • Cranberry Royal: Pour 4cl of cranberry syrup with sparkling wine or Prosecco

Fruity sparkling wine variants can be made with a wide variety of fruit juices. The classic variant with orange or apricot nectar plus a sugar rim is also very good. You are also welcome to pour a dash of cherry liqueur (Croatian Maraschino cherry liqueur) into the sparkling wine or Prosecco and top it up with some soda water. This recipe is also known as Maraschino Daisy or Cherry Mouth.


How about a limoncello spritz as a cocktail?

A limoncello spritz is ideal on a warm summer day. Pour 2 parts Limoncello with 3 parts Prosecco on ice cubes with soda water to taste (approx. 1-2 parts) and serve in a glass with fruity lemon slices - our bay tip!

Would you like an Aperol Spritz or a Hugo Spritz?

An Aperol Spritz with or without sparkling wine or Prosecco is also good and always popular. It's quick and easy to mix with 2 parts Aperol and 3 parts soda water. If you want, you can add another 3 parts sparkling wine or Prosecco. Serve everything nicely with ice cream and a slice of lemon or orange and enjoy. Everyone likes to drink and thirst-quenches a Hugo Spritz, which can be drunk very well with soda water or with soda water and sparkling wine or Prosecco.

  • Aperol Mimosa: 3 cl Aperol, 2 cl blood orange juice, 100 ml sparkling wine or Prosecco

This is how Hugo tastes particularly good:

150 ml prosecco or sparkling wine
100 ml soda water
2cl elderflower syrup
2 leaves of mint
juice of a lime
3 large ice cubes

Drink tip elderflower syrup: mixed with still or sparkling water, it is the ideal thirst quencher with flavor on board and is popular with children and adults alike. You can also add the already diluted elderberry juice as a third part to the white splash and thus get a light and tasty three-part mixture or also called Kaiser mixture. Our sparkling drink tip for the evening: Prosecco with Tequila Sunrise.

  • Tequila Sunrise Prosecco: 10 cl (1 part) tequila, 30 cl (3 parts) orange juice, 30 cl (3 parts) pineapple juice and 30 cl (3 parts) prosecco.

The classic drinks on board on a sailing holiday

The selection of drinks for nice evening hours together can be very diverse. From the classic spirits whiskey, vodka and gin, campari, tequila, etc., many different types of mixed drinks can be made. Here is a small excerpt of classic mixed drinks and cocktails, which are easy and uncomplicated to mix on board a yacht on a charter holiday due to their few and simple ingredients.

Drinks with Gin

  • Gin and tonic: 1 lime wedge, 5 cl gin, 15 cl tonic water to fill up and ice cubes
  • Pirat: 2 cl gin, 2 cl cherry liqueur, 4 cl passion fruit juice, 1 cl lemon juice, tonic water for pouring

Drinks with Whisky

Good whiskey is usually drunk neat. Real whiskey fans don't mix much, as a non-whisky connoisseur I can't make any recommendations.

  • Whiskey old fashioned/whisky soda: Pour 5 cl whiskey with 15 cl water, ice cubes
  • Whiskey Sour: 9cl whiskey, 4cl lime juice, lemon wedge

A popular and simple whiskey mixed drink, especially for the late hour, is Cola Whisky, which fans usually drink with Jack Daniels.

Mixed vodka drinks

  • Vodka Lime: 5 cl vodka with 15 cl lime/lemon juice or bitter lemon
  • Screw driver: Mix 5 cl vodka with 15 cl orange juice – if you use grapefruit juice, this is a Salty Dog
  • Sea Breeze: 4 cl vodka, 5 cl grapefruit juice, 120 ml cranberry juice, ice cubes
  • Vodka Balalaika: Mix 4 cl vodka, 2 cl Cointreau, 2 cl lemon juice with ice cubes
  • Mango Cooler: 4cl vodka, 2cl Cointreau, 4cl orange juice, 2cl lemon juice, 8cl mango juice

And of course the Cosmopolitan, which has been known since the series "Sex and the City", should not be missing here:

  • Cosmopolitan: 2 limes, 3 cl. cranberry syrup, 6cl vodka, 2cl orange liqueur (e.g. Cointreau)

Drinks with Campari 

  • Campari Orange or Passion Fruit: 4 cl Campari, 12 cl orange or passion fruit juice
  • Campari Cup: 3 cl Campari, 2 cl gin, grapefruit, passion fruit or pineapple juice
  • Margret Rose: Pour 3 cl Campari with sparkling wine or Prosecco 

Tequila classics

  • Tequila Margarita: 4cl tequila, 2cl Cointreau, 2cl lemon juice
  • Tequila Sunrise: 6 cl tequila, 10 cl orange juice, 1 cl lemon juice, 1-2 cl grenadine

Rum - the stuff from which seafaring legends were born


As early as the 16th century, when pirates and privateers were up to mischief in the Caribbean, rum was very popular on board to increase motivation. Later in the 17th century the British Navy even gave a daily rum ration for it. Not only rum but also lemon or lime juice was added to the water to compensate for the lack of vitamins among the seafarers and thus prevent scurvy. This was the origin of the first cocktails. A good bottle of rum should therefore not be missing on any trip. High-quality rum should be drunk pure and not too cold. Many people also like to drink their rum on ice or as a soft drink, such as rum-cola. Everyone should drink their rum the way they like it. Many varieties are perfect for mixing, the higher quality a rum is, the less you should adulterate its taste so that the individual aromas are preserved.

Our classic favorite recipes with rum

  • Rum Sour: 5cl brown rum, 3cl lemon juice, possibly 1 spoonful of sugar or real sugar syrup, the whole drink with white rum is a kind of daiquiri
  • Cuba Libre: Pour 4 cl white rum, 3 dashes of lemon juice in a long drink glass with cola
  • Captain Chaos: 5 cl white rum, 3 cl vodka, 2 cl gin, 5 cl orange juice, 3 cl passion fruit juice, 2 cl lemon juice, mix everything well with ice cubes

Last but not least – Bitters: May it be a Pelinkovac?


The so-called bitters should not be missing on board in summer either. They were once considered medicine, but it doesn't take an upset stomach to enjoy bitter spirits. Almost all varieties can be drunk pure or as a long drink. Italian bitters in particular have become very well known, but the list is much longer: Gurktaler, Underberg, Averna, Campari, Aperol, Fernet-Branca, Ramazotti... and of course the typical Croatian Pelinkovac should not be missing here. What they all have in common is the use of herbs, roots, bark or other plant substances. We as Pitter Yachtcharter wouldn't be the Croatia specialist if we didn't recommend our beloved Pelinkovac as our favorite. Served chilled as an aperitif or digestif on hot summer days or with coffee in the afternoon, chilled or not – the Pelinkovac is versatile. It is also often served with a slice of lemon or sprinkled with soda.

Pelinkovac is based on vermouth. This also gives it its name, because Pelin is the Croatian word for this plant. In addition, many other herbs are also included. It gets its golden-brown color from the sugar, which is caramelized in copper cauldrons and also from storage in oak barrels.

But how is Pelinkovac properly enjoyed?

As already mentioned, Pelinkovac is diverse, everyone enjoys it as they please. Pure and on ex, it is usually drunk after or before meals. More and more Pelinkovac is now also being drunk as a long drink. The simplest version is to drink it with ice and some lemon and water as you like, as a Pelinkovac spritz or top it up with cola as Pelinkovac Cola. A new but very strong mixed drink with Pelinkovac is also the following:

  • Strong mixed Pelinkovac: 1 part rum, 1 part vodka, 1 part Pelinkovac and top up with Red Bull or soda water

Of course there are many other drinks, but we want to finish our tips for mixed drinks and cocktails for your sailing holiday with a lot of anticipation for a Pelinkovac on the next Croatia trip.

Finally, we would like to expressly point out that this blog should not be an invitation to excessive or even uncontrolled alcohol consumption on board! Rather, we are concerned with the responsible consumption and use of alcohol.

Safety note: Remember, a yacht harbors a multitude of dangers, especially for people under the influence of alcohol. Therefore, the consumption of alcohol should be limited so as not to endanger anyone or put your skipper in an unpleasant situation. The skipper is responsible for both the entire crew and for the safe navigation of the yacht. As a skipper, you should therefore always keep a clear head for the unforeseen, even when you are at anchor or at a buoy.

Should your last sundowner be on board on the last evening before your departure, we ask you to leave your "good mood celebration table" in a tidy condition and to hand over the yacht in a clean swept state. For the sake of the next crew, remember that all the dishes must be done and the rubbish removed so that no additional cleaning and rubbish disposal effort delays the check-in of the next crew.

We wish you a wonderful trip, enjoy your mixed drinks and cocktails in moderation.

Tina Pitter
Tina Pitter
Author of the article


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