6 Cocktails and Wines to Drink by the Pool

Swimsuit? Tick. Sunnies? Tick. You’re poolside and feeling fine – now all you need is a cocktail or wine to make it perfect. Here are our top picks.

Are you a Negroni or Spritz kind of drinker? A Riesling or a Rosé lover? No matter your preference, if we placed you poolside on the comfiest sun-lounger you ever did see with a view of a sparkling pool beyond, perhaps your tipple of choice might change. If that’s the case, here are our six go-to summer wines and cocktails for those chilled-out summer drinking days by the pool.

Aperol Spritz

It’s the quintessential summer drink, an Italian staple come lunchtime, and the ultimate aperitif to sip when lazing by the pool. The freshness and zing of an Aperol Spritz can’t be beaten, but there are some alternatives, especially when it’s aperitivo hour by the pool. Behzad Nvaziri, award-winning bar manager at The Star Sydney, suggests reaching for an “Aperol spritz, variations of Negroni or simply a gin and tonic” or trying “a highball or something straight up but refreshing”.

Old-world wines

Think Riesling, Semillon and Rosé – wines that are light, fresh and pair perfectly with summer dishes. “I have a soft spot for a Hunter Valley Semillon and I love a good Riesling,” says Addy Lam, Head Sommelier at BLACK Bar & Grill. “They both have structure, are low alcohol, citrusy fresh, and food friendly, so they taste great with things like fish and chips.”


If there’s one cocktail to drink in summer, it’s a Southside. Simple yet oh so satisfying, this cocktail is a delicious concoction of fresh mint and lime shaken with gin. “We are using Manly Spirits Distillery gin with marine botanicals and mixing it with salted ginger syrup and fresh lime this summer,” says Behzad.

Cool-climate table wine

Looking for a bottle of vino to take to your next summer soiree? The word on the street is it’s all about cool-climate table wines. “This summer my pick will be any wine coming from the ACT, Orange, Adelaide Hills, Victoria and Tasmania,” says Addy.

Table wine
Table Wine

“The cocktail of the season is the Sgroppino,” reveals Behz, adding “it’s a scoop of delicious homemade sorbet topped with sparkling wine”.

Tip: At Sokyo, BLACK, Flying Fish and Cucina Porto (opening on 25 November) you can sample a Sgroppino with a different flavour of sorbet, from mandarin or mango to lychee or classic lemon.

Light Red Wine
Light Red Wine
Light red wine

Just because it’s 30 degrees outside, it doesn’t mean the red wine should be hidden away catching cobwebs. Summer days are all about light reds to sip slowly and enjoy. Addy’s favourites? “Gamy, Pinot Noir and cool-climate reds are always my flavour of choice to serve on the dining table,” he says.

Want a soundtrack for your poolside session? Cue The Star’s Summer Playlist