After all those smoky, charred meals from the grill, your guests will need a few cocktails to cool down with if you’re holding a Labor Day party this year. Beer and wine will almost certainly be required. Still, a decent cocktail or two, like a lemony Diablo-inspired punch or an incredibly refreshing pineapple cocktail, will definitely be a special treat.
You can’t go wrong with a refreshing frozen Negroni, or a Daiquiri sweetened with peaches on a hot day, especially if you have a small gathering and can blitz frozen cocktails to order. However, don’t forget that a good host will also give nonalcoholic beverages!
It’s the unofficial summer and the ideal reason to have one more outdoor event before the cold weather arrives. These cocktail recipes have you covered whether you’re entertaining a crowd in your backyard or just want something to sip alone on your porch. So let’s have a look at them!
1. Frozen Gin and Tonic
Making this chilly cocktail isn’t difficult at all! In your blender, you don’t want to put bubbly tonic water. Fortunately, various small-batch tonic syrups are now available, designed to be blended with soda water but appropriate for this cocktail. It’s tangy and slightly bitter, frosty and refreshing. You can use any gin you prefer; this drink can also handle a robust, juniper-heavy London Dry.
3 oz. (90 mL) gin
1 ounce (30ml) tonic syrup
30 mL simple Syrup 1 oz
Two dashes of bitter orange
One and a half-ounce (45ml) 2 freshly squeezed limes
12 cubes of regular ice (about 270g)
Garnish with lime wedges and cucumber slices.
- In a resealable container, combine the gin, tonic syrup, simple Syrup, bitters, and lime juice.
- Seal and freeze for at least 1 hour and up to 10 hours before blending.
- Blend the ice in the blender until it is completely smooth.
- In a small saucepan, add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and boil over medium heat, constantly stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool and then use. Simple Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
2. Tomato Spritz
Tomatoes are one of the most underrated cocktail ingredients. They give acidity and brightness to a drink, as well as a lovely vegetal note that goes well with a wide range of components, especially when ripe in late summer.
1/4 ounce Hendrick’s gin
Martini & Rossi extra-dry vermouth, 2 oz.
1/4 ounce cherry tomato shrub**
1/4 ounce cherry tomato shrub**
Chilled club soda and Prosecco to top
Cherry tomato, halved as a garnish
Parsley stalk as a garnish
- Except for club soda and prosecco, add all the ingredients and whisk to blend in a glass filled with ice.
- Add an equal amount of prosecco and club soda to the top and swirl briefly and gently to mix.
- Halved cherry tomato and a parsley stalk are to be served as garnish.
- In a juicer, mash one container of Holland or plum tomatoes. Refrigerate the combo of tomato juices and skins for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the juices to absorb the scent from the skins. Put the mashed tomatoes in a strainer and let the juice drip into a container until it’s all gone. For the finest flavor, keep the juice refrigerated and use it within a few days.
3. Watermelon Sling
- White Whiskey 1.5 ounce
- 1.25 ounces of watermelon juice
- 5 ounces of Simple Syrup
- 5 ounces of lemon juice
- 5 ounces of Aperol
- One sprig rosemary
- Lemon Wheel
- Soda Water
Add all ingredients, shake, and strain into a glass with lots of fresh ice in a shaker with ice. Finish with a splash of soda water. Serve with a lemon wheel and rosemary sprig as garnish.
4. Old Cuban
This cocktail was created by bartending icon Audry Saunders in 2001, and it eventually became a fixture on the menu at the now-defunct Pegu Club. A cocktail made with mint, lime, aged rum, bitters, and Champagne that tastes like a mix between a Mojito and a French 75 is better than the sum of its parts.
- Six whole mint leaves
- 1-ounce simple Syrup
- freshly squeezed lime juice (around 3/4 ounce)
- 1 1/2 ounces rum (aged)
- Two dashes bitters Angostura
- 2 oz. chilled Champagne
- Mint sprig as a garnish
- In a shaker, muddle the mint leaves with Simple Syrup and lime juice.
- Shake the rum, bitters, and ice until thoroughly cold.
- Strain twice into a coupe glass.
- Finish with a splash of Champagne and mint sprig
5. Blue Cenote
The aim is to create a stunning summer drink that transports you to a beautiful beach in Mexico. It’s a tropical marvel that’ll help you keep your summertime vibes going.
- Herradura Silver Tequila, 1.5 oz.
- Blue curaçao, 5 oz.
- lime juice, 1 oz
- 1 tbsp. pineapple juice
- honey syrup, 5 oz
- aromatic bitters, five dashes
- In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine all of the components, except the bitters.
- To chill and blend the contents, give it a good shake.
- Crush ice into a hurricane glass.
- Over the top of the cocktail, float fragrant bitters and garnish with pineapple and flowers.
6. Strawberry Drink
This well-balanced berry drink tempers the tequila’s bite with fresh strawberry flavors and additional aromatics from the bitters.
- 1.5 oz. Herradura Ultra
- .5 oz strawberry syrup
- Strawberry and edible flower to garnish
- Two dashes of aromatic bitters
- In a mixing glass with ice, combine all ingredients.
- To chill and blend the ingredients, stir them together.
- Over a huge ice cube, strain into an old-fashioned double glass.
- Serve with a strawberry and an edible flower as a garnish.
7. Classic Margarita
In the summer, who doesn’t enjoy a margarita drink? Frozen margaritas are fine for the weather, but on-the-rocks margaritas are more popular, and they’re easier to make in large batches. Unlike sour-mix margaritas, which employ a lot of sugar to mask the low quality of the booze, a margarita made with good tequila simply needs the Cointreau as a sweetener.
- Two lime wheels and one lime wedge for garnish
- One tablespoon coarse salt (for the rims of the glasses)
- 4 ounces (120ml) Blanco tequila of exceptional quality
- Two fluid ounces (60ml) Cointreau
- 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) fresh juice of two limes
- Two rocks glasses with lime wedges around the outside rims and salt rims.
- Combine the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake for about 15 seconds, or until fully cooled (the metal shaker should frost over at the bottom).
- Fill both glasses with fresh ice and strain the margarita. Serve with lime wheels as a garnish.
8. Watermelon Crush
- 2 ounce Vodka Ménage à Trois
- 3–4 slices of watermelon
- Hibiscus Syrup, 5 oz.
- 75 ounces lime juice
- coconut water, 5 oz
- In a shaker tin, muddle the watermelon and mix all of the ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Serve with a tiny piece of watermelon as a garnish.
- To make hibiscus Syrup bring a pot of water to a boil and steep one hibiscus tea bag. Add equal portions of white sugar to the tea after it has steeped, and stir to dissolve.
9. Fresh Cucumber Lemonade
Cucumber is a great addition to the classic summer lemonade drink. Serve it on this labor day with cucumber and/or lemon slices in a pitcher.
- 1 quart of water
- 12 cup granulated sugar
- Six lemons juiced one cucumber, sliced
- To make a simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until completely cool.
- In a blender or food processor, puree the cucumber slices until they form a pulp. Place the cucumber pulp in a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid and set aside for 15 mins until you have about 2/3 cup liquid from the cucumber.
- In a pitcher, combine the simple Syrup, cucumber liquid, and lemon juice. Allow cooling before serving.
10. Pineapple Hop
This pitcher cocktail combines a zesty pineapple shrub with a hoppy IPA for a refreshing labor day cocktail. The mixture can be made up to a day ahead of time for your BBQ or picnic, and the shrub will last for all of your summer gatherings.
For the Pineapple Shrub:
- One medium peeled fresh pineapple, sliced into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (granulated)
- 1/2 gallon of apple cider vinegar
To make cocktails:
- White rum, 5 oz.
- Pineapple Shrub, 5 oz.
- 1 1/4 ounces orgeat
- 20 oz. India Pale Ale
- In a clean, sterilized wide-mouth container, place the pineapple cubes. Using a potato masher or muddler, lightly crush the pineapples and cover with sugar. Refrigerate for 10 hours after covering. Remove the fruit from the liquid and add apple cider vinegar to it.
- Refrigerate for two weeks with the lid on, mixing the mixture every other day. Strain into a clean, airtight jar after two weeks—you’ll have around 3 cups—and keep refrigerated. The dried shrub can be stored for up to 6 months.
- For the Cocktails, Combine white rum, Pineapple Shrub, and orgeat in a pitcher. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, or combine all ingredients and chill for up to 24 hours in advance.
- When ready to serve, pour the beer into the pitcher and gently whisk it in. Serve the summer drink in highball glasses loaded with ice.
11. Peach and Orange
- Five teaspoon orange zest, grated
- Two tablespoons sugar 25 cups kosher salt
- 3 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
- One pitted and roughly chopped ripe peach
- Club soda, eight oz. silver tequila
- Combine the orange zest, salt, and sugar in a small bowl. Work the zest into the salt and sugar with your fingertips until the combination is fragrant. Set aside four glasses rimmed with the salt mixture.
- Blend the lime juice, orange juice, and peach chunks in a blender. Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the mixture. Ice should be placed in each of the prepared glasses. In each glass, pour 2 ounces of tequila. Serve with a dash of 5 cups of the juice mixture. Garnish with fruit slices and serve with club soda on top.
12. Summertime Spice
- 1.5 ounces Casamigos blanco Tequila
- .75 ounces Ancho Reyes
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .25 oz agave syrup
In a shaker, combine all of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with new ice. Serve with a lemon twist as a garnish.
13. Aloe Mojito (Low Calorie)
- Casamigos Tequila, 1 ounce
- ALOE + 2 oz DIRTY LEMON
- One lime, peeled and sliced into wedges
- One sprig of mint
Shake all of the wet ingredients together in a shaker—strain into a Collins glass with ice and a mint sprig and lime wedge for garnish.
14. The Jojo
- 1 Strawberry
- ELYX Vodka, 2 oz.
- St.Germain, 25 oz.
- 5 ounces lemon juice
- Simple Syrup (75 oz)
Muddle the strawberry. Then mix in the remaining ingredients. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a coupe glass. Prosecco should be served on the side with a strawberry garnish.
15. The Honeypot
As described in the recipe below, mixing the spirit with nut-infused honey is about the only thing better than the honey and scotch combination for this labor day drink party.
- The Macallan Double Cask 12-Year, 2 oz.
- 75 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Murray’s Chestnut Honey, 5 oz
- 1 dash bitters Angostura
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients, add ice, and shake until chilled—strain into a rocks glass over new ice.
Relax and do what the holiday requires this Labor Day Weekend. Come on and take a few more steps back in your favorite outdoor chair, draw your hat over your eyes, and exhale deeply.
Enjoy one of these exquisite summer drinks in between long, leisurely breaths. So don’t forget to try out some of these top drinks on this Labor Day Weekend.