6 Tasty and Quick Cocktail Recipes for Labor Day
According to AAA, as many as 34.1 millions hit the road for Labor Day annually. Whether you’re staying at home or taking a weekend jaunt for the holiday, it’s hard to deny that summer is slowly reaching its end. There’s no better way to give the season a sendoff than with some fun and fast Labor Day cocktails. Instead of spending the whole day slaving over the bar, throw together a few of these delicious drinks in just minutes. Pour one for yourself, kick back, and soak up the last few precious days of summer.
Whether your event is a blowout bash or a simple summertime picnic, these 6 Labor Day cocktails will make a refreshing addition to your holiday menu.
1. Grapefruit-Basil Gin Fizz
Capture the refreshing flavors of summer with this cool, basil-muddled cocktail from Rachael Ray Magazine. The recipe yields 1 serving and takes around 5 minutes to complete. This drink is light and sweet, with a bitter zing thanks to the inclusion of bitters and tonic.
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil, plus 1 sprig for garnishing
- ¾ cup pink grapefruit juice
- 2 ounces gin
- ¼ cup tonic water
- Angostura bitters
Directions: Muddle basil in bottom of tall glass; add ice, grapefruit juice, gin, and tonic. Stir, then top with a few drops bitters. Garnish with basil sprig.
A Mexican grapefruit soda such as Jarritos or Squirt will lend your Paloma an authentic dash of sour. Combined with tequila and salt, this is a lighter version of a margarita — though it doesn’t skimp on the alcohol content! This recipe from Liquor takes about 5 minutes to complete and yields one serving.
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 pinch salt
- Half a lime
- Grapefruit soda, such as Jarritos or Squirt
Directions: Fill a highball glass with ice and add the tequila and salt. Squeeze the lime half into the glass and drop into the drink. Fill with grapefruit soda.
3. Aperol Spritz
Get a taste of Italy at your summer’s end bash with this classic Italian cocktail made with Aperol, a refreshing herbal liqueur. Combine it with a splash of club soda and some sparkling wine for flavor and fizz. This recipe from the Kitchn takes about 5 minutes to complete, and yields 1 serving. Garnish with an orange slice and serve!
- Sparkling wine such as Prosecco or Cava
- 1 shot Aperol
- 1 splash club soda
- 1 slice orange
Directions: Fill a tumbler or large wine glass with ice. Fill the glass 2/3 full with sparkling wine. Add the shot of Aperol. Top with club soda, stir well, then add the orange slice.
4. Sangria Bonita
This fruity sangria will help you and your guests capture one last burst of summer glory. Sipping on Sangria Bonita is a cool, sweet way to wish the summer goodbye. This recipe from The Huffington Post takes 5 minutes to complete and yields 4 servings.
- 1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc
- 8 ounces peach brandy
- 4 ounces lemon-flavored sparkling water
- 3 cups sliced peaches, green apples, and strawberries
Directions: Mix all in a pitcher, stir well, add ice, and serve.
5. Blackberry Cocktail
There’s no better way to take advantage of blackberry season than including them in your beverage. This recipe is slightly more involved, but well worth the fruity, minty results. This blackberry cocktail recipe from Southern Living takes 20 minutes to complete and yields 5 cups.
- 1 (¾-ounce) package fresh mint sprigs
- 12 (¼-inch-thick) cucumber slices
- 2 (6 ounce) packages fresh blackberries
- ¾ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
- 8 to 12 teaspoons turbinado sugar (or powdered sugar)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons gin
- 1 cup cold club soda
- Garnishes: cucumber slices, fresh blackberries, lime wedges, lemon mint sprigs
Directions: Place first 5 ingredients in a large pitcher. Gently press mint leaves, cucumbers, and blackberries against side of pitcher with a wooden spoon to release flavors. Stir in gin and club soda. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.
6. Ginger Shandy
Shandy combines the exceptional taste of summer beer with a sweet, non-alcoholic beverage. Bitter, light, and and cool, this homemade summer shandy is a Labor Day recipe for success. The zesty recipe from Delish takes 10 minutes to complete and yields 6 drinks.
- 3 bottles chilled Hoegaarden or other wheat beer
- 1 bottle chilled ginger beer
- 1 thinly sliced lemon
- Mint sprigs, for garnish
Directions: In a large pitcher, combine Hoegaarden with ginger beer. Stir in most lemon slices and mint sprigs. Fill 6 rocks glasses with ice. Add remaining lemon slices to glasses and pour in shandy. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig and serve.