Ready for a three-day weekend full of drinks and sunshine? Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and if you’re going to pour one out for all of the folks we’ve lost, make use of the season’s best ingredients while you’re at it with these Memorial Day cocktails. Plump, ripe fruit, refreshing spirits and twists on summer classics are exactly what you need this holiday.
1. Shark Bite
Memorial Day is an occasion meant for lounging in the sun and celebrating what you have. And you do have rum, right? This cocktail takes coconut rum, pineapple and, for a twist, blue curaçao. The result is a sweet, refreshing and simple drink with an interesting hue that matches the color of the sea.
2. Watermelon Mojito
In hot weather, watermelon is king, and if you think this melon is great on its own, you’ll be blown away by how refreshing it is in this take on a classic summer cocktail. Purée some watermelon chunks, and add it to your favorite Mojito recipe, and you’re done. Pro tip: Make a pitcher of this stuff, and your friends will thank you.
3. The Chupacabra
Finally, a Chupacabra that actually exists. This cocktail brings together gin, agave nectar, elderflower liqueur, citrus juices and some chile for bite. It’s floral, spicy, tart and herbal, and if all conspiracy theories tasted this good, consider us a believer.
4. Blue Hawaiian
Summer is the time for colorful cocktails, so why not get an early start for Memorial Day? This cocktail adds blue curaçao in a mixture of coconut cream, vodka and rum for a thick, creamy and very blue drink that will catch the eye of everyone around you. It’s tropical, rich, boozy and perfect for your long weekend.
5. Cucumber Gin & Tonic
There’s no better way to cool down in the heat than with this super simple cocktail. Three ingredients (well, four if you include the optional splash of lemon juice), and you’re all set with one of the most refreshing drinks you can have on Memorial Day or any day.
6. Blueberry Mojito
If you know how to the make a standard Mojito, you’re almost done with this fruity twist. Grab some blueberries from the farmers’ market, and get muddlin’. You won’t regret it.
7. Southern Belle
When thinking of summer ingredients, Campari usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but this cocktail takes this bitter liqueur and makes it shine with rye whiskey, pineapple juice and strawberry syrup. The result is a drink with a fine balance of sweet and bitterness. Of course, nothing can be a Southern Belle without a peach, so this drink uses peach bitters for finishing off.