Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Summer

11 Great Cocktails to Make for Labor Day

Blue Hawaii. Image: Tim Nusog

Believe it or not, there’s still time to enjoy all that summer has to offer. Whether you’re firing up the grill for a crowd one last time or enjoying the final days of warm weather with close friends, we have the cocktails that will make your Labor Day celebrations memorable until next summer rolls around.

  • Sparkling Watermelon Punch

    Tim Nusog

    It wouldn’t be a true Labor Day party without summer fruit. This punch makes good use of watermelon, blending it with fresh mint, then mixing it all with vodka, lime juice and simple syrup. Top with sparkling wine for an extra-special end-of-summer treat.

  • Inside Scoop

    This isn’t the root beer float you remember from your childhood summers. The classic combination of root beer and vanilla ice cream gets an adult upgrade, thanks to the addition of Jägermeister, root beer bitters and a light spray of Yellow Chartreuse. Express an orange peel over the top for an extra kick of flavor.

  • Room Temperature Martini No. 1

    Tim Nusog

    Want to serve something on the fancier side but don’t want to get stuck worrying about spirit temperature all night? You’re in luck. This unique cocktail is neither hot nor cold and super easy to prepare. Stir dry gin, bianco vermouth, chilled water, lemon bitters and orange bitters, then strain and garnish with a lemon peel.

  • Bramble

    Tim Nusog

    Enjoy afternoon sipping while you can with this light citrus cocktail. Gin, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup make a base that lets the color and flavor of crème de mure shine. Garnish with a lemon half-wheel and a fresh blackberry to give a hint of what flavors lie within.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Ginger Beer Margarita

    Hosting a big group? Throw together a pitcher of this crowd-pleaser. The mix of tequila, lime juice, Jamaican ginger beer and agave nectar is sweet, fizzy and easy to make in a large batch.

  • Negroni

    Tim Nusog

    Ease into the more complex flavors of fall with this timeless classic. The equal-parts recipe of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth is a bitter and spirit-forward apéritif that only needs a bit of ice and an orange peel to be absolutely perfect.

  • Demi Peche

    This take on the Shandy is a French version of the classic Radler. In other words, it’s a perfect low-ABV option for an afternoon of drinking. Homemade demi peche syrup is super simple to make, and once you have a batch prepped, all you have to do is mix an ounce into a glass of beer to make a fruit-kissed cocktail even the pickiest drinker will enjoy.

  • Bloody Kirby

    Tim Nusog

    Start your celebrations earlier in the day with this lighter take on a Bloody Mary. Citrus vodka, cucumber, Tabasco and vermouth are muddled together, then strained over ice and topped with tomato juice. Garnish with a cucumber for a crunchy snack to have on the side.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Frosé


    If you didn’t have time to enjoy this quintessential drink this summer, now’s your last chance. Whip up a batch of this frozen concoction before it’s too cold to enjoy. The icy blend of rosé, simple syrup, Aperol and lemon juice is a guilty pleasure you won’t want to miss.

  • Sparkling Rosé Margarita

    Tim Nusog

    Homemade strawberry-basil-infused blanco tequila will definitely impress your guests in this bright and bubbly punch. When mixed with fresh lime juice, agave syrup and dry sparkling rosé, the tequila takes on a fresh and herbaceous flavor that’s an ideal way to toast the end of the season.

  • Blue Hawaii

    Blue Hawaii. Tim Nusog

    Even if you didn’t make it to the beach before Labor Day, you can still drink like you did. Vodka and light rum are a boozy base that’s electrified with blue curaçao’s vibrant color. Add in a dash of pineapple juice and sweet-and-sour mix, and you’ll think you’re on a tropical vacation (even if you’re just drinking from your backyard with your toes in a kiddie pool).