For many people, Labor Day weekend tends to represent the final swan song of summer. It unofficially ends those sweet months of late nights, fireflies, and cookouts on the back patio. Once those three days are over, it's time for the kids to go back to school and work obligations to ramp up.
Before you say a bittersweet farewell to the best time of the year, why not have one last celebration? Today, we're sharing a few of our favorite Labor Day drinks that can help you send off this season in style.
1. Watermelon Sangria
If there's an official summertime fruit, it's watermelon. Whether you're spitting seeds on the front porch or diving into the rind until juices run down your chin, it's undeniably sweet and delicious.
Watermelon Sangria builds on this beloved flavor by adding other types of fruits, including pineapple and blueberries. Plus, it has the addition of white wine, so you know it's going to be good.
This recipe is enough to serve a crowd, so invite over your favorite people and tell them the party's about to start. Here are the ingredients you need:
- 1 large watermelon
- 1 bottle of white wine
- 2 cups of white rum
- 1 cup of seltzer
- 1/3 cup of lime juice (around six limes)
- 2 thinly sliced limes
- 2 cups of your favorite assorted fruit (e.g. pineapple, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries)
Start by slicing off the top third of the watermelon, reserving it for later. Then, use a knife to evenly score the fruit. Use a large scoop to remove all of the watermelon flesh, and transfer it to your blender.
You don't have to strain the seeds, but you can if you desire. Then, blend the watermelon into a thin juice. To this concoction, add the white wine, rum, seltzer, and lime juice.
Stir until combined, then gently mix in the lime slices and assorted fruit. Chill the sangria in the refrigerator for at least two hours before you serve it so the flavors have time to meld. Our Conundrum California White Wine would taste delicious in this summer spritzer!
2. Strawberry Slush Martini
If martinis are your drink of choice, this is bound to become one of your favorite Labor Day cocktails! While strawberries are more of a springtime fruit, their flavor is still sweetly reminiscent of warmer months.
This drink is a beautiful, bold red color which makes it fun to serve! Here are the items to gather:
- 2 ounces of vodka
- 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
- 1/4 ounce of agave syrup
- Handful of frozen strawberries (about five to six)
- Fresh mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
To make, combine everything in a blender and pulse until it's smooth and at your desired consistency. To turn it from a puree into more of a slushy consistency, you can add a handful of crushed ice. Pour into a martini glass rimmed in sugar and garnish with lime for a sweet summertime sipper.
3. Boozy Orange Julius
Remember when a large Orange Julius was the treat to get at the local mall? We can still remember the signature taste, which always seemed to make strolling the department stores that much more enjoyable as a kid.
Now that you're an adult, it's time to take this food court classic up a notch. Like the original, our Boozy Orange Julius is frothy, citrusy, and perfectly sweet. However, this version also has a cocktail kick!
Start with these ingredients:
- 1/2 cup of sugar (divided into two 1/4 cups)
- 1 orange wedge
- The zest of one orange
- 2 cups of orange juice
- 1.5 cups of ice
- 1/2 cup of vodka
- 1 cup of whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 orange wheels for garnish (optional)
First, let's focus on rimming the glasses. Mix the orange zest with 1/4 cup of sugar on a small plate until combined. Then, rub the rims of four martini glasses with the orange wedge and dip each one in the sugar mixture.
In a blender, add the ice, orange juice, vodka, milk, and vanilla. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Then, blend until fully combined.
Divide the cocktail among the glasses, garnish with an orange wheel, and you're ready to take a delicious step back in time. For an extra fruity twist, why not use 360 Vodka Georgia Peach Vodka in this recipe?
4. Classic Mai Tai
Few summer drinks hit the spot quite like a Mai Tai. One sip, and you'll feel like you're on a tropical island somewhere with your toes in the sand and the sun on your back.
That said, there's no better way to give summer a final send-off than to indulge in one! With this Classic Mai Tai, you're just one sip away from paradise. Here's what you need to make it:
- 1 ounce of rum
- 1 ounce of triple sec
- 1 ounce of demerara syrup
- 1 once of orange juice
- 1 ounce of pineapple juice
- 1 ounce of dark rum (try Papa's Pilar Dark Rum)
- 1/2 ounce of lime juice
- Orange wheel for garnish (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients except the rum into a shaker, along with a handful of cubed ice. Shake until combined, and double-strain into a glass. Add the dark rum on top and garnish with an orange wheel.
Demerara syrup is a type of simple syrup that uses demerara sugar instead of white sugar. Here's an easy recipe to help you make it.
5. Sparkling Citrus Pineapple Sangria
When you combine the flavors of citrus fruits with fresh mint and basil, you're bound to get something delicious. Add brandy and dry white wine, and the result is one of our favorite summer cocktails to date!
Make our Sparkling Citrus Pineapple Sangria any time you need a refreshing pick-me-up, especially as you start to think about diving into all of the fall activities that lie ahead! Here's the full ingredients list:
- 2 thinly sliced lemons
- 2 thinly sliced limes
- 1 thinly sliced orange
- 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
- 1/4 cup torn fresh mint
- 1 cup sparkling lime water
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 bottle of dry white wine
- 3 ounces of brandy
The steps to make this cocktail are surprisingly simple. All you have to do is combine everything into a large pitcher, and stir to combine! To give the flavors time to mix, allow it to chill in the fridge for up to four hours before serving.
Brandy-wise, we recommend Presidente Classic Brandy for this one. Its notes of dried fruit, vanilla, and caramel will blend well with the zestier citrus fruits for a deliciously balanced flavor.
6. White Wine Spritzer
Looking for a light cocktail to serve at your Labor Day cookout? A White Wine Spritzer isn't too heavy, which makes it the ideal addition to your menu. In fact, this recipe only calls for three ingredients, and you may already have everything you need.
To make it, start by combining the following:
- 3/4 glass of chilled white wine
- 1/4 glass of chilled club soda
- Slice of lime for garnish (optional)
The key to this formula is to make sure your white wine and club soda are as cold as you can possibly get them without freezing them. If your glass immediately frosts when you pour in the wine, that's how you know it's cold enough!
Once you've added the wine, carefully splash in the club soda and garnish with the lime. If you want something a little more flavorful than plain club soda, feel free to swap in ginger ale or lemon-lime soda instead. With its refreshing notes of peach and pineapple, Pedroncelli Friends Sonoma White Wine would be tasty in this one!
7. Coconut Cloud 9
While you're busy planning your Labor Day activities, you might be wishing you were still on a beach somewhere. The taste of coconut is instantly transformative, beckoning you back to slower and simpler days by the water.
In this twist on a Cloud 9, we're using traditional gin and lime juice. However, there are two other ingredients on this list that you might not be as familiar with. Here's what you need:
- 2 ounces of gin
- 3 ounces of soursop juice
- 1 ounce of coconut-infused simple syrup
- 1 ounce of lime juice
Both soursop juice and coconut-infused syrup might be difficult to find in stores. Thankfully, they're relatively easy to make at home. Also known as guanabana, soursop is a type of tropical fruit. Sweetened with lime juice and honey, it's a delicious concoction you'll want to incorporate into all of your Labor Day cocktail ideas!
Here's a short recipe you can make at home. If you can't find soursop, you can substitute frozen mango or guava.
To make the coconut-infused simple syrup, add equal parts sugar and water to a pot, along with freshly grated coconut and a dash of coconut oil. Boil for five minutes and allow the mixture to strain overnight. Then, combine all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice and give it a few good shakes.
Strain into a glass with fresh ice, and garnish with fresh mint if desired! If you need a new bottle of gin, we suggest New Amsterdam Gin.
8. Mojito Slushies
These slushies are a gorgeous green color, which makes them the ideal way to usher out the season of long grass, leaves, and blooms. The flavor of the mint and lime is instantly recharging, and you'll find yourself making these again and again as summer winds to a close.
Here are the ingredients you'll need:
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of lime juice
- 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves
- Zest of 1-2 limes
- 1/2 cup of light rum
- 4 cups of ice
- Sprigs of mint and lime wedges for garnish (optional)
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat to create a simple syrup. Bring it to a boil and stir frequently. It's ready once all the sugar is dissolved and the liquid coats the back of a spoon.
Pour the syrup into a container and refrigerate it while you make the rest of the cocktail. In a blender, place the ice, lime juice, mint leaves, lime zest, and rum. Add 1/3 cup of the simple syrup and blend until smooth.
Divide the drink into four glasses and top with mint and lime. Consider this your one-way ticket to paradise! For the rum in this recipe, you can't go wrong with Cruzan Estates Aged Light Rum.
9. Classic Aperol Spritz
A classic Aperol Spritz is an utterly timeless summer drink. Its red/orange hue is reminiscent of a summer sunset, and it tastes just as sweet. This cocktail was originally invented in 1919 by a bartender named Raimondo Ricci, and it's been a go-to treat ever since.
When you're feeling fancy and want to indulge, here's the list you need:
- Cubed ice
- 3 ounces of Aperol
- 3 ounces of dry Prosecco
- 1 ounce of club soda or unflavored sparkling water
- Orange slice for garnish (optional)
Aperol is an Italian bitter apéritif. Its main ingredients are gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona. You can find a bottle of Aperol Orange Aperitif in our online shop!
To create this cocktail, add ice to a wine glass until it's almost full. Add the Aperol until the glass is about 1/3 full, followed by an equal amount of Prosecco. Top with a splash of club soda and a slice of orange, and you'll think you're off the coast of Italy, not your own backyard.
10. Paloma Mimosas
Are you planning to serve and enjoy your Labor Day cocktails for brunch? If so, you must create a batch of these delicious Paloma Mimosas! Combining the essence of both a Mimosa and a Paloma, they pack a great one-two punch.
To make them, you'll need to follow a quick two-step process. Start by gathering these ingredients:
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled with skin cut into strips
- 1/2 habanero chile with stem removed
- 1/2 cup of tequila blanco, divided
- 12 ounces of Prosecco (or sparkling white wine), divided
- Ruby red grapefruit wedges for garnish (optional)
The first step is to muddle the grapefruit and make your syrup. To do so, combine the grapefruit peel and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Muddle for about one minute, and then add the habanero.
Crush everything for about 30 seconds, and add 1/4 cup of water. Shake about 45 seconds to one minute, until the sugar is dissolved. Then, pour the liquid through a cocktail shaker and discard the solid pieces.
Next, combine 1/4 cup of fresh grapefruit juice, 1 ounce of tequila, and 1/2 ounce of the syrup into a champagne flute and stir to combine and top with Prosecco. Top with a grapefruit wedge and you're ready to go! Siete Leguas Blanco Tequila is a natural pick for this delicious drink.
Savor the Season With These Labor Day Drinks
We might be closing out one season, but we're ready to usher in another! These refreshing and unique Labor Day drinks are a great way to bid adieu to the summer and anticipate everything that awaits around the corner.
Filled with bright flavors and zesty spirits, they're sure to be crowd-pleasers, whether you're prepping for a party or just savoring a sunset with your crew. To make sure you're well-stocked for these cocktails and more, shop our liquor and wine collections today!