Planning an epic Labor Day weekend? Summer may be over but the party has just begun with these easy summertime cocktails. So kick back and relax on your porch, at the beach or at a party with these thirst quenching yet fun and flavorful summer favorites. Whether you are mixing for a big party or just for yourself, these adult drinks will surely put an exclamation point at the end of your summer this Labor Day.
Mint Julep Made famous as the unofficial signature drink of the Kentucky Derby and horse racing enthusiasts everywhere, the Mint Julep is perfect for a relaxing summer afternoon with a couple close friends as this recipe requires some planning. All you needs is whisky, mint sprigs, sugar and water. First, make your own simple syrup by combining 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and boiling the mixture for 5 minutes without stirring. Pour the mix over a handful of mint leaves and then crush the mint with a spoon. Refrigerate the mixture overnight in a closed container. On party day, crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of a glass and fill it with crushed ice. Combine a tablespoon of your simple syrup and a tablespoon of water in the glass with 2 ounces of whisky. Stir the mixture until the glass frosts. Then, you are ready to kick back, relax and watch the last lazy days of summer roll by.
Sangria If hard alcohol drinks aren’t your “cup of tea” per say, here’s a cocktail you can drink all day with ease. It takes a little longer to prepare, but you can make it en masse, making it an ideal drink for a poolside gathering of any size. Make it as strong or as weak as you want and use the leftovers to make a cool, crisp summer salad. This recipe leaves a lot of room for originality, so remember the crowd you are stirring for before purchasing and combining ingredients. For this recipe you will need rose wine, pineapple juice, vodka and triple sec (optional), an orange, lemon, lime and raspberries. First, combine a bottle of wine, 1 cup of pineapple juice, ½ cup of vodka, ¼ cup of triple sec and ½ cup simple syrup (see above for a simple DIY recipe) in a large pitcher. Refrigerate the concoction for at least an hour. At party time, add the sliced orange, lemon, lime and 6 ounces of raspberries to the mixture. The longer the fruit sits in the wine, the more flavorful cocktail you will have. It is best to stir in the fruit 30 minutes to an hour before serving; if it sits too long, the fruit will start to shrivel. Serve each cocktail in large wine glass filled with ice and cheers the summer goodbye.
Summer Beer Stuck in your beer habit? Make it a little more summer appropriate with this quick and easy alteration. Switch up your usual beer with a light summer ale. These beers are brewed specifically with the dog days of summer in mind, so they are refreshing and light by design. For an extra summertime splurge, pour a shot of lemonade into your pint glass before your beer or directly into the neck of the bottle; it’s the lemonade stand classic with an adult kick!
So as you plan that Labor Day gathering this weekend, make sure to mix cocktails that salute the summer appropriately. Remember to always drink responsibly; enjoy those fleeting moments of summer safely but with a smile. :-)