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15 Labor Day Cocktails That Will Make Your Celebration Unforgettable!

Labor Day is almost here, signaling the end of summer and a time to relax without spending too much time in the kitchen.

This collection of cocktail recipes is perfect for making in advance and serving easily. These drinks can be prepared in big batches, stored at room temperature, and served with ice and a splash of club soda or sparkling water.

Enjoy the holiday with these 15 refreshing beverages that keep the focus on fun and relaxation.

SANGRIA AND SPRITZ

Sparkling Citrus Pineapple Sangria

This Sparkling Citrus Pineapple Sangria is loaded with all the flavor from lemons, lime, oranges, pineapple, basil AND mint. It’s also the perfect batch cocktail to make and let sit for the day while you serve yourself and your friends/family while you hang outside in your backyard.

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup sparkling lime water
  • 3 ounces brandy
  • 1 bottle dry white wine

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Combine everything into a large pitcher and stir to combine!
  2. Let sit for 1-4 hours before serving. Serve over ice.

Stone Fruit and Strawberry Sangria

It only requires a few minutes to pit the cherries and then another second or two to combine the sugar and the brandy. Then a few hours in the fridge so the fruit can really infuse the wine and make the Stone Fruit and Strawberry Sangria picture perfect.

  • PREP: 3 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup brandy
  • 1 cup pitted Rainier cherries
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced peaches
  • 2 bottles white wine, chilled
  • 1 cup chilled club soda
  • 10 pieces basil

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Add the sugar and brandy to a large pitcher and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the fresh fruit, wine and club soda and stir to combine. Add the basil. Refrigerate the sangria for at least 6 hours before serving.
  2. Serve over ice.

Strawberry and Peach Rosé Sangria

Rosé, strawberries, peaches, and basil! What could be better?

  • PREP: 10 mins
  • CHILLING: 6 hrs
  • Yield: 10 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup brandy
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced peaches
  • 1 bottle Rosé
  • 1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 cup chilled club soda or sparkling water
  • 10-20 basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Add the sugar and brandy to a large pitcher and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the fresh fruit, wine and club soda and stir to combine. Add the basil.
  3. Refrigerate the sangria for at least 6 hours before serving.
  4. Serve over ice.

Classic Aperol Spritz

If you’ve never had a Classic Aperol Spritz before, let me be the first to welcome you to what could be your new favorite light summer spritzy drink of choice. You really only need 3 things. Aperol, Prosecco and a club soda.

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

INGREDIENTS

  • crushed ice
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 3 ounces dry Prosecco
  • 2 ounces sparkling water / soda water (while not authentic, we really love this with a plain Topo Chico)
  • Orange for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Add ice to a wine glass until it is nearly full. Pour in the Aperol followed by the prosecco and give it a quick stir.
  2. Top your drink off with a splash of sparkling water and add a slice of orange.

NOTES

Aperol is a bright orange apéritif. (which just means that it’s usually an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite but I drink it throughout an entire meal and have never regretted it!) It has a zesty orange flavor with hints of herbs and a touch of vanilla. It’s hard to explain but trust me, it’s good! Especially in a spritz!

White Wine Spritzer

This classic and EASY White Wine Spritzer is one of the most simple Labor Day cocktails you could prepare for an al fresco meal!

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bottle white wine, chilled
  • 2 cups sparkling water, chilled
  • tons of lemon slices and fresh mint

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Combine the bottle of white wine and sparkling water and serve over crushed ice with as many lemon slices as you want and plenty of mint.

NOTES

A few things to keep in mind when you’re whipping these up for your next soiree.

1: any white wine will work for the most part! Use whatever you have on hand and don’t worry if it’s an inexpensive bottle – it’s all going to be delish. I am living for a Sancerre at the moment.

2: make sure the wine is chilled and same goes for the sparkling water.

3: load it up with plenty of lemons! And other type of fruit would be great too. If you have some cherries laying around, add them! Peaches, why not! Any summer fruit would be an excellent addition to this White White Spritzer.

Strawberry Thyme Lillet Spritzers

These Strawberry Thyme Lillet Spritzers are legit. I mix Lillet with Champagne, because I’m extra fancy, and some gorgeous strawberries and thyme. It’s insane and beyond easy.

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces Lillet Blanc, chilled (blanc vermouth can be used as a substitute)
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 4 strawberries, thinly sliced
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • crushed ice
  • 4 ounces Prosecco or Champagne, chilled

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. In 2 glasses, evenly distribute the Lillet Blanc. Add the juice of a lemon wedge to each glass and then add equal amounts of strawberries and thyme.
  2. Add about ⅓ cup of crushed ice to each glass and then top with Prosecco or Champagne. Serve immediately.

NOTES

Try sparkling grape juice instead of Prosecco to lower the alcohol content.

TEQUILA COCKTAILS

Watermelon Tequila Punch

The most summer-y batch cocktail there is! Watermelon Tequila Punch with plenty and lime and mint to make it extra refreshing! 

  • PREP: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds baby watermelon (seeds removed as needed)
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 cups mint leaves, plus sprigs for serving
  • 1 750-ml bottle tequila blanco
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • lime wheels or wedges for serving

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Remove the watermelon rind and discard.
  • Purée watermelon flesh and honey in a blender until smooth. Add mint and blend on low for about 10 seconds (don’t overprocess). Let sit for 15 minutes, then strain into a pitcher. Whisk in tequila and lime juice. Taste and adjust honey if needed. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours
  • Pour punch into ice-filled rocks glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs and lime wheels

NOTES

Batch cocktails are just large format drinks that you can make ahead of time and chill in the fridge so you can refill your glass as needed. Everything typically goes into a blender or pitcher, mixed up and then chilled. Just be sure to give it a stir before serving!

Strawberry Jalapeño Margaritas

These are sweet from the strawberries, a little spicy from the jalapeño and the perfect refreshing cocktail after a long week!! The recipe below serves 2, but you can easily batch these up and make them ahead of time if serving a crowd.

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup ripe strawberries, green tops removed
  • ½ inch Jalapeño pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • sparkling water to top

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Combine the strawberries and jalapeño pepper in a small blender and blend until smooth. Strain if you prefer but I’m lazy and usually don’t bother. Pour the contents of the blender in a shaker.
  2. Add the lime juice, agave nectar and tequila and a handful of ice. Secure the lid on the shaker and shake for 30-60 seconds to mix and chill the margarita
  3. Strain the juice out and serve over ice with a splash of sparkling water

Blackberry Pineapple Smash

It’s a simple cocktail of muddled blackberries, blanco tequila, fresh lime juice, pineapple juice and a touch of mint. Done. Easy as that.

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 ounces blanco tequila or gin, or clear rum
  • 6 ounces pineapple juice
  • club soda

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Muddle the blackberry, mint and lime juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add the tequila and pineapple juice, along with a few pieces of ice, and secure the lid onto the shaker. Shake for 30 seconds until the liquid is chilled.
  3. Pour the cocktail, muddled bits and all, into 2 ice-filled cocktail glasses and top with a spritz of club soda. Serve immediately.

El Sueno Cocktail

A vanilla based tequila cocktail inspired by our trip to Mexico City!! It’s a fun spin on a margarita and honestly – it’s life altering!! Also very easy to make in batches! 

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces tequila blanco
  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract if you can’t find paste)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3-4 dashes bitters
  • pinch of salt and orange zest twist for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, give a good stir to mix honey and vanilla paste. Fill cocktail shaker ¾ full with ice and shake for 10 seconds.
  2. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime or orange twist.

Skinny Margarita

The best skinny margaritas out there – hands down, no questions asked, end of story! Get prepared! 

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 ounces tequila
  • 5 ounces freshly squeezed citrus juice, orange, blood orange, tangerine, satsuma, grapefruit
  • 3 ounces lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • splash of sparkling water

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Run a wedge of lime across the top of 2 cocktail glasses. Once damp, coat the rim in salt.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the sparkling water into a cocktail shaker with a few cubes of ice. Shake for 30 seconds until chilled and then strain the margaritas into serving glasses with new ice. Top with a splash of sparkling water in each glass and serve immediately.

Bloody Maria

If you’re going with a brunch party this Bloody Mary is a meal in a glass!

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 5 shakes Hot Sauce, Chipotle Cholula is my fav
  • 3 shakes Worcestershire
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated horseradish
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 pinch celery salt
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • Optional Garnishes:
  • Lime wedges
  • Lemon wedges
  • Celery stalks
  • Bacon
  • Mini Gherkins
  • Pickled pearl onions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Castelvetrano olives
  • Grilled Shrimp
  • Cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. In a shaker filled with ice, combine all the ingredients except the garnishes, and shake until well chilled.
  2. Run a lime across the rim of a glass and dip into salt to coat. Fill the glass with ice and strain the mixture into the glass.
  3. Garnish with desired garnishes. Serve.

VODKA COCKTAILS

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Strawberry Basil Lemonade was basically the first drink recipe I ever post on WGC and it’s been my most requested drink ever since. It’s a refreshing blend of homemade lemonade that gets fresh strawberries and basil pureed into the mixture.

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 lemons, juiced, about 1 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup super fine sugar
  • 4 cups warm water
  • 8-10 strawberries, tops removed
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup vodka, optional

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Juice the lemons and transfer the juice into a large pitcher.
  2. Add the sugar and the water and stir to combine and dissolve the sugar. Let cool entirely.
  3. Add the strawberries and basil.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture for about 20 seconds just until the mixture turns pink and the basil is finely chopped. Strain out any of the basil bits if you don’t want them, they’ll have already infused into the drink.
  5. Add alcohol if desired. Serve over crushed ice and enjoy!

Crushed Blackberry Moscow Mules

A fun spin on everyones favorite Mule – this smashed Blackberry Moscow Mule is the PERFECT summertime drink. Grab your favorite kind of vodka, some really great ginger beer, some blackberries and lime juice and that’s it!

  • PREP: 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • plenty of crushed ice
  • ⅓ cup vodka
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ⅔ cup chilled ginger beer
  • 2 lime wedges

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Place the blackberries in a tall glass and smash with a wooden spoon. Fill the tall glass with ice. Add vodka, lime juice and ginger beer; stir to mix.
  2. Garnish with lime wedges and more blackberries. Divide into 2 glasses and serve.

Spiked Pink Lemonade

It’s not too sweet and the strawberry syrup is so easy to make. Add to that a homemade lemonade, and then splash in some vodka to give it an extra kick and you’re in business.

  • PREP: 15 mins
  • COOK: 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

For the Strawberry syrup:
  • ¾ cup strawberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup water
For the lemonade:
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 7 medium lemons
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups Vodka
  • Strawberries, for garnish
  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Ice

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Place the strawberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the strawberries are just starting to fall apart, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Pour the strawberry mixture through a strainer and gently push on the solids to release all of the liquid; discard the solids. Let the syrup cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes more.
  3. Place the strawberry syrup in a pitcher. Add the cold water and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add vodka and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices and additional strawberries

Brandon Schlette is a celebrated mixologist renowned for his innovative cocktails. With a flair for blending unique flavors, he's a master behind the bar, inspiring both patrons and aspiring bartenders with his creative approach and deep knowledge of mixology.

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