Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, which means day drinking is now socially acceptable (Just kidding. It's always acceptable.) It’s going to be hot, and you’re going to be thirsty, so we pulled some of our favorite refreshing drink recipes from our cocktail archive. Please remember to drink responsibly, tan responsibly, and try not to check your email so much.
Summer Bourbon Cocktail
Start off the season with this smooth number from A Spicy Perspective that balances the sweetness of apricot jam with the tartness of limoncello. Top off with a sage leaf and get to sipping.
The Wish You Were Here
When peach, banana, tequila, and St. Germain get together and mix around in a baby pineapple (that was begging to be made into a cocktail cup), the results are downright delicious. Recipe creator The Crepes Of Wrath promises "you've got yourself a tropical treat that you won't be able to get enough of."
This take by The Little Epicurean on the classic Paloma switches out grapefruit-flavored soda for grapefruit ju"bursting with grapefruit" and "is sure to become a favorite."
ice and club soda, providing added depth and flavor to the refreshing concoction so it's
"You know you can't have a Memorial Day party without a refreshing pitcher of watermelon slush," reminds Damn Delicious, whose vodka-infused drink is the perfect addition to your backyard barbecue and comes together in just five minutes.
Find synergy in the ultimate fusion of your favorite summer libations. How Sweet It is "cheers-ing to the idea that mojitos can be margaritas and margaritas can be mojitos." Why settle for one when you can combine the two in "one lime blasted" cocktail that signals the start of sunnier days?
Mango Coconut Water Tropical Martini
This mango mixed drink by Averie Cooks reminds her of a tropical vacation and the wind in her hair. Follow her lead and nurse a couple of these with friends during the outdoor parties and barbecues Memorial Day weekend has in store. She also reminds that "the potassium and antioxidants in the coconut water make it a natural way to prevent hangovers." I'd say that earns you one more round.
Blood Orange Bourbon Cocktail
For a berrier take on bourbon, look no further than this fruity number by The Little Epicurean. Similar to a whiskey sour, the cocktail combines citrus, ginger, and sour mix for a "light and refreshing" finish. The blood oranges "provide the perfect je ne sais quoi."
To make these, gather all your ingredients: watermelon, light rum, club soda, mint, lime, and a sweetener. I prefer agave over simple syrup, to taste. Make a mojito as you normally would. Top with club soda, but only to fill about 1/2 the cup. Then, cut watermelon into chunks and blend to create a puree. Fill the rest of the cup with the blended watermelon, stir to blend, and garnish with a watermelon wedge. Yum!
SHARK BITE – A SIMPLE SUMMER COCKTAIL
Dreaming of a little beach vacay, but just can’t get away? Sometimes getting together with a friend or two for an afternoon of relaxation with a cocktail or two is just what you need. Summer time means I like bringing a beachy vibe to our cocktail bar, and this cocktail is totally perfect to sip during the long summer afternoons.
This could not be any easier – it’s only a few ingredients:
In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour in 1.5 oz of coconut rum, 3 oz. of pineapple juice, and a splash of blue curaçao. Shake for 15-20 seconds until well chilled. Fill a glass (or jar) with ice, then pour over the cocktail. Give it a squeeze of lime – and you’re good to go
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rose Sangria Spritzer
Round out a summer meal by serving this light spritzer alongside smoky grilled meats. Instead of the dry red wine typically found in sangria, try rose wine — a lighter option that emphasizes the sweetness of the fruit.
Watermelon and strawberries are two of summer’s defining fruits, so why not enjoy them in beverage form? Bobby Flay’s refreshing sangria will add an elegant touch to any summer party.
This party-sized mojito pitcher gets a triple dose of lime: It’s muddled in at the beginning with mint leaves, added to the lime-mint syrup, then poured in with rum and club soda at the end.
Traditionally, this Brazilian cocktail requires just three ingredients: sugar, lime and cachaca, or distilled sugarcane juice. Give it an extra-summery twist by adding chunks of fresh orange, lemon and mint.
Pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine come together with a pinch of nutmeg in this citrusy rum punch, striking a perfect tangy balance.
Rachael Ray’s sangria takes five to 10 minutes to assemble in a large pitcher. Take the time to prepare it in the morning so the sangria has several hours to develop its fruity flavor. Pull it out when dinner is ready to serve that evening.
Ree Drummond pairs from-scratch lemonade with frozen raspberries to create this sweet-tart beverage with a pretty pink tint. If you keep the pitcher booze-free for your underage guests, that doesn’t mean you can’t doctor up your own glass.
Ginger-Peach Beer Cooler
Giada De Laurentiis combines peach nectar and fresh summer peaches with light beer for a simple cocktail that’s ready to serve a crowd.
The Cherry Chipotle Cooler
This potent tequila cocktail packs a punch of heat thanks to chipotle puree in the mix and chipotle powder rimming the glasses.
High Tea Cocktail
Whether you serve it with sugar or straight up, with ice or without, chilled black tea is a staple at Memorial Day picnics and cookouts. Food Network Kitchen’s adults-only version gets a spicy kick, thanks to the addition of ginger and cardamom. Spike it up with gin, vermouth and orange bitters. Make a double batch the night before, then refrigerate it overnight to let the flavor develop.