It was George Gershwin who taught us that in summertime the livin’ is easy—which is why it has always seemed fitting that Labor Day, a holiday for workers, is the symbolic end of the season. So whether you want to raise a glass to those final lazy, hazy days or you feel the need to brace yourself for fall, here is one thing I know for certain—don’t overthink your cocktail choice this weekend.
And don’t work too hard to make it.
The following drinks can be made with as few as three ingredients, but even the most complex recipe can likely be sourced from your pantry. And all are worth a shot.
8 Easy Cocktail Recipes for Labor Day Weekend
Coco Lopez cream of coconut
2 oz. Siempre tequila
1 oz. pressed lime
1–2 slices of jalapeño
1 tbsp. Coco Lopez coconut cream
Jalapeño sea salt, for the rim
Method: In a shaker, muddle jalapeño slices. Add Siempre tequila, lime juice, and Coco Lopez cream. Shake with ice and double strain over new ice with a jalapeño sea salted rim.
BOMBAY SUMMER PUNCH
¾ part Bombay Sapphire Gin
¼ part St. Germain elderflower liqueur
½ part Noilly Prat dry vermouth
4 parts ginger ale
Lime, mint, and ginger for garnish
Method: Combine Bombay Sapphire, St. Germain, vermouth, and ginger ale. Stir to combine. Serve over cubed ice in a balloon or highball glass.
1.5 parts Monkey Shoulder blended malt Scotch whisky
3 parts soda water
Orange wedge, garnish
Method: Pour Monkey Shoulder into a rocks glass. Add ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with orange wedge.
2 oz. Código 1530 Rosa tequila
1 oz. lemon juice
0.75 oz. mint syrup
Method: Shake everything together over ice and strain into glass. Garnish with mint leaf.
1 part Campari
1 part Cinzano 1757 Rosso Vermouth di Torino
Splash of soda water
Method: Pour the ingredients directly in an old-fashioned glass filled with ice-cubes, add a splash of soda water, and garnish with orange slice and lemon peel.
2.5 parts Suntory Haku vodka
0.25 part dry vermouth
Dash of orange bitters
Umeboshi (Japanese plum) or lemon peel garnish
Method: Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with Umeboshi, and/or a lemon peel.
1 part D’USSÉ VSOP Cognac
3 parts Maison Marcel Rosé (or another French off-dry rosé)
½ part simple syrup
2 fresh strawberries
2 cubes fresh watermelon
1 cup ice
Method: Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until frothy. If needed, add water for a smoother texture. Pour into a stemless wine glass.
THE VIKING WEAKNESS
1 kiwi slice
1 cucumber slice
0.5 oz. of St. Germain
1.5 oz. of Helix vodka
0.5 oz. of lime juice
0.5 oz. of simple syrup
Top with soda (or lime soda)
Method: Muddle the kiwi and cucumber together before adding in Helix Vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake together and pour into a tall glass full of fresh ice. Top with soda or lime soda.