Labor Day Weekend: 7 Fun and Refreshing Drinks You Need to Try

Labor Day WeekendIt’s hard to believe summer is almost over and the kids are heading back to school, but you can have one final celebration this Labor Day weekend before everyone returns to their regular routine.

Start the weekend right by making a batch of some Labor Day drinks to fuel you and your friends and family through whatever fun activities you have planned – even if it’s sitting in the backyard having a barbecue with good company and food.

This might be the last get together of the summer, so wow your guests (or yourself!) with a few refreshing and original beverages. Some of these recipes call for alcohol, but they can just as easily be made sans for a healthier alternative. Get creative and put your own spin on the recipe if you like.

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Labor Day 2016: 7 Summer Drink Recipes

What’s summer without a delicious, cool, thirst-quenching drink in hand to help beat off the heat? These recipes are so yummy that you’ll want to make them year round.

In fact, it might help ease the winter blues to drink a summery beverage while watching the snow whirl about outside.

*Alcohol is optional.

Rose Lemon Spritzer

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons rose water
A few drops of orange or pomegranate juice (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup sparkling water
Fresh roses for garnish (optional)
*1 1/2to 2 ounces vodka

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How to make: Mix the lemon juice, rose water, orange/pomegranate juice and vodka in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a glass. Pour in the sparkling water. Use the fresh roses as garnish. *Want a vodka substitute? Plain water works just fine.

Makes 1 serving.

Cucumber Cocktail

*2 ounces Pearl Cucumber Flavored Vodka
1 ounce sparkling water
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce ginger ale
1 ounce simple syrup
1 slice cucumber
1 cantaloupe ball

How to make: Add the vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and ginger ale to a shaker along with ice cubes. Cover and shake, then strain into a glass. Add ice and top it up with sparkling water. Garnish with a cucumber slice and cantaloupe ball. *For an equally refreshing “mocktail”, ditch the vodka for cucumber water.

Makes 1 serving.

Key Lime Cooler

12 mint leaves
16 key limes
*6 ounces gin
*3 ounces St. Germain liqueur
Lemongrass soda or club soda
Key lime slices

How to make: Muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of your shaker. Juice the limes and add the juice, gin, and liqueur (elderflower cordial) to your shaker. Fill with ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into two glasses filled with ice. Top up with soda of choice, and garnish with a key lime slice. *Replace the gin with ginger ale and the liqueur with elderflower cordial for a “virgin” treat.

Makes 2 servings.

Watermelon Mojito

3 cups watermelon, diced
1 cup strawberries, diced
2 teaspoons sugar
15 to 20 mint leaves
*4 ounces coconut rum

How to make: Puree watermelon, strawberries, mint leaves, and sugar in a blender. Add the rum and stir. Best served with ice. *Try healthy coconut water over rum.

Non-Alcoholic Recipes – no substitute needed

Bethenny Frankel’s American Virgin

2 ounces peach juice
2 ounces club soda
1 splash orange juice
1 splash lemonade

How to make: In a cocktail shaker full of ice, stir the club soda and juices and strain into a glass filled with ice.

Orange-Pomegranate Green Tea

1/3 cup chilled unsweetened green tea
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (store bought works too)
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (100-percent pure)
1 lemon wedge
1 orange slice

How to make: Combine cold tea and pomegranate juice. Add some ice cubes and pour in the orange juice. Squeeze in a splash of lemon and garnish with the orange slice. .

Orange Sports Drink

1 quart water
1 pint orange juice
1 lemon
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (100-percent pure)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

How to make: Boil 1/2 cup of the water. Remove from heat, and add honey and sea salt, stirring until dissolved. Add the rest of the water to a jug, and pour in the honey water, orange and lemon juice. Stir.

And there you have seven recipes to quench your thirst this Labor Day weekend. Enjoy!


Sources:
Nunez, Kristen. “20 Labor Day Drinks to Toast Summer Goodbye At Your Last BBQ of the Year,” Bustle web site, August 28, 2016; http://www.bustle.com/articles/178821-20-labor-day-drinks-to-toast-summer-goodbye-at-your-last-barbecue-of-the-year, last accessed August 31, 2016.
“Rose Lemon Spritzer,” Halfbaked Harvest web site, February 14, 2016; http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/rose-lemon-spritzer/, last accessed August 31, 2016.