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Memorial Day Celebrations

The country is gearing up for Memorial Day Weekend and for many, this is a busy time for travelers scrambling to get their first taste of summer ahead of schedule. For Memorial Day Weekend and beyond, we’ve put together another cocktail roundup that will speak to the nature of the outdoor festivities and cookouts we’re sure will take place.

Before we get into the roundup, we should first give a strong salute to those who served in the United States military and gave their lives as part of their duties. The bravery of those who take up arms for the nation can’t be discounted and we wish to give our warmest thoughts to the families of those who were lost.

For this year’s guide, you’ll recognize some familiar brands if you’ve been reading these pages over the past couple of years. We also have some new entrants to the list along with beer, RTDs, and more.

We’re confident that among the offerings listed in this roundup, you’ll find something to dazzle your friends with or even to enjoy on a quiet evening at home. Further, many of these drinks should live in your recipe books for later gatherings.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to all. Sip safely and surely.

Photo: Maureen P Sullivan / Getty

1. A Hint of Spice in Manhattan

A Hint of Spice in Manhattan Source:The Balvenie

1 ½ Parts The Balvenie DoubleWood 12-Year-Old
½ Part Amaro di Angostura
¼ Part Ancho Reyes Chile
¼ Part Allspice Dram (I’d suggest St. Elizabeth)

Method: Add all ingredients to a rocks/old fashioned glass. Add ice and stir briefly. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper and/or a lemon twist.

2. Always Daydreaming

Always Daydreaming Source:Old Elk

12 oz. Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey
8 oz. Raspberry Simple Syrup*
12 oz. Fresh Squeezed Grapefruit Juice (about 3 grapefruits)
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Soda Water or Prosecco to top
Fresh Raspberries and Mint for garnish

Method: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Add ice before serving to chill. Pour into a cocktail glass with fresh ice and top with soda water or Prosecco

3. Appletini

Appletini Source:Reyka

(Created by Jeffrey Naples, Reyka Vodka Ambassador)

2 parts granny smith apple-infused Reyka Vodka
1 part Dolin Blanco Vermouth
½ part Lairds or St. George Apple Brandy
Garnish with a slice of apple

4. Berry Independent Punch

Berry Independent Punch Source:Nolet

1 1/2 cups NOLET’S Silver Gin
1/2 cup Chambord Liqueur
1/2 cup Maraschino Cherry Liqueur (I suggest Luxardo)
2 1/2 cups Lemonade
1/4-1/2 cup Simple Syrup
1 cup Blackberries or Blueberries
1 cup Strawberries
1 cup Raspberries

Method: Puree fruit in blender and strain out solids or juice fresh berries in a juicer. Mix berry juice with NOLET’S Silver Gin, Chambord, and Maraschino Liqueur with lemonade in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Taste for sweetness and adjust with simple syrup as needed. Add ice to the mixture, and serve over ice with fruit or floral garnish in a rocks glass.

5. Bluegrass Bourbon Lemonade

Bluegrass Bourbon Lemonade Source:George Dickel

1.5 oz George Dickel Bourbon
0.5 oz Trinidadian Amaro
0.75 oz Lemon
0.75 oz Cane Syrup (1 part cane sugar:1 part water)
4 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake and fine strain over ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with a dehydrated lemon wheel.

6. Can’t Drive 55

Can't Drive 55 Source:Sammy Hagar

(from “Sammy Hagar’s Greatest Cocktail Hits: 85 Personal Favorites from the Red Rocker.”)

1⁄2 ounce Sammy’s Beach Bar Platinum Rum
1⁄2 ounce Santo Blanco Tequila
1⁄2 ounce vodka
1⁄2 ounce gin
1⁄2 ounce amaretto
1⁄2 ounce cranberry juice
1⁄2 ounce fresh orange juice
1⁄2 ounce fresh pineapple juice
1⁄2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 splash grenadine
Garnish: fresh orange wedge and maraschino cherry

Preparation: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the rum, tequila, vodka, gin and amaretto followed by the cranberry, orange, pineapple and lime juices. Finish with a splash of grenadine. Shake well and pour the entire contents into an old fashioned or rocks glass. Garnish with a fresh orange wedge and maraschino cherry.

7. Cantarito Familiar

Cantarito Familiar Source:Tequila CAZADORES

**serves 17-18 people
1 Liter bottle of Tequila Cazadores Reposado
10 oz Fresh Lime Juice
25 oz Grapefruit Juice
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz Grapefruit Soda

Combine tequila, orange juice, lime juice, grapefruit juice, salt, and grapefruit soda. Stir and pour over ice. Garnish with orange, grapefruit, and tamarind candy

8. Campari Spritz

Campari Spritz Source:Campari

2 Oz Campari
3 Oz Prosecco
1 Oz Soda Water

Pour The prosecco, Campari and Soda Water directly into an ice-filled wine glass
Garnish with a fresh orange slice.

9. Castle Garden

Castle Garden Source:Castle Garden

1 oz The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old
0.75 oz Jean-Luc Pasquet Pineau de Charentes
0.25 oz Honey Syrup      
0.25 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz Brut Sparkling Wine
Baby’s Breath Flower Garnish
Optional: Passion Fruit “Caviar”

Add all ingredients, except sparkling wine, to a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Champagne flute, top with 2 oz of sparkling wine. Garnish with sprig of Baby’s Breath.

10. Cool As A Cucumber

Cool As A Cucumber Source:Empress 1908

1.5 oz Empress 1908 Indigo Gin
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
4-5 Cucumber Slices
6-7 Basil Leaves

Method: Muddle the cucumber slices in the bottom of your shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and shake on ice. Strain into  a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a basil leaf and cucumber ribbon.

11. Cucumber Lemonade

Cucumber Lemonade Source:Hendrick's Gin

1 1/2 parts HENDRICK’S GIN
1/2 part Lemon Juice
1/2 part Simple Syrup
Top with Soda Water
3 Rounds of Cucumber and 1 Wheel of Lemon to Garnish”

Method: “Combine all ingredients in a highball glass filled with cubed ice and lightly stir. Garnish with 3 thinly sliced rounds of cucumber and 1 lemon wheel.

12. EL CIELO Spritz

National Tequila Day 2023 Source:Various

2 oz chilled Pinot Grigio or Provençale Rose Wine
3 oz chilled Ginger Ale

In a white wine glass with cubed ice, build all ingredients, stir to combine. Garnish with a fresh orange wedge – squeeze and drop into the glass

13. Fragaria Martini

Fragaria Martini Source:Revivalist Garden Gin

1.5 oz Revivalist Garden Gin
0.5 oz Strawberry liqueur
0.75 oz Lemon juice
1 tsp (5g) Strawberry jam
GLASS: Coupe/stemmed glass
GARNISH: Fresh strawberry slice

Method: Add all ingredients to shaker with ice to the top. Shake hard for 10 seconds. Double strain into chilled coupe glass.

14. Golden Apple Lemonade

Golden Apple Lemonade Source:Proper No. 12

2 oz Proper No. Twelve Irish Apple
5 oz lemonade
1 oz honey

Method: In a Collins glass, pour 2 oz Proper Irish Apple and 5 oz Lemonade over ice. Stir in 1 oz of honey. Garnish with mint leaf

15. Heineken Silver

Heineken Silver Source:Heineken

Light beer has a reputation of being light on calories and flavor but Heineken Silver has managed to bring its consistent taste and quality into the low-calorie beer landscape. At just 4 percent ABV, this is a crushable brew that comes it at just 95 calories and 2.9 carbs per serving. 

Learn more here.

16. Mai Tai

Mai Tai Source:Club Kokomo Spirits

1 oz Club Kokomo Artisinal White Rum
1 oz Club Kokomo Barrel Finished Rum
.5 oz Dry Curacao
.75 oz Orgeat
1 lime
Method: Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh crushed ice. Garnish with Fresh Mint

17. Mango Margarita

Mango Margarita Source:Gran Coramino

2 oz Gran Coramino Cristalino
1 oz Lime
1 oz Mango agave  
2 dashes Bitter Truth Smoked Chili Bitters
Chamoy & Tajin for rim  
2 dashes 80/20 saline*
*To make a 20 percent saline solution, mix 80 grams of water with 20 grams of kosher salt, stir until the salt is dissolved.

Chill rocks glass by placing in the freezer 20 minutes. 4 oz mango nectar, 2 oz water, 2 oz agave with a whisk (or spoon) until mixed. Combine all ingredients in a shaker, then add ice and shake for 6-8 seconds. Remove rocks glass from freezer and dip in a rim with chamoy, then coat with tajin. Double strain into rocks glass, served up or on a large rock.


18. Mingle

National Canned Cocktail Day 2023 Source:Various

Not everyone gathering this weekend is looking to indulge in alcohol, and some might have several reasons to do so. Mingle was founded in 2017 by Bethany Frankel, who has emerged as an innovator in the cocktail scene. I haven’t tried Mingle yet but what I like about the brand is that you can go mocktail style or use it as a mixer for your favorite spirit.

Learn more here.

19. Mocktail Club

Mocktail Club Source:Mocktail Club

Since I cover a lot of adult beverages, I need frequent breaks. Just the other day, I grabbed a can of Mocktail Club’s Bombay Fire and didn’t miss the familiar buzz of spirits and instead just appreciated the spicy, fizzy flavor. Founded by Pauline Idogho, this Black and woman-founded brand should be one to put on your radar.

Learn more here.

20. NoLiq

NoLiq Source:NoLiq

Founded by Nyina Muigai, NoLiq takes on the non-alcoholic RTD wave in style in a variety of bold flavors along with twists on familiar classics, all booze-free. I haven’t tried this one yet but hope to do so soon.

Learn more here.

21. Only in NY

Only in NY Source:Hudson Whiskey

1.5oz Hudson Whiskey Bright lights, Big Bourbon
1oz Fresh pineapple juice
.5oz Dry Vermouth
.5oz Simple syrup
.5oz Freshly squeeze lime juice

Method: Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice & shake vigorously. Pour the mixture into a chilled coupe cocktail glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.

22. Orange Crush

Orange Crush Source:Sagamore

(Ocean City, Md.’s signature drink with a Baltimore twist)

1 bottle Sagamore Rye Whiskey
48 oz Fresh Orange Juice
8 oz Orange Liqueur
32 oz Lemon Lime soda
Orange for Garnish

Method: Crush an orange in a juicer and add all ingredients, excluding the lemon lime soda, into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake ingredients until cold. Strain your ingredients into a Collins glass filled with ice (crushed ice preferred). Top with lemon lime soda. Garnish with an orange wheel

23. Paloma Rosado

Paloma Rosado Source:Milagro

1 1/2 parts Milagro Reposado
1/2 part Fresh Lime Juice
4 parts Pink Grapefruit Soda
3 Pink Grapefruit Segments
Kosher Salt

Method: Pour all ingredients into a highball glass over ice and stir. Garnish with speared pink grapefruit segments and half kosher salt rim.

24. Peach Fuzz

Peach Fuzz Source:Smirnoff

1.5 oz Smirnoff Peach
2 oz lemonade
1 oz iced tea
0.5 oz simple syrup
Lemon slices
Peach slices
Mint Sprig

Combine Smirnoff Peach, lemonade, iced tea, and simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice
Shake well and strain into a tall glass with ice. Garnish with lemon slices, peach slices, and a mint sprig.

25. Probiotic Spritz

Probiotic Spritz Source:Keeper's Heart

1.5 oz Keeper’s Heart Irish + American
3 oz G&T Strawberry Serenity kombucha
5 oz unsweetened iced tea
Squeeze of 1 lemon (optional)

Method: Build all ingredients in a highball glass with ice and serve.

26. Raspberry Collins

Raspberry Collins Source:Isle of Sky

2oz Isle of Skye 8 YO
.5oz raspberry syrup
1oz fresh lemon juice

Method: Garnish with 2 raspberries and a lemon twist; Served: on the rocks, highball glass

27. Red Rocker Lager

Red Rocker Lager Source:Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar already placed his mark on the rum and tequila space and with Red Rocker Brewing Company, the musician is entering the beer market with a lager. I love lagers and I can’t wait to try this way to see how it stacks up.

Learn more here.

28. Red, White, and Hpnotiq Blue Martini

Red, White, and Hpnotiq Blue Martini Source:Hpnotiq

2 oz. Hpnotiq
1 oz. Citrus Vodka
1 splash(es) Lemon Lime Soda

Shake with ice, strain into a martini glass and slowly add a touch of grenadine. Garnish with chopped coconut.

29. Roscoe

Roscoe Source:Fior Scotch

2 oz Fior Scotch
0.5 oz Cointreau Orange Liquer
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Lemon Juice
Lime wedge garnish

Add the Fior, Cointreau, Pineapple juice, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and gently shake until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a wedge of lime.

30. Rose and Raspberry Fizz

Rose and Raspberry Fizz Source:Glendalough

1.5 oz Glendalough Rose Gin
.5 oz Raspberry Syrup
.5 oz Aperol
1.5 oz Soda Water

Method: Shake all ingredients (except soda) with ice. Strain into a tall ice filled glass. Add the soda, then garnish with a raspberry and a freshly torn and slapped spring of mint.

31. Sangrita

Sangrita Source:Avión Reserva

Sangrita  (Please note that this is a pre-batch cocktail that makes 10 servings. To enjoy, please combine 2 parts Avión Reserva Cristalino with 2 parts Sangrita.)

10 parts Tangerine Juice
7 ½ parts  Lime Juice
5 parts Pomegranate Grenadine
3 parts Tomato Juice
¼ – ½  part Cholula Hot Sauce
Salt, Black Pepper, Powdered Chipotle to taste.

Preparation: Mix well. Bottle and store in refrigerator. Shake bottle before serving, if spices settle.

32. Snaiquiris

Snaiquiris Source:Sailor Jerry

1 part Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
⅓ part lime juice
⅓ part simple syrup

Method: Combine ingredients in chilled pitcher. Pour into chilled shot glasses.

33. Spire

Spire Source:Woodford Reserve

1.5 oz. Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey
2 oz. Lemonade
1 oz. Cranberry Juice

Method: Add ingredients to mixing glass and stir. Pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon twist.

34. Strawberry Mint Fizz

Strawberry Mint Fizz Source:Ette

1.5 oz Ette Flora Rosa Vodka
5 Mint leaves
.75 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-3 Strawberries
.75 Simple Syrup
Club Soda

Lightly muddle the mint, strawberries, and syrup in a shaker. Combine additional ingredients into shaker. Brief shake. Pour into highball glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Garnish with mint sprig and strawberry

35. The ‘3-2-1’ Aperol Spritz

The ‘3-2-1’ Aperol Spritz Source:Aperol

The ‘3-2-1’ Aperol Spritz

Ice cubes
Cinzano Prosecco
Soda Water (served from siphon or chilled bottle)
Slice of orange

In a stemmed balloon glass full of ice, combine 3 parts of Cinzano Prosecco followed by 2 parts Aperol. Add 1 part or a splash of soda water, stir gently if needed and garnish with an orange slice.

36. The G&G

The G&G Source:Grand Marnier

1.5 parts of Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
3.5 parts Ginger Beer(or Dry Ginger Ale)
Squeeze of Lime

Method: Pour all of the ingredients in a Collins glass, add ice, and stir.

37. Thomas Ashbourne Craft Spirits

Thomas Ashbourne Craft Spirits Source:Thomas Ashbourne Craft Spirits

Thomas Ashbourne Craft Spirits quickly tossed its hat into the RTD (Ready-To-Drink) category. They’re covering several bases with the backing of founding partners from the world of music and entertainment. Sarah Jessica Parker, Neil Patrick Harris, Ashley Benson, Rosario Dawson, and Vanessa Hudgens, and Playboi Carti all have signature ready-made sips.

Learn more here.

38. Trans-Fiddich-Fusion

Trans-Fiddich-Fusion Source:Glenfiddich

Created by Glenfiddich West Coast Ambassador, David Allardice

1.5 part Glenfiddich 12 Year Old
1 part Passoa
2 part Cranberry Juice
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
A few drops of Former
Top Ginger Ale

Method: Combine ingredients. Top with Ginger Ale and garnish with Lime Wheels.

39. Watermelon Mint Margarita

Watermelon Mint Margarita Source:Tequila Herradura

2 oz. Tequila Herradura Silver
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
.5 oz. Agave Nectar
Watermelon Cubes, Muddled
Fresh Mint

Method: Muddle watermelon cubes in a shaker. Add all remaining ingredients, including fresh mint leaves. Top with ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a coupe glass.

40. White Frosa Rosa

White Frosa Rosa Source:Rosa Regale

Rosa Regale Sparkling White
2 cups of freshly sliced strawberries
splash of orange liqueur

Method: Pour one bottle of Sparkling White into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Once frozen, combine with 2 cups of freshly sliced strawberries and a splash of orange liqueur for extra sweetness if desired. Blend until smooth and garnish with a strawberry slice!