12 Cocktails to Kick Off the Weekend

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(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

Is there any greater time of the week than Friday happy hour? The work week is finally done, but the weekend to-do list — filled with errands, events, and obligations — has yet to begin. It’s basically your free pass for the week.

So why not mark this magic hour or two with a fabulous cocktail … or two? Here are 12 of our favorites that are sure to get your weekend off to a good start.

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(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

If you aren’t familiar with the Boulevardier, now is the time to try it. It’s akin to a Negroni, but it replaces the gin with whisky. It’s a great cocktail to master, and there’s no time like the present.

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(Image credit: Jayme Henderson)

One of our favorite tricks when making wine-based cocktails is to use boxed wine. That way you can make a whole pitcher’s worth or just a single cocktail without worrying about opening a whole bottle. This blush-colored drink is a pretty update on the gin and tonic.

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(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

Even if it’s not quite warm enough for daiquiris where you live, go ahead and make them anyway. Consider it the harbinger of warmer temperatures.

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

You might not immediately think to combine ginger and cucumber, but when you add Prosecco to the mix, it becomes a refreshing and delicious combination.

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(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

Rum, lime, cola, and bitters — it doesn’t get much more refreshing than this classic cocktail. And it’s easy to make them in a big batch, so invite the neighbors over and start pouring.

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(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

Prep this sangria on Thursday night so you can pour it and enjoy first thing when you get home from work on Friday. And if there’s any left over, it makes a great brunch cocktail as well.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

Not that you need a reminder that Tax Day is on the horizon, but this orange juice-based cocktail is about to have its day in the sun. If you’ve already done your taxes, raise a celebratory glass; if you haven’t, make yourself a cocktail and start crunching numbers.

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(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

As soon as you are able to find the first stalks of rhubarb at the farmers market, grab some in preparation for making this cocktail. You’ll find that sweetened-up rhubarb pairs perfectly with basil.

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(Image credit: Michelle Peters-Jones)

The key to this refreshing mojito (which can also be made as a mocktail) is the lemongrass simple syrup. It’s the best drink we know to go with your favorite Thai takeout.

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(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

This three-ingredient cocktail is a quintessential San Francisco drink. Made with Fernet Branca, Cointreau, and fresh lime juice, it’s refreshing and perfect for anyone who likes an amaro-based cocktail.

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(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

This cocktail is a Sicilian riff on the traditional Paloma cocktail made with grapefruit juice and tequila. In this version, the grapefruit juice is replaced with blood orange juice for a brilliantly colored beverage.

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(Image credit: Roger Kamholz)

Last, but certainly not least, we have the dry martini. If ever there was a cocktail made for end-of-the-week happy hour, the martini is it. Whether you prefer it with a twist or dirty with olives, a well-made martini is always a welcomed after-work sip.

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