Weekend Countdown: 22 Tantalizing Memorial Day Drinks Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits
Um, is it the long weekend yet? Here are 22 tantalizing (and citrusy, fizzy, garden-fresh, and easy) drink ideas to help get you into summer holiday mode.
Citrusy and Tangy
Kick back with something citrusy. There’s simply no substitute for the bright tang of just-squeezed lemon or lime (or grapefruit, or yuzu…) in a cocktail. So mouth-wateringly good:
- Mojitos: Fly this lime juice-based Cuban classic around the world with an Indian-influenced Watermelon Mojito, or Japanese-inspired Yuzu Mojitos, Shiso Mojitos, and Green Tea Mojitos.
- Margaritas: So many tangy, spicy, and sweet variations to choose from! How about a shaking up a beautifully crafted Classic Margarita? Or entertain a crowd with Margaritas to Make Men and Women Giggle. Or try something a little different with Tamarind Margaritas, or Blood Orange-Jalapeño Margaritas.
- Daiquiris: This Memorial Day, join the noble fight to save the endangered Daiquiri from the cruel indignities of artificial flavoring and coloring. Or make Papa proud with a maraschino and grapefruit-laced Hemingway Daiquiri.
Fizzy (and Ginny Too)
There’s nothing quite as refreshing as a tall, cold, fizzy drink on a hot day. Get into that old-timey, veranda-sitting, linen/muslin/seersucker-wearing state of mind with one of these delicious gin fizzes:
- Ramos Gin Fizz: A New Orleans classic featuring gin, lemon and lime juice, orange flower water, cream, and deliciously frothy egg whites.
- Violet Fizz: Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, club soda – and the delicate violet-flavored cordial, crème de violette.
- Lemon Verbena and Orange Blossom Fizz: Faith’s own herbal and floral-accented spin.
From the Garden
Whether you’re working on your own garden this weekend, visiting a farmer’s market, or just strolling down the produce aisle, here are a few delicious drinks using garden-fresh ingredients:
- Rhubarb Cocktails: simmer up some fresh rhubarb syrup on the stove to give a tartly tangy kick to everything from Bellinis to Mojitos. Or try Elizabeth’s recipe for a vodka-based Rhubarb Basil Cocktail.
- Pimm’s Cup: An English garden favorite chock full of cold slabs of cucumber, as well as seasonal fruits and herbs. Or try this spicy New Orleans riff: Cajun Lemonade. Or this Italian spin: Pimm’s Italiano with Mint, Lemon, Cucumber, and Fernet-Branca.
- Strawberry Sangria: For a mouth-watering roundup of fizzy, wine-based drinks featuring fresh strawberries, check out Joanna’s post from earlier this week.
Relax. It’s the holiday weekend, after all. Try one of these quick and simple combos. No muddling, shaking, straining, or juicing required:
- Gimlet: No excuses needed. One of the few cocktails that’s properly made with preserved and sweetened bottled lime juice instead of fresh.
- Blood Orange Gin Fizz: Joanna’s no-hassle take on the gin fizz, featuring Trader Joe’s Villa Italia Blood Orange Soda.
- Gin and Tonic: A shot of gin, a wedge of lime, and some tonic water over ice, and you’re set. So refreshing!
- Dark and Stormy: Another patio classic. Rum, ginger beer, and a wedge of lime. Sure to put you in an island mood.
What will you be drinking this weekend?
Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC’s Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.
(Images: Nora Maynard)