Although Labor Day is a couple weeks away, it’s never too soon to start planning ahead for the long weekend. Don’t put away your summer drink menu just yet. In fact, celebrate the beverages that had your customers feeling refreshed during the summer heat wave. Work in these homemade fruit juices and infused spirits, and give your guests the last tastes of summer with these Labor Day libations.
Created by Alex Straus, Suite 700 at the Hotel Shangri-La, Los Angeles.
1 ½ ounces SKYY Infusions Ginger
1 ½ ounces lychee puree*
4 mint leaves
½ ounce fresh lime juice
Muddle three of the mint leaves in a cocktail shaker to release oils. Add the rest of the ingredients to the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with remaining large mint leaf.
*To make lychee puree, purchase a can of lychees in light syrup and blend well.
Created by Borys Saciuk of 15 Romolo in San Francisco.
1 ½ ounces Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila
¾ ounce Campari
¾ ounce fresh grapefruit juice
¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. agave nectar
Fresh egg white
Pinch of Indonesian pepper
Beginning with agave nectar and pepper, combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain over fresh ice into tall glass. Garnish with a long grapefruit peel.
Courtesy of Bacardi.
2 parts Bacardi Superior Rum
1 1/5 parts frozen cubes of watermelon
1 part freshly pressed watermelon juice
Top up lime and sugar foam
Make the frozen watermelon cubes in advance. Pour the first three ingredients into a shaker, and give it a quick hard shake. Strain into a chilled or frozen Rocks or Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a generous head of lime and sugar foam.
Cardamom and Pop Punch
Created by Philip Ward for Death & Co. in New York.
2 ounces Flor de Caña 7-year Grand Reserve
4 sugar cubes
3 green cardamom pods (can be found at any spice shop)
3 ounces club soda
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1 dash of Regan's Orange Bitters
Dissolve the sugar cubes in 1 ounce of soda water (this generally involves muddling to help process). Muddle the cardamom pods with the sugar cubes. After the sugar cubes and cloves are muddled/dissolved, add the rest of the ingredients one at a time and stir as added. Add ice once all of the ingredients are added and stirred. Stir the punch until it is chilled. Strain the punch into a glass or punch bowl, depending on the size of the portion, top with 2 ounces club soda and garnish with lime wheels.
Courtesy of Midori Melon Liqueur.
1 part of Midori Melon Liqueur
1 part SKYY Vodka
4 parts Sprite
Combine all ingredients and garnish with a lemon twist.
Honey Deuce Cocktail
Courtesy of Grey Goose.
1 ½ part Grey Goose Original vodka
2 parts fresh lemonade
½ part Chambord
Honeydew melon balls
Fill a Highball or double Old Fashioned glass with crushed ice. Add Grey Goose vodka and fill the rest of the cup with lemonade to a half inch below the rim. Drizzle Chambord over the top, and garnish with honeydew melon balls on a skewer and serve.
Courtesy of Tequila Cazadores.
1 part Cazadores Blanco Tequila
2 parts grapefruit soda
Splash of lime juice
Splash club soda
Pour ingredients over ice in a tall, salt-rimmed glass.
Raspberry Lime Rickey
Served at Revolution Rock Bar in Boston.
2 ounces ABSOLUT Raspberri
1 ounce Grand Marnier
Splash of simple syrup
Splash of homemade lime juice
Ingredients are shaken together and poured over raspberry and lime infused ice cubes. This is then topped with soda water. The customer is served this cocktail along with a shot of fresh homemade raspberry reduction. The reduction is then poured into the glass.
Blue Crab Margarita
Courtesy of Phillips Seafood Restaurants.
1 ½ ounces Hornitos Reposado Tequila
¼ ounce Blue Curacao Cordial
¼ ounce Cointreau liqueur
4 ounces sweet and sour mix
2 ounces orange juice
Shake and pour over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and straw.