Labor Day is your last chance to make the most of hot-weather drinking. We asked Joe Campanale, New York City cocktail genius, for tips on how to get your end-of-summer drink on before it's too late.

By Annie Quigley
Updated May 23, 2017
Essential Labor Day Drinking
Credit: FOOD & WINE

As much as we hate to accept it, it's officially September. That means beach days will soon give way to apple picking, flip flops to boots and steamy summer days to chilly nights. So consider Labor Day weekend your official excuse to make the most of summer drinking before it's too late. We asked Joe Campanale—the cocktail genius behind the new all-alfresco Alta Linea at New York's High Line Hotel and creator of the frozen Negroni, the Instagram hit of the summer—for tips on how to get your end-of-summer drink on.

1. Chill your red wines. Just because it's hot out doesn't mean you can't drink red wine. In fact, you definitely should—just make sure to put the bottles on ice. "Choose fresh, un-oaked, young wines," Campanale says. They're extra-refreshing served cold, plus chilling them brings out more of the wine's acidity. Here are 12 great bottles to try.

2. Use your herb garden. Nothing says summer like some bright-green basil in your gimlet or cilantro in your gin. Or add thyme and mint to this aptly-named Roof Garden refresher.

3. Bubbles make everything better. "Everyone loves bubbles," Campanale says. "They make drinks that much more refreshing." Add sparkling wine or club soda to a cocktail for a refreshing fizz. Campanale's pick: an Americano like this one, made with Campari, red vermouth and soda water.

4. Drink your daily dose of fruit. "Now is the time to get fresh fruit in your summer cocktails," Campanale advises. Use up all those summer berries, plums, and peaches before they're gone. Consult F&W's end-of-summer fruit cocktail guide for inspiration.