Embrace summer laziness while you still can.
Whatever else you have planned for Labor Day—whether it’s barbecuing or backyard-lounging or just savoring the three-day weekend—here’s what you don’t want to spend time doing: Making elaborate cocktails. There’s a time and a place for mixology-caliber drinks; this is not one of them.
So go simple this Labor Day, with two- or three-ingredient cocktails that require no juicing, no shaking, just a few bottles and maybe a little ice. All party-friendly, all easy to make four or six at a time. You’ve got the rest of the year to try your hand at more complex drinks. Embrace summer laziness while you can.
Apples & Rhubarb
There’s nothing wrong with a two-ingredient cocktail, especially when you find an amazing mixer. Cawston Press Rhubarb and Apple Sparkling Juice is one of our favorites— a British brand we’re starting to see all over the States. It just happens to be perfect with apple brandy, one of our favorite all-season spirits.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine an ounce and a half of Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy and three ounces of Cawston Press Rhubarb and Apple Sparkling Juice. Stir briefly and garnish with a few very thin apple slices.
Cappelletti and Bubbles
Have you been drinking Aperol Spritzes all summer like the rest of us? Give Cappelletti a try — a juicier, redder, and frankly more delicious Italian aperitif still very much in the Aperol model. Add Prosecco and boom: Cocktail.
Instructions: Pour an ounce of Cappelletti into a flute, followed by three ounces of sparkling wine. Give a quick stir, then garnish with a long orange peel.
Piña coladas: Lovable, but not exactly simple. So if you’re after the same pineapple-coconut profile, grab a pineapple liqueur and coconut water instead. This guy has “day-drinking” written all over it.
Instructions: In a wine glass or similar large glass, combine two ounces of pineapple liqueur, two ounces of coconut water, and three ounces of sparkling wine over ice. Give a quick stir and serve, garnishing with a bunch of little pineapple wedges.
PX, Vodka, Soda
We know you can make a vodka-soda; up for adding one more ingredient? Adding sherry to the mix adds layers of rich complexity, while a quick squeeze of lemon keeps things from getting too heavy. Tastes like a mixologist’s ingenious creation, but takes about ten seconds to make.
Instructions: In a tall glass with ice, combine an ounce of vodka, 3/4 ounce of Pedro Ximenez, and three ounces of club soda. Give a quick stir. Squeeze in a lemon wedge as a garnish.
It’s still summer; let’s have a little fun. A high-quality blue Curaçao is a perfectly respectable cocktail ingredient — there’s no reason a bright blue drink can’t be sophisticated. There are any number of ways to doctor it up, but a big pour of bubbles is the way to start.
Instructions: Pour half an ounce of blue Curaçao into a flute or cocktail glass, followed by four ounces of sparkling wine. Give a quick stir, then garnish with a long, thin lemon peel, and a candied cherry if you have a jar handy.