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Cocktails for Labor Day 2018

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Backyard lemonade

Today we raise a glass to those who work hard and long hours — and who just want to unwind after a long day at work. This year we’re sharing some tasty cocktail recipes that don’t involve too much effort. OK, except one; there’s always some adventurous drinker who wants a challenge. As the unofficial beginning of fall, this is your last chance to get those summer fruit drinks in before pumpkins replace watermelons at the dinner table and the cocktail bar. At any rate, here’s to you!

Knob Creek Rye Creek Cup
2 parts Knob Creek Rye Whiskey
1/2 parts freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 parts simple syrup (equal parts white sugar and water)
1 cucumber slice cut in half
2 strawberries
2 oz. ginger ale
1 lemon wheel

In a cocktail shaker, muddle a half cucumber slice, one strawberry and a basil leaf. Add the Knob Creek Rye, lemon juice, and simple syrup to the cocktail shaker. Fill with ice  and shake vigorously. Double-strain using a fine mesh strainer into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with ginger ale and lightly stir. Garnish with remaining half slice of cucumber, a lemon wheel, half a strawberry, and a basil leaf before serving.

tropic of pineapple

Tropic Of Pineapple
1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Pineapple vodka, chilled
3 1/2 oz. sparkling wine, chilled (if sparkling wine is dry, add 1/4 oz. simple syrup)

Add chilled pineapple vodka to a flute and top with chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with a. pineapple slice.

Nick’s Texas Tipple
2 oz. Swift Single Malt
3/4 oz. Cardenal Mendoza Brandy
1 oz. apricot puree
1/4 oz. Mandarin Napoleon Liqueur

Build on the rocks and garnish with a slice of dried apricots.

For the more adventurous drinker:

The Gaucho Spritz
courtesy of the Hilton, Buenos Aires
2 oz. Príncipe Los Apóstoles gin
¾ oz. lime juice
½ oz. Hesperidina aperitif
1 oz. Yerba Mate syrup
¼ oz. Caña Legui
¼ oz. Amargo Obrero
¾ oz. grapefruit

Shake all ingredients together with ice in a shaker. Serve in a mate gourd with chopped ice or a tall glass. Decorate with grapefruit peelings and mint leaves.

cantaloupe colada

Cantaloupe Colada
1 1/2 parts Sailor Jerry rum
2 basil leaves
small chunks of cantaloupe
3 small chunks of pineapple
1/2 part lemon juice
3/4 part Coco Lopez

Add all ingredients in a blender and pour into hulled Cantaloupe. A tall glass works great as well. Garnish with cantaloupe slices, seasonal berries, and Tiki accoutrements.

Backyard Lemonade
1 ½ oz. The Botanist Gin
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
¾ oz. Fino sherry
½ oz simple syrup
2-5 strawberries, halved
5-7 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker; add ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass and then garnish with mint leaves or halved strawberry.

Prickly Cooler
created by Jaime Salas, Milagro Ambassador
1 ½ parts Milagro Silver tequila
¾ part prickly pear
pinch of mexican ground cinnamon
1 part lime
¾ parts agave nectar
3 parts club soda
lime wheel
cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients except club soda and shake well. Pour into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with lime wheel and a cinnamon stick.

watermelon sparkler

Silver Watermelon Sparkler (party size!)
750 ml Nolet’s Silver Gin
750 ml sparkling sake
24 oz. watermelon juice and fresh watermelon cubes
12 oz. fresh lemon juice
12 oz. agave nectar

Stir all contents well in a punchbowl. Make sure agave liquefies properly with the other ingredients. Add watermelon cubes and a block of ice five minutes before serving. 

Spicy Watermelon Mimosa
3 cups cubed watermelon
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 lime
2 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
9 oz. Smirnoff Ice Watermelon Mimosa
Tajin or spicy salt, for rimming and garnish

Add the watermelon and orange juice to a blender and blend until smooth. Juice the lime and stir into the watermelon orange juice. Add the vodka and Smirnoff Ice Watermelon Mimosa and pulse a few more times to combine. Rim two tall glasses with the Tajin or spicy salt, then divide the watermelon mimosas between the two glasses. Sprinkle a little extra spicy salt on top of each drink and enjoy!

avocado mezcalita

Avocado Mezcalita
¼ fresh avocado
2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
8 mint leaves
¾ oz. honey
1 ½ oz. blanco tequila
½ oz. mezcal

Combine all ingredients in to a blender. Add ice, and liquefy all ingredients until stiff. Pour into a rocks glass. Serve and enjoy.

Fredericksburg Fix
cocktail recipe developed by Texas Mixologist Brian Floyd
1 1/2 oz. Crown Royal Texas Mesquite
1 tsp. of peach preserves
½ squeeze of lemon

Combine the peach preserves, lemon and Crown Royal Texas Mesquite into a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain over crushed ice and garnish with a lemon slice.

Cape Frosé
6 oz. Cape Mentelle Rosé
1 ½ oz. of Limoncello
1/2 oz. watermelon juice
2 fresh strawberries

Combine the ingredients in a blender with one cup of ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a large martini coupe, garnish with a mint sprig and strawberries.

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Kim Richards

Kim Richards lives in Santa Rosa, California. She is an author, amateur cheese maker, wine/mead maker, and a novice home brewer. She enjoys a nice cocktail while listening to live music, watching movies and mixed martial arts, or dining at home and in restaurants. She and her husband frequent festivals and love to visit breweries and distilleries. Favorite cocktail: Old Fashioned with maple syrup.

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