When most people think of Memorial Day, images of barbecues, closed offices, and fun probably come to mind — but Memorial Day is much more than that. The real reason most of us have the day off is to honor the brave men and women who busted their asses and sacrificed their lives in order to provide a safe, free country for the rest of us.
This Memorial Day, one way you can show your respect is by ditching the cheap beer and raising something worthy of those that already gave so much so that you didn’t have to. Before you mix up anything though, why not make a smart decision before any alcohol is involved and donate to a charity such as Thanks USA or the Folds of Honor, which helps the families of fallen soldiers?
You could also pick up this bourbon, which is produced at a veteran-run distillery.
Spiked Triple Berry Basil Lemonade
(Created by Megan Marlowe, Strawberry Blondie Kitchen)
- 1.5 cups Smirnoff Red, White & Berry
- 8 cups lemonade
- 1 cup basil syrup
Method: In a pitcher combine lemonade, vodka and basil syrup. Stir to combine. To serve, place 4 ice cubes into a high ball glass and top with lemonade cocktail. Serves eight.
- 2 oz Frísco Brandy
- 2 oz lemon ginger kombucha
- Mint for garnish
Method: Pour Frísco Brandy and kombucha over ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with mint and tell yourself the probiotics make it healthy.
Smoky Chipotle Bloody Mary
- 2 oz Van Gogh Vodka
- 2 tbsp fresh horseradish
- 1 tsp chipotle paste
- .5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Tomato juice to top
Method: Add ingredients to a highball glass with ice and mix. Top with tomato juice and your choice of Bloody Mary garnishes.
- 1.5 oz Hangar One Rosé vodka
- 3 oz sparkling wine
- .25 oz lemon juice
- .25oz simple syrup
Method: Shake vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup together with ice. Combine with sparkling wine.
(Created at JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, San Antonio)
- 2 oz Ranger Creek .36 Bourbon
- .75 oz simple syrup
- .75 oz lemon juice
- 4 blackberries
Method: Muddle blackberries in the bottom of the glass. Top blackberries with crushed ice. In a shaker tin, add lemon juice, simple syrup, bourbon, and ice. Shake. Strain mixture into glass over the crushed ice.
- 2 oz Playa Real Pineapple tequila
- .5 oz Chareau (aloe liqueur)
- .75 oz pineapple juice
- .5 oz lime juice
- .5 oz agave syrup
Method: Shake and pour into a Collins glass on top of crushed ice. Garnish with pineapple leaves.
(Created by Mica Rousseau, Mexico City)
- 1.25 oz Tequila Don Julio Blanco
- .25 oz Ancho Reyes Verde
- 1 oz fresh ruby red pink grapefruit juice
- .5 oz simple syrup
- 8 to 10 cilantro leaves
- San Pellegrino to top
- Bouquet of cilantro to garnish
Method: Combine Tequila Don Julio Blanco, Ancho Reyes Verde, ruby red pink grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and cilantro into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain contents into highball glass over fresh ice. Top with San Pellegrino Sparkling Water. Garnish with a bouquet of cilantro.
Ginger Zest Spritz
- 1 oz Belvedere Ginger Zest
- 4 oz soda water
- .75 oz lime juice
- .5 oz honey syrup
Method: Build in spritz glass. Garnish with ginger and lime slices.
Rojo, Blanco & Brew
(Created by Carey Gaskin, Bad Hunter, Chicago)
- 1.5 oz coffee-infused Tequila Cazadores Blanco*
- .75 oz Bacardi Banana
- .5 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz Cinnamon Lemon Oleo**
Method: Shake ingredients together with ice. Pour into a Collins glass filled with pebble ice.
*Coffee-infused Cazadores Blanco: Using spent coffee grounds from one pot, steep coffee grounds with one bottle of Cazadores for 15-20 minutes. Strain to remove solids.
**Lemon Cinnamon Oleo: Peel 100g (roughly 8-10) lemons, saving the lemons for juicing. Add 50g white sugar and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon. Mix together. Add lemon peels. Use a muddler to muddle lemon peels to extract oils. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Remove solids. If sugar solids are left, add to medium heat and stir until smooth.
(Created by Laurie Harvey, Cherry Pie Hospitality)
- 1.5 oz Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka
- 1 oz vanilla simple syrup *
- .75 oz fresh lime juice
- .75 oz fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
- Topo Chico mineral water to top
- Ruby red grapefruit slice to garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake, then and pour into tall glass. Top with Topo Chico. Garnish with fresh ruby red grapefruit slice.
*Vanilla simple syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
Method: Bring water to boil. Add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat. Add vanilla and let cool.
(Created by Dave Bloom, La Jambe, Washington. D.C.)
- 1 oz rye whiskey
- .33 oz Don Ciccio & Figli Cerasum
- .33 oz Maurin Quina
- .33 oz Giffard Abricot
- .5 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz Aqua Faba
- Housemade vanilla-chai-clove bitters
Method: Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and serve up with a brandied cherry.
Nolet’s Silver Salty Dog
- 2 oz Nolet’s Silver Gin
- 4 oz grapefruit juice (approx. half of a grapefruit)
- .25 oz simple syrup (if grapefruit is bitter)
- Herbal muddle (basil, mint, rosemary, arugula, or cucumber)
- Dash of bitters
- Splash of soda, tonic or ginger beer
- Cucumber, fresh herbs, grapefruit slices or wheels, edible flowers, jalepeño, and peppercorns to garnish (optional)
Method: Rim a lowball glass with salt. Muddle herbs, then add ice. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Pour over ice and garnish.