Fresh Memorial Day Cocktails to Help You Celebrate this Weekend

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.

Basil Hayden’s Lemon-Rosemary Punch

Basil Hayden’s Lemon-Rosemary Punch

(Created by Matt Sharp, Houston, TX)

  • 1 bottle Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
  • 10 parts simple syrup
  • 10 parts lemon juice
  • 2 lemons
  • 30 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Sprig of rosemary (for garnish)

Method: Combine all ingredients into a large punch bowl with 4 cups of ice. Slice lemons into wheels and add to bowl. Stir to chill and ladle into Collins glass with a rosemary sprig. Serves 17. 

Nick of Thyme

nick of thyme
  • 1.5 oz Don Papa Rum
  • .5 oz fresh kiwi puree
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz agave nectar
  • .25 oz thyme liqueur

Method: Add ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a glass.

Harvey Shinebanger

memorial day cocktails drinks recipes harvey shine banger cocktail

Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing tin over ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

‘Sup Doc?

sup doc
  • 1.5 oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
  • .75 oz carrot juice
  • .75 oz TRUE tonic syrup
  • Top with club soda
  • Dash of aromatic bitters
  • Garnish with mint sprig

Method: Combine all in shaker, stir, and pour over ice in a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with mint sprig and enjoy!

The Escape

the escape cocktail
  • 1.5 parts Malibu Lime
  • 2 parts pineapple juice
  • .75 part Coco Lopez
  • .5 part lime juice

Method: Blend with a cup of ice on “high” for 30 seconds. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and cherry.

Just Peachy

memorial day cocktails drinks recipes mount gay rum just peachy
  • 1 bottle Mount Gay Black Barrel
  • 12 oz soda water
  • 9 oz fresh lime juice
  • 9 oz simple syrup
  • 2 Peaches (thinly sliced)
  • Mint sprigs

Method: Add Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and peaches to punch bowl. When ready to serve, top with soda water, add ice and garnish with mint sprigs and lime wheels.

P.Y.T.

memorial day cocktails drinks recipes hangar rose pyt cocktail

(Created by Estelle Bossy)

  • 5 oz Hangar 1 Rosé Vodka
  • .5 oz white vermouth
  • .25 oz crème de cacao
  • .25 oz liqueur de violettes
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice

Method: Shaken, served up in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a violet or other edible flower.

The Hustler

memorial day cocktails drinks recipes the hustler cocktail
  • 1 oz Owney’s Rum
  • .25 oz Aperol
  • .5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz raspberry syrup
  • Sparkling wine, to top

Method: Shake and strain, top with approximately 1 ounce sparkling wine, served over ice.

El Sol del Invierno

gastronomista el sol del vierno

(Created by Emily Arden Wells of Gastronomista)

  • 1.5 oz Volcan de mi Tierra Blanco Tequila
  • .5 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 oz soda water
  • .75 oz fresh lime juice
  • .75 oz grapefruit cordial
  • .5 oz blood orange juice
  • .25 oz vanilla syrup

Method: Shake tequila, triple sec, lime juice, blood orange juice, and syrups with ice.  Strain into a cocktail coupe and top with a splash of soda water.  Garnish with a blood orange slice and a fresh flower. 

For the Grapefruit Cordial: 

  • 1 c white sugar
  • .5 c water
  • .5 grapefruit, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method: Heat sugar and water in a saucepan on low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Let cool. Add sugar syrup to a food processor with grapefruit, lemon juice, and lime juice.  Blend for 1-2 minutes.  Strain into a non-reactive container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

For the Vanilla Syrup: 

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c sugar 

Method: Heat sugar and water in a saucepan on low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Slice a vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the vanilla seeds into the syrup.  Mix and let cool.  Pour the chilled syrup into a non-reactive container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Food & Drink

Mustard is the Weirdest and Tastiest Cocktail Ingredient

It might sound strange, but the tangy condiment does have a place behind the bar.
Food & Drink

Agave-Adjacent Spirits Like Sotol Are Worth Your Attention

Want to dive into the rich world of agave spirits beyond tequila? Check out sotol, a cousin of everyone's favorite Mexican alcohol. We caught up with Desert Door Sotoal co-founder Judson Kauffman to learn more.
Food & Drink

How to Cure Salmon in One Savory Recipe

Learning how to cure salmon isn't only a great skill to have, but it's going to up your breakfast game for days.