19 Memorial Day Drinks for an Extra Fun Weekend

Published February 25, 2022
Juices in glasses with bamboo straws on a picnic table

Memorial Day weekend is the marker to the start of summer. Held on the last Monday in May, this weekend often teases with its warm weather and the promise of more sun just on the horizon. Whether you're celebrating with friends or family, shake up a few Memorial Day drinks, and no one will be upset if you bring cocktails to the bbq.

Red Sangria

Two red sangria glasses on restaurant terrace table on sunny day

Sangria is easy to make for a group if needed, making it the perfect Memorial Day cocktai. As an added bonus, this is a beautiful shade of red.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, red wine, orange liqueur, orange juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into wine glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with orange slice.

Salty Dog

Salty Dog

A savory spin on the classic greyhound, this cocktail whispers summer as surely as the breeze in the trees.

Ingredients

  • Lime wedge and salt for rim
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge.
  2. With the salt on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the salt to coat.
  3. In a highball glass, add ice, vodka, and grapefruit juice.
  4. Stir to mix.
  5. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon garnished with a lemon and a cherry

Whether you spend your Memorial Day weekend poolside, oceanside, or dreaming of water, this cocktail completes the dream.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce blue curaçao
  • 4 ounces lemonade
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon slice and cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, vodka, blue curaçao, lemonade, and simple syrup.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lemon slice and cherry.

Hurricane

Hurricane Cocktail

This tropical cocktail will have your brain in gear for summertime after just one sip.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 1½ ounces dark rum
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce passion fruit juice
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • Ice
  • Lime slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, light rum, dark rum, orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup, passion fruit juice, and grenadine.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into hurricane or highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lime slice.

Mojito

Mojito with lime, mint, ice. Drink bar tools shaker and ingredients

Quickly mash-up this refreshing summer-eve treat, but beware, once one person sees a mojito, everyone will want one too. It's the perfect Memorial Day mixed drink to get the party started!

Ingredients

  • 5-7 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 ounces silver rum
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Mint sprig and lime wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves with a splash of simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, rum, lime juice, and remaining simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Do not strain, pour into highball glass.
  5. Garnish with mint sprig and lime wedge.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

The sunset-colored Aperol spritz is a popular summer drink, so get summer started right now by having one. Whether you're enjoying a drink with brunch or want to take it easy, the Aperol spritz hits the spot.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces prosecco
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 1 ounce club soda
  • Ice
  • Orange slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a wine glass, add ice, prosecco, Aperol, and club soda.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Garnish with orange slice.

Spiked Lemonade

Spiked Lemonade

When you think of summer, you think of ice cream trucks and those classic lemonade stands. Or at least how refreshing a glass of lemonade is after working in the sun.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces citron vodka
  • ½ ounce vanilla liqueur
  • Ice
  • Lemonade to top off
  • Herb sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice, citron vodka, and vanilla liqueur.
  2. Top off with lemonade.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with herb sprig.

Boozy Bourbon Tea

Boozy Bourbon Tea

Turn up the Memorial Day shenanigans and take your sweet tea to a new level with some bourbon.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces bourbon
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce honey liqueur
  • Ice
  • Iced tea to top off
  • Lemon wheel and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice, bourbon, simple syrup, and honey liqueur.
  2. Top off with iced tea.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig.

Berry Mule

Berry Mule

Go ahead and give your classic spiced Moscow Mule an upgrade with some muddled fruit.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer to top off
  • Rosemary sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a copper mug or rocks glass, muddle blueberries.
  2. Add ice, vodka, and lemon juice.
  3. Top off with ginger beer.
  4. Stir to mix.
  5. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Watermelon Margarita

Watermelon Margarita

Watermelon is pretty synonymous with summertime; from sherbet to a juicy wedge of fresh watermelon, you're going to want to go ahead and squeeze it into a glass.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 3 ounces watermelon juice
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lime ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice, orange liqueur, and simple syrup.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with lime ribbon.

Loaded Fruit Sangria

Loaded Fruit Sangria

Opt for a lighter sangria with fruit-forward flavors; as an added bonus, the garnish makes for a great boozy snack after the drink.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces sauvignon blanc
  • ¾ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce strawberry vodka
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Lemon slice and strawberry slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, sauvignon blanc, elderflower liqueur, orange liqueur, strawberry vodka, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Top off with club soda.
  5. Garnish with lemon slice and strawberry slices.

Gin Basil Smash

Gin Basil Smash

Basil is the herb of summer and gin the spirit. So get into the summer spirit this Memorial Day by combining the two. Lighten up your usual smashes with gin and fresh herbs on this take.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Basil sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves with simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, gin, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with basil sprig.

Cucumber Gimlet

Cucumber Gimlet

Although the gimlet typically comes in a martini glass, it can be tough to navigate a group with that glass, so enjoy this simplified version on the rocks.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cucumber wheels
  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Cucumber wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber wheels with a splash of simple syrup.
  2. Add ice, gin, lime juice, and remaining simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with cucumber wheel.

Frosé

Frose

A glass of rosé is a great way to beat the start of the summer heat, but a frosé is an even quicker way. This makes roughly four servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle 750mL chilled rosé wine
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 3 cups ice

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add ice, rosé, lemon juice, Aperol, and simple syrup.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into serving glasses.

Cape Codder

Cape Codder

Possibly the most classic and tart of all the highball cocktails, you can almost hear the ocean waves on the Cape between sips. You can add a splash of lime juice for a tarter experience.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • Ice
  • Cranberry juice to top off
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice and vodka.
  2. Top off with cranberry juice.
  3. Garnish with mint sprig.

Fruit Punch Highball

Fruit Punch Highball

This drink may not have the bright colors of a fruit punch, but rest assured it has all of the flavors.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rum
  • ¾ ounce cherry liqueur
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce pineapple liqueur
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Strawberry, blueberry, and mint sprig for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice, rum, cherry liqueur, lemon juice, and pineapple liqueur.
  2. Top off with club soda.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with strawberry, blueberry, and mint sprig.

Fuzzy Navel

Fuzzy Navel

This vitamin-driven cocktail is great for those brunchtime BBQs or when you want something a little less fizzy and boozy to sip.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces peach liqueur
  • Ice
  • Orange juice to top off
  • Orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add ice and peach liqueur.
  2. Top off with orange juice.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with orange wheel.

Strawberry Refresher

Strawberry Refresher

Soak in the upcoming summer flavors with a strawberry refresher.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces strawberry vodka
  • ¾ ounce elderflower liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger ale to top off
  • Mint sprig and strawberry for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice, strawberry vodka, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice.
  2. Top off with ginger ale.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with mint sprig and strawberry.

Gin Rickey

Gin Rickey

A BBQ weekend or a long weekend deserves an easy-to-make drink.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda to top off
  • Lemon wedge for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass, add ice, gin, and lime juice.
  2. Stir to mix.
  3. Top off with club soda.
  4. Garnish with lime wedge.

Memorial Day Drinks to Kick Off Summer

With the unofficial start of summer falling the same weekend as Memorial Day, you can amp up any gathering or festivities with cocktails. Whether you stick with a red, white, and blue theme or go for a classic verge-of-summer drink, don't forget to add Memorial Day cocktails to your grocery list.

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19 Memorial Day Drinks for an Extra Fun Weekend