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Labor-Free Cocktails to Mix up on Labor Day

Staff Writer
Here are the simplest party-time cocktail recipes ever

Despite the name, no one is looking to work on Labor Day. The unofficial last day of summer deserves a celebration. And no celebration is complete without a cocktail. You can still impress your guests, and your taste buds, with simple cocktails that are easy to create but taste like they were crafted by a pro. With recipes from easy to easier to easiest, these drinks will help you give summer a proper sendoff with minimal effort and lots of fun.

Easy
If you’re looking for an easy recipe to serve at your end-of-summer bash, mix up this pitcher-style cocktail ahead of time so you don’t have to play bartender all night.

Sauza Prickly Pink Margarita (serves 8)

Sauza’s Blue silver tequila is the base for this easy-to-make margarita. Using frozen limeade is a time-saving tip that won’t compromise taste and the addition of pear makes for a fun flavor after a summer of non-stop rose.

Ingredients:
1 cup Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila
1/2 cup DeKuyper® Triple Sec
1/2 cup prickly pear syrup
1 cup limeade
Pear slices
Lime wedges

Prep: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher with ice and stir. Strain into salt-rimmed glasses and serve. Garnish with pear slice and lime wedge.

Skinny Paloma
Created by mixologist Johnny Swet at NYC’s Skylark, this is a tequila based cocktail that keeps it light with Fresca and a bit of grapefruit juice. Why throw away your beach bod now? Just pile the ingredients in a glass filled with ice and stir with a straw.

Ingredients:
2 oz. Don Julio Silver
2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz. Lime Juice
Splash of Fresca

Caipirinha
Don’t be intimidated by this cocktail. It is really not that hard to make, esp if you use the right ingredients (like Brazilian Cachaca) and let the lime and sugar sit together for a good while to macerate nicely.

Ingredients:
1  lime, sliced 
3 teaspoons of sugar 
2 oz. o Cachaça 51

Prep: Mix the lime and sugar together and let macerate. Fill the glass with ice. Add 2 oz. of Cachaça 51. Stir and enjoy. 

Stone Fruit Sangria
Image result for sangria
You’ve only got a couple more weeks before this cocktail is off the menu at NYC’s Park Avenue Summer (and it becomes Park Avenue Autumn). So get there or mix it up yourself. All you need is some fruit, wine and a secret ingredient. Mixologist Bryan Schneider, who created the drink, recommends that you let it infuse 12-24 hours. So, this is a great option to make the night before then on Labor Day you just open the fridge and enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 bottle dry, unoaked white wine (Sauvignon Blanc works great)
2 oz. Crème de Peche (or quality peach liqueur)
2 oz. Cherry Heering Liqueur
2 oz. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 peach, chopped
10 cherries, pitted and chopped

Prep: Add all ingredients to a glass pitcher, and infuse 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. Add ice just before serving. Garnish with fresh stone fruits.

Easier
Regardless of your spirit of choice, these no-fuss recipes contain just a few simple ingredients and are a breeze to whip up at your BBQ.

Pinnacle Citrus Splash
Pinnacle makes some super fun flavored vodkas. Using any of them will make a creative cocktail. Cotton candy and fruit punch anyone? but if you want to keep it simple, opt for citrus and 7-up.

Ingredients:
1 part Pinnacle Citrus Vodka
2 parts Lemon-Lime Soda
Raspberries

Prep: Mix in a glass with ice and garnish with a raspberry.

Hornitos Spicy Verde
It’s not a party without a margarita. Mix some tequila and juice together and spice with hot sauce for a kicking cocktail that took minutes to make.

Ingredients:
2 parts Hornitos Reposado Tequila
3 parts fresh pineapple juice
1/2 part fresh lime juice
2 dashes green habanero hot sauce

Prep: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime slice.

Tangerine Granita

granita

You really don’t even need to use a glass for this cocktail, especially if you have no intention of sharing. Just freeze all the ingredients together and use a fork to scrape and enjoy with a straw.

Ingredients:
Juice of 2 lemons (2 oz. of lemon juice) 
Juice of 4 tangerines (1 cup of tangerine juice) 
3 oz. of lemon-lime soda
2 oz. of Cachaca 51

Prep: Mix all ingredients, place in a mold, and freeze. When frozen, scrape the mixture with a fork and serve with a straw.

Easiest
No time to think about drinks while your guests are arriving? This new ready to serve includes notes of cool lime and refreshing watermelon for the perfect summertime cocktail.

Skinnygirl Watermelon Lime Margarita
Pre-mixed cocktails are a lifesaver when all you want to do is pour and party.Skinnygirl has a line of premixed bottles that feature premium bases so that the taste hits the spot. Just add garnishes that accent that flavor. Think watermelon margaritas and watermelon wedges.

Ingredients:
5 parts Skinnygirl Watermelon Lime Margarita
Watermelon wedge for garnish

Prep: Pour Skinnygirl Watermelon Lime Margarita over ice and garnish with a watermelon wedge.

Frank’s Way
Doesn’t get any easier than Old Blue Eye’s favorite drink: his brand of Jack Daniels and water, chilled with ice.

Ingredients:
2 Fingers Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select
1 Splash of Water
3  Ice Cubes

Prep: Serve over ice in a rocks glass

Cherry Shandy
Wine cocktails were all the rage this summer so make memories on your last legit celebration by mixing a fruity Pinot Noir like LBD’s with some leftover lemonade and a shot of chambord.

Ingredients:
3 oz Little Black Dress Pinot Noir
1 oz lemonade
1 oz Chambord
Maraschino Cherry for garnish

Prep:
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

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