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Entertaining
Celebrate a Lazy Labor Day With These 10 Easy Cocktails

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Labor Day is the last hurrah of summer, marking the time when parties move from the sunny backyard to the cozy indoors. While you could go big and celebrate the last golden days with a Labor Day punch or Jello Shot party, it’s equally respectable to honor the union holiday by throwing a get together that requires, well, no labor. If anything, it’s more patriotic to take it easy. Here are the best cocktails for your Labor Day party when you just can’t be bothered to whip up something more elaborate—as is your American right.

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This three-ingredient classic has America right in the name—how can you argue with that? It may have been invented in Milan, but it was named for the Americans who would down it like water. An easy combination of Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water, this Highball is light enough to sip through the three-day weekend.

The Essentials

Campari
Sweet Vermouth
Club Soda
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It’s actually a law that you have to have a blue drank on the bar at every patriotic bash. While a more complex blue cocktail might impress the booze nerds in the crowd, no one would refuse an orange curaçao-spiked Blue Martini—unless they’re a Commie, as you should point out at top volume.

The Essentials

Vodka
Blue Curaçao
Cocchi Americano
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Pro tip: A plastic baggie is way easier to operate than a blender—and a lot quicker to clean up. Making your frozen, fruity Margs in plastic bags and simply sticking them in a freezer for a few hours is the kind of boozy innovation that made this country great in the first place.

The Essentials

Tequila
Mango Juice
lime juice
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Labor Day means saying goodbye to many things we love about summer—pool parties, lazy days at the beach, boozy popsicles. We’re also not embarrassed to admit that we’re a little sad that Frosé season is coming to an end. To send summer off right, make this super simple version, which only requires a freezer and a touch of forethought the night before your festivities.

The Essentials

Rosé
Dry Vermouth
Berry Syrup
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It’s almost impossible to decide which is more American: beer or whiskey? Luckily, you don’t have to choose. Pair your all-American Budweiser—er, all American America—with an indisputable, unfussy bourbon. You’ve worked hard all year to earn your government-mandated day of rest; you deserve to double fist with pride.

The Essentials

beer
whiskey
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There’s nothing more ‘Murica than rolling into another country and mixing the local booze with Coca-Cola. Just look at the Cuba Libre, invented by American soldiers clubbing it up in Cuba by spiking sweet liquid USA with local rum during the Spanish-American War. For a slightly more refined, neapolitan take on the Rum and Coke, consider this harmonious pairing: nutty Italian Ramazzotti and the unapologetically basic Cherry Coke.

The Essentials

Ramazzotti Amaro
black cherry soda
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Not only does the Cobbler share its name with one of the best fruity summer desserts, but it’s also got more history than you and your guests put together. Sherry was the drink of choice for many a partying revolutionary, and mixing the fortified wine with simple syrup and fresh oranges even predates Labor Day, which only became a federal holiday in 1894. The required swizzling is nothing more than mixing the drink with a stick. Really, the hardest part of making a Sherry Cobbler is keeping up with demand.

The Essentials

Sherry
Orange Slices
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Is there anything more summery and American than lemonade? Unless you’ve found a way to drink your apple pie (oh, wait), the answer is no. This ‘80s era cocktail mixes homemade lemonade (skip the store bought stuff) with Tennessee whisky and curaçao or triple sec. Bright, vivacious and dangerously easy to drink, this is the type of cocktail you mix up by the pitcherful come the long Labor Day weekend.

The Essentials

Tennessee Whiskey
Triple Sec
Lemonade
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The Salty Dog is the perfect prescription for the dog days of summer: It’s ultra-refreshing, hydrating (those electrolytes, bro), and thirst quenching. The grapefruity libation pairs perfectly with a variety of barbeque dishes—another must on Labor Day. Best of all, it is another drink that can be made in large batches, just substitute the salt rim with a few dashes of a homemade saline solution.

The Essentials

grapefruit juice
Vodka
Salt
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Summer isn’t summer without rum. Made with overproof Jamaican rum, cold brewed black tea, lime and lime juice, this delectable drink is the perfect way to usher in the fall.

The Essentials

Dark Rum
Lime Juice
Black Tea

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