Memorial Day cocktailsKick off summer with these Memorial Day drinks

With Memorial Day comes poolside parties and BBQs, and any celebration isn't complete without a few refreshing mocktails or cocktails thrown into the mix. Here are nine easy and tasty Memorial Day alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks you can make to help commemorate the three day weekend:

1. Watermelon sangria

This refreshing cocktail is made with watermelon and other summertime fruits. The recipe below yields ten servings.


  • 1 large watermelon
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 2 cups of white rum
  • 1 cup seltzer water
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 limes sliced thinly
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries


  • Slice up the watermelon and scoop out the fruit inside
  • Transfer the watermelon chunks to a blender
  • Blend the watermelon until smooth, and then strain any seeds
  • Pour the watermelon juice into a large pitcher
  • Add the white wine, rum seltzer water, and lime juice, and stir until combined
  • Then add the lime slices and frozen fruit
  • Refrigerate for two hours, and then serve

2. Black cherry ginger ale

This mocktail combines black cherry juice with ginger ale, honey, and lime for a refreshingly light and unique twist. Recipe makes two drinks.


  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce honey syrup
  • 1 cup of black cherry juice
  • A few mint leaves
  • 2 cans of ginger beer


  • Combine and shake all ingredients except ginger beer in a shaker tin with ice
  • Strain over a glass containing fresh ice
  • Top with ginger beer and serve


3. Strawberry pink lemonade

This spiked lemonade is made with rose wine, vodka, and fresh strawberries—the recipe yields below six servings.


  • 1 bottle of sparkling rose wine
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 can of frozen lemonade
  • 1/2 cup club soda
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 3 thinly sliced lemons


  • In a large pitcher, combine the wine, vodka, lemonade, club soda, strawberries, and lemon slices
  • Stir and refrigerate for two hours, and then serve

4. Blackberry mojito

This cocktail is a spin on the traditional mojito — fresh blackberries give it a sweet kick. The recipe below yields two servings.


  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 juiced limes
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup white rum
  • Crushed ice
  • Club soda


  • Muddle the fresh blackberries in a small bowl
  • Take two glasses, and place some mint at the bottom of each one
  • Divide and spoon the blackberries on top
  • Add some crushed ice to each glass
  • In a larger glass, combine the rum, sugar, and lime juice
  • Stir together to combine
  • Then pour the mixture into each of the two glasses
  • Top with club soda and serve

5. Lavender lemonade

This isn’t your ordinary lemonade — the flavors of floral lavender and zesty lemon compliment each other nicely in this drink. This recipe makes four drinks.


  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons dried lavender
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice


  • In a large pot, bring water and honey to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat
  • Using a mortar and pestle, gently crush the lavender
  • Add the crushed lavender to the pot then remove it from the heat
  • Cover, refrigerate, and steep for three hours
  • Strain the liquid through a mesh sieve
  • Stir in lemon juice and serve over ice

6. Tequila sunset

This cocktail officially marks the start of summer. The recipe below yields one serving.


  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • Maraschino cherries


  • Fill a glass with ice, tequila, and juice
  • Add the grenadine
  • Garnish with some maraschino cherries and serve

7. Cucumber margarita

This ultra-refreshing margarita is made with cucumber-infused vodka and lime juice. The recipe below yields one serving.


  • Salt
  • Ice
  • 2 1/2 ounces cucumber-infused tequila
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 1 slice cucumber


  • Wet the rim of a margarita glass with water and dip it in salt
  • Fill the glass with ice
  • Using a cocktail shaker, combine the cucumber-infused tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup, and then shake well
  • Strain the cocktail into the glass and garnish with a cucumber slice

8. Lemongrass jasmine iced tea

This nonalcoholic drink is nice and sweet with a tropical twist — lychee juice. This recipe makes one drink.


  • 5 pieces of lemongrass
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 4 ounces of jasmine tea
  • 2 ounces lychee juice


  • Add all ingredients into a shaker and shake with ice
  • Double strain into a high ball glass and add cubed ice
  • Top with crushed ice and garnish with lemongrass

9. Peach sweet tea

This traditional southern summer cocktail contains bourbon, peaches, and lemon. The recipe below yields one serving.


  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces peach preserves
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Dash of Aperol
  • Sweet tea
  • Sprig of thyme
  • Lemon round


  • In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, peach preserves, Aperol, and lemon juice until well blended
  • Fill a glass with ice and pour the cocktail into the glass
  • Top with sweet tea and garnish with thyme and lemon round

Here's to the start of summer!

Memorial Day Weekend unofficially marks the start of summer. Celebrate it by drinking a few refreshing drinks with friends while hanging out by the pool or grilling up some yummy foods. You can't go wrong with any of the above recipes.

  1. "15 Memorial Day Cocktails You Should Make," Cosmopolitan, May 24, 2013.
  2. "18 Must-Try Memorial Day Cocktails," Delish, May 22, 2017.
  3. "18 Refreshing Drinks to Mix for Memorial Day," Serious Eats, n.d.

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