Diageo's Toast to Leisure | Labor Day Cocktails

Celebrate Labor Day with these craft cocktail recipes

Written by

Annie Bush

Photographed by

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Oh, the vestiges of summer. In anywhere else but Los Angeles, in any era except this year (climate change now blurring those seasonal boundaries), Labor Day would function as a final celebration of a summer well-enjoyed, a critical moment in which the dog days of summer begin to melt gently into the impending autumn. A reason to not work. A reason to eat the final hot dog of the year (who eats hot dogs in the fall, for God’s sake?). A reason to drink. 

And now that the summer has infringed on the territory of the fall by way of climate change (or by way of the ever-steady Los Angeles climate) there must still be an inflection point upon which we decide to gather and to celebrate. What shall we toast to, if not the forthcoming Pumpkin Spice Latte weather? Let’s toast to the labor organizers of the late nineteenth century. Let’s toast to the sweet annals of time in hopes that these little means for festivities, however superfluous they may feel when the summer heat lasts forever, continue to divide the seasons into tolerable working intervals. Let’s toast to the fact that we live in a time where we have the luxury of imbibing alcohol from lands thousands of miles away. Like kings! What a strange time to be alive. 

This Labor Day, allow yourself to revel in that strangeness. Allow yourself to engage in leisure time; feel grateful for your labor unions past; gather with friends or gather with family and toast to whatever summer you find to be over, whatever autumn you can see in your future. Go to the beach and get sand in your punch. Gather at a distant cousin’s house and indulge in a delicious little spritz. Grill your last hot dog of the year. Eat some watermelon. Craft a cocktail. Spoil yourself, for your sake, for the sake of summer, for the hope of fall. Here are some cocktail recipes that will catalyze these sorts of Labor Day festivities:

Astral Chili Mango

Makes one serving


- 1.5oz Astral Tequila Blanco

- 1oz Fresh Lime Juice

- 1oz Mango Purée

- Sliced Jalapeño 


- Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker

- Add ice

- Shake and strain into an ice filled rocks glass

Garnish: Salt and Lime Slice

Glassware: Rocks

Bailey's Iced Coffee

Makes one serving‍


- 2.5 oz Baileys Original Irish Cream

- 6 oz Iced Coffee


- Fill cup with ice with iced coffee

- Mix in Baileys Original Irish Cream

- Stir and Enjoy

Garnish: None 

Glassware: Beer Can Glass

Blade and Bow New Fashioned

Makes one serving


- 1.25 oz Blade & Bow

- .75 oz Elderflower Liqueur

- Top with a splash of soda


- Add Blade & Bow and Elderflower Liqueur into an ice-filled mixing glass

- Stir and top with a splash of soda

Garnish: Orange slice and Cocktail cherry

Glassware: Rocks Glass

Summer Bonfire

Makes one serving


- 1.5 oz Buchanan’s 12-Year-Old DeLuxe Blended Scotch Whisky

- 0.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

- 0.5 oz Simple SyrupGinger Beer for Top


- Combine Buchanan’s 12-Year-Old DeLuxe Whisky, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.

- Strain contents into a highball glass over fresh ice.

- Fill to top with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh strawberries and fresh rosemary sprig.

Garnish: 2 Fresh Strawberries and a Fresh Rosemary Sprig

Glassware: Highball Glass

Razzle Berry

Makes one serving‍


- 0.75 oz. Ciroc Red Berry

- 0.5 oz. simple syrup

- 0.75 oz. lime juice

- 1 oz. FeverTree ginger beer


- Combine ingredients into shaker with ice

- Shake well and strain into a rocks glass

Garnish: Berries and mint leaves

Glassware: Rocks glass


Makes one serving


- 1 oz Tequila Don Julio Rosado

- 0.5 oz Grapefruit

- 0.5 oz Lime

- 0.25 oz Agave Syrup (2:1)

- Sparkling Rose Wine


- Add all ingredients to shaker with ice

- Strain into coupe glass

- Top with sparkling rosé

Garnish: Salt Rim and Grapefruit Twist

Glassware: Champagne Coupe 

Harper Peach Punch 

Makes one serving‍


- 1.5 oz I.W. HARPER Cabernet Cask Reserve

- ¾ oz lemon juice

- 1 oz pineapple juice

- 1 peach sliced into 8 slices 

- ½ oz of simple syrup


- Muddle peaches in shaker. 

- Add I.W. HARPER Cabernet Cask Reserve, lemon juice, pineapple juice, simple syrup and ice to shaker and mix until chilled.

- Place one peach ice cube in rocks glass and strain contents of shaker over it. 

- Top with fresh-cracked black pepper and peach slice. 

Garnish: Black pepper & Peach slice

Glassware: Rocks Glass

Johnnie & Ginger

Makes one serving


- 1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Black Label  

- 5 oz Ginger Ale   


- Pour 1.5 oz of Johnnie Walker Black Label over ice and stir in 5 oz of Ginger ale.

- Finish with fresh ginger and star anise or a lemon wheel. 

Garnish: Fresh Ginger & Star Anise or a Lemon Wheel 

Glassware: Highball Glass

Old Parr Picoso

Makes one serving‍


- 2 oz. Old Parr Aged 12 Years

- 0.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

- 0.75 oz. Fresh Grapefruit Juice

- 0.75 oz. Spicy Honey Syrup


- Combine Old Parr Aged 12 Years, fresh lemon juice, fresh grapefruit juice, and spicy honey syrup

- Shake with ice, strain into rocks glass

Garnish: Sage bouquet

Glassware: Old-Fashioned

Seedlip Grove Spritz

Makes one serving


- 2 oz Seedlip Grove 42

- Top with Tonic Water or Club Soda   


- Pour 2 oz of Seedlip Grove 42 over ice in a wine glass.

- Top with your favorite premium mixer. 

Garnish: Orange Slice 

Glassware: Wine Glass

Talisker Penicillin

Makes one serving


- 1.5 oz Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

- 0.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

- 0.5 oz Honey-Ginger Syrup


- Combine Talisker 10 Year Old, lemon juice and honey-ginger syrup in a shaker with ice. 

- Shake until well-chilled. 

- Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with candied ginger

Garnish: Candied Ginger

Glassware: Rocks Glass

Singleton Swizzle

Makes one serving


- 1.5 oz The Singleton 12 Year Old

- 0.25 oz Amontillado Sherry

- 0.5 oz Ginger Syrup

- 0.5 oz Lime Juice

- 3 Mint Leaves


- Add all ingredients into a shaker with crushed ice. 

- Shake until cold, 8-10 seconds. Strain into a highball glass and add crushed ice. 

- Swizzle with a swizzle stick or use a spoon to mix ice with the cocktail. 

- Add more crushed ice to create an ice cone. 

- Add bitters on top and garnish with a mint sprig. 

Garnish: Bitters + Mint Sprig

Glassware: Highball Glass

Mackintosh Tea Room 

Makes one serving


- Mortlach 16 Year Old 

- Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao

- Earl Grey Tincture 


- Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice

- Stir to chill

- Strain into a Coupe glass and garnish with a dehydrated rose petal 

Glassware: Coupe glass

Garnish: Dehydrated rose petal

‍Tanqueray Sevilla Orange Spritz

Makes one serving


- 1.5 oz Tanqueray Sevilla Orange

- 1.5 oz Lemonade

- 3 oz Sparkling Wine   


- Combine ingredients over ice and stir to combine. 

Garnish: Orange Wheel 

Glassware: White Wine Glass

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Labor Day, Annie Bush, Diageo