Sweet and simple Labor Day libations

Aug 29, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET

You may need a cocktail to get through the impending end of summer slump. Ushering in fall isn't easy for some, as we have to say goodbye to warm weather, bathing suits, beach weekends and barbecues.

Labor Day marks the end of summer, and so this year you should whip up some tasty libations to ease the pain. We've got a few sips for you to savor, all reminiscent of the best summer has to offer. Each is made with fresh summer fruit, and choosing between these should be the only difficult choice you have to make this weekend.

Pineapple margaritas

Drinking a margarita in the winter just doesn't feel right. You need to indulge during the warm months. This tropical beauty is not only flavorful, it's pretty, too.

  • 1 ounce tequila
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2-4 ounces pineapple juice
  • Pineapple chunks

Combine the tequila, triple sec, simple syrup and lime juice in a large measuring glass. Pour in the pineapple juice and stir until combined. Using a sharp skewer, thread the pineapple chunks. Pour the juice into a glass and garnish with the pineapple skewer.

Serves 1

Tijuana Taxi

The Tijuana Taxi is one of those cocktails you order at a bar or restaurant and then spend months trying to recreate. It's a mango-vanilla margarita fit for a queen. The vanilla adds a shock of sweetness to cut through the lime tartness. Perfect for poolside sipping.

  • 2-15 ounce cans sliced mangos, drained
  • 2/3 cup tequila
  • 2/3 cup triple sec
  • Juice of 1-1/2 limes
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sugar plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour 1 tablespoon sugar on a plate. Rub your glasses with a wedge of lime then twirl them in the sugar. Fill the glasses with the blended beverage.

Serves 6

Blueberry mojito

Mojitos scream summer goodness. Between the refreshing mint and the ripe, flavorful blueberries, they are perfect for an end-of-the-season cocktail.

For blueberry simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup water

For mojito:

  • 2 ounces blueberry simple syrup
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • 4 ounces lemon-lime soda
  • 2 sprigs mint

For simple syrup, combine all in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain. To make mojitos, combine mint and lime and muddle. Pour into 2 ice-filled glasses. Combine syrup and rum in a shaker and shake until well mixed. Pour into glasses. Top with lemon-lime soda.

Serves 2

Spiked vanilla lemonade

If you are really trying to savor the last little bits of the season, you really should do it with a lemonade in hand. Of course, we had to liven it up a little bit with some rum and a bit of sweet vanilla.

  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons rum per glass of lemonade

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves. Pour the sugar into a pitcher along with the lemon juice and vanilla. Stir. Pour in the water and stir well to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use. Once ready to serve, pour 2 tablespoons of rum into a glass and top with lemonade.

Serves 6

Watermelon Gin and Tonic

There is almost nothing better than a cocktail that has fresh fruit in it. The fruit gives a great flavor and soaks up some of the alcohol, making for a tasty and naughty drink. While you sip this G&T, grab a hunk of watermelon from the glass and enjoy the summery, fresh taste.

  • 1/4 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup watermelon chunks
  • 2 tablespoons gin
  • 2 cups tonic water

Squeeze lime juice into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Add in watermelon, gin and tonic and stir to combine.

Serves 1