Memorial Day Weekend: 2021 cocktail trends

There’s no denying that Memorial Day weekend brings Americans together.

And whether you’re staying at home or visiting a local barbecue, you might want to toast to the unofficial beginning of summer with something fancier than a beer or wine cooler.

Fox News consulted specialists in the alcoholic beverage space to find out which cocktails are trending in time for the holiday weekend and how you can mix your own like a seasoned pro.

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Some Americans like to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with a drink. Here are the 2021 cocktail trends that are sure to help you enjoy any holiday festivities you have planned. (iStock)

Some Americans like to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with a drink. Here are the 2021 cocktail trends that are sure to help you enjoy any holiday festivities you have planned. (iStock)

What are people drinking this summer?

Not so surprisingly consumers are choosing to drink cocktails that have a cooling effect. 

Mixologist and Pernod Ricard USA Ambassador Dominic Venegas told Fox News that frozen drinks and low ABV cocktails appear to be trending for summer 2021 in addition to highballs, drinks that contain more of a non-alcoholic mixer than an alcohol-based spirit.

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These popular cocktails are being put together with “slight variants,” according to Venegas.

“An example is the ‘Ranch Water’ drink that was made popular in Texas and is taking the country by storm [with] tequila, lime and mineral water,” he explained. “With slushy season you still have your rum and vodka-based drinks but we are seeing more whisky-based slushies like the ‘Penichillin,’ a twist on the Penicillin cocktail.”

Frozen drinks and low ABV cocktails appear to be trending for summer 2021, according to Mixologist and Pernod Ricard USA Ambassador Dominic Venegas. (iStock)

Frozen drinks and low ABV cocktails appear to be trending for summer 2021, according to Mixologist and Pernod Ricard USA Ambassador Dominic Venegas. (iStock)

What are some other top cocktail trends? 

Drinkware and convenient packaging are trends that seem to be growing in the cocktail market, according to Venegas. And it could very well be in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Since we kind lost out on summer 2020, I’ve seen a trend in execution and cocktail selection being more efficient and classic. The prep of making drinks that may be served in reusable pouches and to-go vessels has changed the game as well,” Venegas said. “Being able to sell bottles of to-go cocktails to be enjoyed in the park, at the beach, or in the comfort of your home is continuing.”

3 Memorial Day cocktail recipes to try

If you’re looking to celebrate the holiday weekend with a refreshing drink that beats the heat, here are three cocktail recipes from some well-respected mixology experts. 

With tips like these, you’ll be bringing the bar to you!

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King St. Vodka’s Cucumber Lemon Refresher

“For this time of year, as the weather gets warm, lighter cocktails tend to be popular. Our King St. Cucumber Lemon Refresher is light and refreshing. It is also easy to make pitchers of this cocktail so it can serve a large number of people very easily,” Brand House Wines & Spirits LLC Founder & CEO David Kanbar told Fox News. “Cucumber gets a bad rep — sandwiches, eye covers, salad fillers — but we’d argue that it’s the number 1 cocktail underdog. This jazzy spritz isn’t a mojito, but it is fit for a beach towel and tan. Pro tip: Blend with ice to kick it up a notch.”

The Cucumber Lemon Refresher includes vodka, mint, cucumbers and lemonade. (Cortney Moore/Fox News)

The Cucumber Lemon Refresher includes vodka, mint, cucumbers and lemonade. (Cortney Moore/Fox News)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of chopped cucumbers
  • ¼ cup of fresh mint leaves
  • 4 ounces of vodka
  • 2 cups of lemonade

Instructions

  1. Muddle the chopped cucumbers and mint in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour in your vodka, lemonade and ice.
  3. Shake the contents until your drink has been chilled.
  4. Strain the liquid into a glass.
  5. Garnish your drink with mint leaves.
  6. Add more ice if you desire a colder drink.

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Diplomático’s Mantuano Summertime

“During the summer, there’s nothing better than a refreshing cocktail that incorporates seasonal ingredients – the Diplomático Mantuano Summertime cocktail brings together fresh flavors of pineapple, ginger and honey, and is garnished with cherries, making it great for a hot day,” Diplomático Brand Ambassador Manny Peña told Fox News. “Our Mantuano Rum is aged for up to eight years and has aromas of dried plums, oak and a unique spiciness.”

The Mantuano Summertime is made with rum, pineapple juice, honey and ginger ale. (Cortney Moore/Fox News)

The Mantuano Summertime is made with rum, pineapple juice, honey and ginger ale. (Cortney Moore/Fox News)

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounce of rum
  • 1 ounce of pineapple juice
  • Honey
  • Ginger ale
  • Cherries and mint leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour your rum, pineapple juice, honey and ice into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Mix the contents and strain it over a glass.
  3. Top your drink with ginger ale.
  4. Garnish your beverage with the cherries and mint leaves.

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Merriman’s Hawaii Mango Mint French 75

“Last summer, I created a delicious Mango Mint French 75 that our guests loved. It’s an easy, fruity version of this classic and gives drinks a taste of Hawaii from wherever they are,” Jim Lunchick, a mixologist at Merriman’s Hawaii told Fox News. “I would recommend setting your sights on stuff you know you can easily get. Prosecco? Check! Gin? Check! Limes? Check! You have all the makings of for a French 75, which will undoubtedly be enjoyed at your first vaccinated cocktail gathering.”

“Don’t forget [to put] half an ounce of simple syrup in each glass, or pass the sugar cubes [around],” he added. “Just make sure you do it via tongs.” 

The Hawaii Mango Mint French 75 is mixed with pickled mangos, mint, gin, sugar and prosecco. (Cortney Moore/Fox News)

The Hawaii Mango Mint French 75 is mixed with pickled mangos, mint, gin, sugar and prosecco. (Cortney Moore/Fox News)

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of pickled mango
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 mint sprig for garnish
  • 1 ounce of gin
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 5 ounces of dry prosecco

Instructions

  1. Muddle the mint leaves, gin, sugar and five mango slices in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake well.
  3. Strain the contents into a glass.
  4. Top the drink with prosecco.
  5. Garnish your beverage with a mint sprig.
  6. Skewer the remaining pickled mango slice.

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