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Memorial Day Cocktails
Credit: Nigel Cox

This feature first appeared in the June issue of InStyle, now available on newsstands and for digital download. For more stories like this, subscribe to the magazine.

Cause a stir among friends with a laidback summer drinks party. Much lauded Portland, Oregon, mixologist Jeffrey Morgenthaler of hot spot bar Pepe Le Moko and tavern-style eatery Clyde Common dreamed up a cocktail for everyone in your crew. Plus, each recipe is easy to make in batches.

For the Guest Who ♥s a Grown-up Mocktail:

Sparkling Lavender Lemonade

(Pictured at top)

“This one is so simple to make,” says Morgenthaler of his herb-infused, alcohol-free refresher. It’s also versatile: Swap out the lavender with thyme, rosemary, or tarragon to alter the flavor profile. Soda water gives it a tantalizing fizz.

Serves: 6

Mocktail Ingredients

9 oz. lavender syrup (recipe follows)
9 oz. fresh lemon juice
24 oz. sparkling water, chilled
Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish

Lavender Syrup Ingredients

1 cup water
¼ cup fresh lavender leaves
1 cup sugar

Lavender Syrup Directions

In a small saucepan, combine water and lavender; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves, about 1 minute. Strain and let cool.

Mocktail Directions

In a large pitcher, combine lavender syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water. Pour into ice-filled highball glasses. Garnish with lavender.

For the Guest Who ♥s Something with a Kick:

Smoky Orange Margarita

Smoky Orange Margarita
Credit: Nigel Cox

Since the polling stations in Adak, AK, the last voting precinct, close at 1 a.m. ET, consider making a whole pitcher of this sweet and sour crowd-pleaser. Get the recipe here.

Nigel Cox

Orange marmalade is the secret ingredient in this not-too-sweet crowd-pleaser. Amp up the sourness, says Morgenthaler, by substituting 3 ounces of tamarind concentrate ($9; amazon.com) for the marmalade and straining the drink to remove the seeds.

Serves: 6


9 oz. silver tequila
4½ oz. mezcal
6¾ oz. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for garnish
6¾ oz. Cointreau
3 tbsp orange marmalade
1½ oz. agave syrup
3 tbsp salt for garnish


1. In a large pitcher, combine tequila, mezcal, lime juice, Cointreau, marmalade, and agave syrup. Whisk. Strain and return to the pitcher.
2. Moisten each glass rim with lime wedges; coat with salt. Fill glasses with ice; add the margarita.
3. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

For the Guest Who ♥s That Light Buzz All Night:

Lillet & Cucumber

Memorial Day Cocktails
Credit: Nigel Cox

“At a party you always need a drink that you can have a few of without feeling terribly tipsy,” says Morgenthaler, and this one fits the bill nicely. “Fresh mint and cucumber work so well together,” he adds.

Serves: 6


1 5-inch-long hothouse cucumber, sliced
6 oz. simple syrup (see below, French 75 Rosé​ cocktail recipe, for directions)
12 oz. Lillet Blanc
9 oz. sparkling water
Mint springs for garnish


In a blender or food processor, purée cucumber slices with simple syrup. Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in Lillet and sparkling water. Serve in ice-filled rocks glasses, garnished with mint sprigs.

For the Guest Who ♥s Yummy Bubbles:

French 75 Rosé

Memorial Day Cocktails
Credit: Nigel Cox

Sparkling rosé wine, gin, and fresh lemon juice combine to create a drink that’s “ultralight and refreshing,” says Morgenthaler. It’s a riff on the classic French 75, a Champagne cocktail that was first served at the New York Bar in Paris in 1915. Here, sparkling rosé (a barcart staple for summer fun) is the bubbly of choice.

Serves: 6


6 oz. London dry gin
6 oz. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 oz. water
12 oz. chilled sparkling rosé
Lemon twist for garnish

Cocktail Directions

In a large pitcher, combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and water. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Just before serving, gently stir in rosé. Serve in ice-filled coupes. Garnish with a lemon twist. (Use a vegetable peeler to create a strip, then curl it up to make a spiral.)

Simple Syrup Ingredients

¾ cup sugar
3 oz. water

Simple Syrup Directions

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes. Let cool.