Photo by Annabelle Breakey

Tradition says it’s almost time to lay off the gin and tonics. We say make summer last as long as you can.

Nicole Clausing and Magdalena O’Neal  – August 20, 2021

Labor Day is coming up, so naturally you’re folding up all your white clothes and locking the gin away until Memorial Day, right?

Well, you do you, but these rules have always seemed a little arbitrary to me. It may make sense not to dress like a snowbank in a place that sees blizzards, but that just doesn’t happen much in the West—not in September, anyway. And last time I checked, gin does not (alas) grow on trees. Distilled beverages have no season, so gimlet your way through the winter if that’s what you want to do. (And wear those white espadrilles to Thanksgiving dinner if you want, too. We’re renegades here, right?)

Late August and early September are actually prime time for the icy, fruity cocktails most folks only drink when school’s out. Summer hangs on longer in the West than in other parts of the country. September is the hottest month where I live, and I drink tart, refreshing cocktails almost until Halloween. I also regard it as a shame not to slurp up the last of the summer stone fruit and fresh herb infusions while I still have the chance. 

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So, let the rest of the country start turning their minds to brown liquor and pumpkin-spiced everything right after Labor Day. I will be partying like it’s June well into September. 

Below we’ve rounded up some of our favorite summer cocktails. From summer Rosé-tinted spritzes to slushy refreshers to, yes, gin and tonics, here’s what we’re drinking as long as the weather holds.

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