Spice Up Your Labor Day with These Affordable Cocktails

A sure way to keep your spirits high and budgets low.


by Nathan Reilly Sep 7, 2020

Patriotic cocktails
Courtesy of Beautiful Booze

As one of the top 10 booziest holidays of the year and the last officially-recognized festivity of the summer, it’s only fair that you want to celebrate Labor Day with occasion-appropriate cocktails. But alcohol can be a bit pricey, especially if you buy in bulk, and we don’t blame you if you want to save the top-shelf vodka for yourself.

Behold, seven cheap cocktails to keep your budget low and spirits high.

1. Orange Sherbet Mimosa Punch

Orange sherbet cocktail
Courtesy of Joy Wilson/Liquor.com

If you plan to start drinking early, mimosas are a brunch staple and can be made in a pinch whenever you want to add a little kick to your morning OJ. And with the right purchase choice, champagne or sparkling wine can be one of the most affordable options on the market. This recipe offers a twist to this breakfast classic with a little extra sweetness by replacing OJ with orange sherbet. But if sherbet isn’t your thing, you can always swap for sorbet (which differs from sherbet), orange ice cream, or even a Creamsicle®, especially if it's an Instaworthy snapshot you want.

2. Festive Frozen Berry Lemonade

Festive cocktails
Courtesy of Beautiful Booze

Using Smirnoff Red, White, and Berry vodka, this drink is a sure patriotic way to celebrate Labor Day and remember the American Labor Movement. Smirnoff flavored vodkas typically cost between $9.47-$11.99 per bottle (depending on your state), and with this specific flavor’s proof of 60 percent, you’ll undoubtedly be able to create a relatively strong drink with less pour. As the unofficial #drinkofthesummer, according to Smirnoff’s website, Red, White, and Berry vodka is the perfect way to complement your favorite lemonade or frozen treat.

3. Perrier Mojito

Cocktails in a row
Courtesy of Simple Cocktails (Perrier Mojito pictured left)

As a highball, Mojitos are fun for casual sipping and can be made more or less boozy depending on your preference. Thanks to their simple sweet and citrus combo, you can pair just about any flavors imaginable for relatively little expense. This recipe calls for the rum of your choice, but if you’re looking to keep costs low, Captain Morgan and Bacardí can both be purchased for under $20.

4. $30 Strawberry Jungle Juice

Cocktail beverage dispenser
Courtesy of Tipsy Bartender

Don’t let the price tag on this recipe fool you: The $30 title contributes to ingredients, alcohol aside, so you can alter this recipe to your liking (and budget). After all, the only rule of Jungle Juice is “anything goes.” While some might fondly recall a version of this cocktail from their first college party (or unfondly, depending on how you felt the morning after), this timeless drink remains a classic. Whatever you decide, just remember to drink responsibly; jungle juice is known for its high alcohol content.

5. Throw Some Tequila In It

Beverage in plastic cup
Courtesy of Stir and Strain

While tequila is not typically known as the cheapest spirit, this cocktail is great for using the last of whatever Don Nacho or Tres Agaves you own. With its recipe consisting of only two main ingredients, this drink can be mixed on a whim and is easy to concoct. Although it specifically calls for Starbucks’s passion tea lemonade, you can easily swap it for your own store-bought or homemade iced tea.

6. Fireball Cider

Shot glass in glass
Courtesy of Stir and Strain

For many, Labor Day marks the end of summer and the start of autumn. If you’re someone who relishes in sweater weather and signature fall beverages, this drink is for you. Angry Orchard’s hard cider (about $9 per six-pack) mixed with Fireball’s cinnamon flavor is the perfect intro to the upcoming season. And since this recipe doesn’t call for much Fireball, you can get away with buying 50-ml mini bottles, each for $2 or less.

7. Autumn Punch

Cocktail in collins glass
Courtesy of Tipsy Bartender

If Fireball isn’t your thing but you still want to welcome the fall season with open arms, give this cocktail a taste. As with many recipes from Tipsy Bartender, Autumn Punch does not call for any spirit in specific, so feel free to mix and match brands that work with your budget and taste buds. Once concocted, enjoy the drink’s caramel hue, a true representation of autumn, hence, the name.


Nathan Reilly

Nathan Reilly is a dual major in English writing and media production and hopes to continue working in professional writing.


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