5 Best Labor Day Beverage Choices

These easy drink recipes quench thirsts without adding too much sugar or calories to your barbecue menu.

By Emily Main


4. Offer other brews

Iced tea is easy and popular, and you can make it a little more interesting by using antioxidant-laden green tea rather than the standard black leaves. Each serving has only 22 calories.


  • 8 cups water
  • 4 green tea bags
  • 4 mint tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 12 sprigs fresh mint (3–4 inches)
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 rounds
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

1. Bring water just to a boil. Place tea bags in large pitcher or measuring cup and pour water over top.
2. Let steep 8 minutes before removing tea bags, and cool tea to room temperature.
3. Add lime juice and half the mint sprigs. Chill at least 1 hour, or overnight.
4. Sweeten with agave nectar (adding more to taste).
5. Fill 6 glasses with ice. Strain in tea.
6. Garnish with lime and remaining mint.

Keep some extra agave nectar out for folks who like their tea a little sweeter. The sweetener dissolves rapidly in cold liquids, and when you add it at drinking temperature, you can judge better how much you need.

5. Go local
If you do decide to offer your guests a high-calorie cocktail, do your very best to make it local. Search online for local distilleries that brew whiskey, vodka, or gin out of ingredients grown nearby, like Green Mountain Distilleries in Vermont, with its locally grown, organic grain vodka, and Harvest Spirits in New York, which makes apple vodka from local family-farmed apples. Make a "100-Mile Cocktail" with homemade seltzer water and fruit that comes from farms in your area. If you have to cheat and buy nonlocal lemons or sugar, it’s okay.