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Three Labor Day Cocktails From Houston Bartenders

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The Labor Day holiday is here. And it's a day for sleeping in, relaxing, swimming at the pool, cooking on the grill and most importantly, not working. When we think about the best plans for a day off from work, we think sipping on a great cocktail is on the agenda.

We spoke with three local bartenders (Alba Huerta of Julep, Justin Burrow of Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar and Raul Rojas of The Honeymoon) and had them provide us with a cocktail recipe they would like to drink on Labor Day.

Classic Mint Julep, Alba Huerta of Julep Bar

The best thing about the mint julep is that it's a cocktail that over time will change. You're adding crushed ice to it, and over the time that you're spending with your friends and talking over a mint julep, it gets mellowed out more and more. So the reason why I put two bourbons in it, the two different proofs of the bourbons, is that that stronger bourbon will make the julep stay together for a longer time and it also gives you the ability to sit and talk with people. So it is conducive for hanging out and drinking with your friends.

Mint Julep Recipe: 1 ounce Four Roses Bourbon 1 ounce of Old Grand Dad 100 Bourbon ½ ounce of Turbinado 12 mint leaves Crushed ice Powdered sugar

Instructions: Add the two bourbons and turbinado to double old-fashioned glass or metal cup. Place 12 mint leaves in the bottom, followed by crushed ice. Stir to delusion. Top the cocktail with a dome of crushed ice, more mint leaves and dust with powdered sugar.

The Cheap Labor, Justin Burrow of Captain Foxheart's Bad News Bar

It was actually created at my house during the fallout from Hurricane Ike. My whole block was kind of blocked in by fallen trees, so the neighborhood, we got together, chopped the trees up and got them all out of the way. When we were done with that, I went into the house to see what I had to make drinks with and I had a batch of tamarind syrup that I had been screwing around with, and I had some bourbon, and I had a bunch of lemons, so I just figured it out from there. That's where the name came from too because they all got paid in drinks for helping me get out of my street. It was hot then and super refreshing, like really easy going, flavorful cocktail, good for the weather on labor day I think.

The Cheap Labor Recipe: 1.5 ounces Bourbon .75 ounces Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice .75 ounces Tamarind Syrup

Instructions: Shake all of the ingredients with ice. Strain over fresh ice in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a wedge of lemon and mint sprig.

Tamarind Syrup Recipe: In a large saucepan combine 7 ounces (by weight) of wet, seedless tamarind (available at most Asian or Latin grocery stores), 24 ounces (by volume) of white table sugar and 16 ounces (by volume) of water. Heat on medium/high heat (not boiling) until the tamarind has completely dissolved. Bring to just a boil, then remove from heat. Pour your syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container to cool. Once cooled, you can store the syrup in a closed container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. It also tastes great on ice cream!

Daiquiri , Raul Rojas of The Honeymoon

I think people like to make something simple and one of the simplest cocktails you could probably do right now is a daiquiri, especially on a Monday. You can go de-stress about anything. A daiquiri pretty much consists of rum, lime juice and sugar. It's very simple to make and it's really delicious. You can make it more complex and go get a bottle of bitters and just add a few dashes to that just to change the flavor profile of it.

Daiquiri Recipe: 2 ounces of rum 1 ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice ½ ounce of simple syrup

Instructions: Add all the ingredients into a container. Shake it up for no more than ten seconds. Strain it into a martini glass and enjoy.

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