It may only be Thursday, but I'm already looking forward to Saturday afternoon, when I can take a moment to bask in the fleeting Indian Summer sun with a skewer in one hand and a cocktail in the other. After all, the season's prime time for entertaining with friends at home. To inspire you, I thought I'd tempt you with recipes for favored alcoholic beverages — along with five modern updates on them. Quench your thirst for cocktails both creative and classic, when you keep reading.
The Classic: Harvey Wallbanger
The simple 1970s cocktail  isn't much more than orange juice, vodka, and Galliano.
The Contemporary: Modern Henry #1
Bar historian Martin Cate updated the original with a less-cloying Modern Henry #1 , which relies on the addition of lemon, honey syrup, and Peychaud's bitters.
The Classic: Margarita
It's always fun to savor the tried-and-true combination of tequila, lime, and orange liqueur .
The Contemporary: Watermelon Margarita
Combine fresh watermelon and margaritas — two of our most beloved Summer spectacles! — to create Emeril Lagasse's watermelon margarita .
The Classic: Cosmopolitan
Sex and the City may be over, but the cranberry-vodka combo known as the cosmopolitan  is timeless.
The Contemporary: White Cosmo
Trick guests into believing they're drinking something entirely different with a white cosmopolitan .
The Classic: Bloody Mary
The bloody mary's such a satisfying daytime drink, it's practically synonymous with the term "hair of the dog ." Tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire, and celery salt add salty-spicy kick.
The Contemporary: Gazpacho Bloody Mary
Go farm to table with your cocktails by using homemade Spanish gazpacho  and house-pickled vegetables in place of processed ingredients.
The Classic: Bellini
Those who vilify orange juice have long considered the bubbly-and-peachy bellini  a more appealing alternative to the mimosa.
The Contemporary: Herb-Infused Bellini
Counter the floral-fruity notes of ripe peach with the brightness of muddled basil .