For as long as I can remember, the Fourth of July has always been my favorite holiday of the year. Growing up, it was because of the fireworks, the outdoor picnic/BBQ with family and friends, and the massive pool party that my community pool would throw every year.
As I have gotten older, I have continued to love the holiday for all of those reasons, but now I am also able to really have fun when it comes to entertaining guests and making some 4th-themed cocktails for a night to remember. The key is creativity without going overboard. I’m not one for overly sweet and creamy cocktails, so my creativity for this holiday stems more from quality ingredients with seasonal flair.
The Fourth of July, like many holidays, brings with it a sense of novelty. People are inclined to go all out making up themed items for the holiday and it can get a little tacky. When it comes to making drinks for holidays, I like to think about seasonal ingredients first and then incorporate fun colors and “special effects” later. I am much more inclined to make a red, white and blue sangria with fresh berries and a good sparkling white than I am to make a cocktail made out of pure colored liqueurs. But, that‘s just my taste.
Photo courtesy of smilla4 via Flickr/cc
Like every holiday-themed cocktail, making Fourth of July drinks should be fun, above all else. You have a variety of colors to be creative with (red, white and blue, clearly) and you have the very agreeable summer weather to have fun with as well. Make drinks that are fun and warm-weather friendly for the occasion and people will be coming back for seconds and thirds. It’s their patriotic duty, after all.
Have any Fourth of July cocktails to share? Leave your recipes in the comments below!
Gin SlingFrom KitchenDaily.com
4-5 ice cubes
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 oz cherry brandy
3 oz gin
cherries, to decorate
In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, cherry brandy and gin over ice. Shake vigorously until a frost forms. Pour into a hurricane glass and top with soda water. Decorate with cherries.
American BeautyFrom KitchenDaily.com
5 ice cubes
1 oz brandy
1 oz dry vermouth
1 oz orange juice
1 oz grenadine
1 dash crème de menthe
slice of orange
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour in the brandy, vermouth, orange juice, grenadine and crème de menthe. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Tilting the glass, gently pour some ruby port so that it floats on top. Garnish with a cherry, orange slice and sprig of mint.
4th of July CocktailFrom CDKitchen.com
1 1/2 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce sweet & sour mix
1/2 ounce blue curacao
1 dash grenadine
Mix all ingredients, except grenadine, in a shaker and chill. Serve in a martini glass. Top with grenadine.
Fish House PunchFrom Esquire.com
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
2 ounces spring water
1 ounce lemon juice
2 ounces dark Jamaican rum
1 ounce cognac
1/8 ounce peach brandy
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in enough of the water, making sure all of the sugar has dissolved completely, then incorporate the lemon juice. Next, add the spirits and the rest of the water -- less water in summer to allow for more melting. Add a large block of ice. Let stand in a cool place for an hour or so before serving. No garnish required or requested.
Cucumber-Vermouth SangriaFrom Epicurious.com
1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 cucumber, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry vermouth such as Dolin
1 ounce blue or orange curaçao liqueur
1 ounce simple syrup or more to taste
1 ounce lemon juice
2 ounces dry gin
2 cups cold sparkling water
1/2 to 1 ounce Maraschino liqueur (optional)
Mint for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine the lemon slices, cucumber slices, and vermouth. Stir gently. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. When ready to serve, add the curaçao, simple syrup, lemon juice, gin, sparkling water, and Maraschino liqueur, if using. Fill the pitcher with ice and stir to combine. Garnish each glass with mint, lemon and cucumber slices.
Stars and StripesFrom Liquor.com
5 to 7 Fresh blueberries
1 oz Blueberry Vodka (We recommend Stoli Blueberi Vodka)
¼ oz Absinthe (We recommend Lucid Absinthe)
¼ oz Simple syrup
Splash of lemon juice
G.E. Massenez Framboise Sauvage Raspberry Brandy
Garnish: sugar cube
In a shaker, muddle the blueberries. Add the vodka, absinthe, syrup and lemon juice, and fill with ice. Shake vigorously, and pour into a highball glass. Drizzle with brandy. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with one sugar cube.