Do all Fourth of July cocktails need to be red, white and blue? Of course not. But it’s a little more festive if they have a red or blue color scheme. A patriotic name doesn’t hurt either.
You don’t have to go crazy with the grenadine and Blue Curaçao when mixing drinks for the Fourth—a little goes a long way. Berry garnishes can also give your holiday concoctions a festive boost—a few blueberries with 1 oz. or so red liqueur (Chambord or Pama, for example) in a flute then topped with sparkling wine is a winner.
The drink pictured to the left is called the Father. It was actually created for Father’s Day by the mixologists at The Rye House in New York, but it would work well for July 4th.
1 ½ oz. SKYY Infusions Moscato Grape vodka
1 Teaspoon of raw sugar
4 Slices of fresh peeled ginger
Top with ginger ale
Muddle fresh blackberries, ginger and sugar in a pint glass. Add ice and vodka. Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with blackberries and candied ginger.
The Red White and…Blueberry Mojito is another 4th of July holiday cocktail. Created by Erin Ward, beverage director at the legendary Carmine’s in New York, the drink uses blueberries and blueberry syrup to put a seasonal spin on the classic cocktail.
3 Lime wedges
5-6 Mint leaves
½ oz. Blueberry syrup (can use Monin or any brand)
2 oz. White rum
½ oz. Lemon-lime soda (can use Sprite, 7-Up)
Muddle blueberries, lime wedges, mint leaf and blueberry syrup in cocktail shaker. Pour in rum and Sprite. Lightly shake, pour drink into highball or pint glass over ice.
Here are two elegant cocktails developed exclusively for the holiday.
1 ½ oz. Devotion Perfect Cosmo vodka
1 Teaspoon of lemon juice
½ oz. Chambord
Dash of simple syrup
In a shaker filled with ice, combine liquid ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled Martini glass, and garnish with raspberries. (The mixologists at Devotion vodka developed this recipe.)
2 oz. Belvedere Pink Grapefruit vodka
¾ oz. Lillet Blanc
¾ oz. Pink grapefruit juice
1 Dash sugar syrup
Combine ingredients, shake and strain into a wine glass filled with crushed ice. (The mixologists at Belvedere developed this recipe.)
Looking for some more really red drinks? Try the Watermelon Mojito from The Fourth restaurant in New York, which is actually launching on July 4. Another is the Imperial Pomegranate, a gin-based up drink created by The Cooking Channel’s Drink Up show host Darryl Robinson, a.k.a. Dr. Mixologist for New Amsterdam. And the folks at Skinnygirl developed the Summertime Strawberry Sunrise, which in addition to being vibrant and flavorful is presumably fairly low in calories.
And if you’re going for something really blue, consider the Electric Solstice. Francesco LaFranconi, executive director of mixology & spirits education for Southern Wine and Spirits, developed the recipe for Renaissance Hotels’ Soul of Sake summer cocktail program.
1 ½ oz. Patron Silver
1 oz. TY KU Citrus
4 oz. Mr. Q Cumber soda
Float of Blue Curaçao
Juice of lime wedge
Cucumber wheel or strip
Combine all ingredients in a highball glass over ice. Squeeze the juice of one lime wedge into drink and discard. Stir gently, and garnish with a cucumber wheel or cucumber strip. Add float of Blue Curaçao.
By the actual weekend, you might be done with all the red white and blue and flag themes. The Hold the Umbrella, developed by San Francisco Bay Area mixologist Manny Hinojosa, might be a good weekend choice.
1 ½ oz. Bacardi Rock Coconut rum
2 oz. The Perfect Purée Yuzu Luxe Sour blend
1 Sprig of fresh mint
½ oz. Fresh lime
2 oz. Club soda
In a mixing glass add all the ingredients, except club soda, to ice. Shake vigorously and strain over the rocks, top with splash of soda. Garnish with slice of lime and sprig of fresh mint.
Finally, you may just need to chill out after all the fireworks, barbeque and picnics. Here’s a drink for that.
1 part Absolut vodka
1 part Malibu Coconut rum
1 part Cream liqueur
1 part Orange juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into chilled Martini glass. (The mixologists at Pernod Ricard developed this recipe.)
Whatever you’re serving or enjoying this Fourth of July, have a happy and safe holiday. Wear sunscreen, drink responsibly and leave the big fireworks to the professionals. Cheers!