By Lanee Lee Neil:
For your 4th of July celebrations this year, make sure what you serve in the glass is just as exciting as the pyrotechnics in the sky. Honoring the founding fathers that dutifully pledged their allegiance to the spirit of their choice, we scoured the nation, from sea to shining sea, for the most liberating libations.
Here are five 4th of July cocktail (and one mocktail) recipes with a little history lesson to boot:
The Yankee Dandy Apple
Courtesy of Rob Floyd, SLS Hotel
2 oz Laird’s Applejack
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz Cherry herring
Shake well and pour into a lightly sugared martini rim.
Did you know applejack was our nation’s first licensed alcohol, hailing from New Jersey in 1780? George Washington himself used to ask and receive the “cider spirits” recipe and libation from none other than Robert Laird, a Revolutionary War soldier serving under GW. Robert Laird went onto build a small empire of Laird’s Applejack, once our nation’s most popular drink.
4th of July Cocktail
by Guy Fieri, Food Network
1 oz watermelon schnapps
1 big splash cranberry juice
1 very thin slice jalapeno or serrano pepper
1 slice lemon
1 slice lime
1½ oz tequila
¼ oz blue curacao
½ oz simple syrup
Watermelon wedge, for garnish (optional)
Mix the schnapps and cranberry juice in a shaker; pour into an ice-filled glass. Muddle the jalapeno pepper, lemon and lime, tequila, blue curacao and simple syrup (dissolve sugar in equal parts hot water and chill) in the shaker. Strain into the glass over the red layer. Garnish with watermelon.
Party Like It’s 1776 Sparkler
by Rob Floyd, SLS Hotel
2 oz Aperol
2 oz Sparkling wine (preferably American made)
1 oz club soda
Garnish with a flair of lemon twists and blueberries.
If you need a sophisticated drink for a posh patriotic party, a little bubbly always does the trick.
Courtesy of W Hotel South Beach
1 ½ oz. Tito’s Texas Vodka
2 oz. strained watermelon purée
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
¼ oz. Hum Botanical Liquer
2 oz. champagne
In a mixing glass, add all ingredients except champagne and fill with ice. Shake vigorously for roughly 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled, oversized (6 oz. or more) martini glass and top with champagne. Garnish by floating a red, white and blue rose petal.
Blue Gatorade Frost
Fill the glass or drink dispenser with ice. Add cranberry juice, then Blue Gatorade Frost, but make sure when you’re pouring the Blue Gatorade Frost that you pour straight onto some of the ice to gently add the layer. If you pour it directly into the juice it will mix!
Next, pour in the Diet 7up, also onto ice cubes to prevent mixing. You need to use drinks with varying amounts of sugar, since those that contain more sugar (such as soda) are denser than those with less (such as diet drinks), this makes it possible to actually stack one on top of another.
This is a festive, fun punch for the whole family.
Here’s a toast to the Red, White & Blue. Happy 4th of July!
About the Author: Lanee Lee is a freelance travel writer/editor who lives for the quirky encounters, whether getting imprisoned by nuns in Puerto Rico, visiting Houston’s beer can house, or seeing a holy man levitate in Rishikesh. As a tippling traveler, she believes immersion into local culture begins with the taste buds and a toast - from matcha to moonshine. Follow her latest voyage @wanderlushdiary.