Whether you’re a die-hard patriot or casual observer of independence, the 4th of July offers us all an opportunity to raise a glass. It’s a holiday we look forward to every year, one that symbolizes that summer is finally here and great weather and outdoor fun are ahead.
Sure, we like the occasional sparkler and an excuse to grill some food on the deck. But more than anything, we love the excuse to create an excellent cocktail. And a nation’s birthday is a pretty good excuse for that. Here are the 11 best 4th of July cocktails.
One of the most underrated cocktail cameos is often played by Ancho Reyes. See the magic it brings to this pool-ready tropical cocktail.
(Created by Sebastien Derbomez, William Grant & Sons manager of brand advocacy)
- 2 parts Hudson Whiskey Bright Lights, Big Bourbon
- 2 parts fresh pineapple juice
- .5 part ginger syrup
- .5 part Ancho Reyes Verde Liqueur
- .5 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- Garnish with brown sugar glaze*
*Brown sugar glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer 1/2 cup bourbon, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder until sugar dissolves. Set aside. Thread pineapple pieces onto 4 skewers. Grill pineapple until brown, basting with bourbon glaze and turning occasionally for 6-8 minutes. Remove pineapple from skewers. Serve warm with bourbon glaze.
Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and strain in a small bottle. Garnish with a grilled pineapple slice with bourbon and brown sugar glaze.
Read more: Classic Whiskey Cocktails
Aside from being a fitting red hue, this cocktail is the perfect adaptation of the bloody mary.
- 1.5 oz of gin or vodka
- 2 oz of fresh tomato juice
- .5 oz of soy sauce
- .25 oz of fresh lemon juice
- 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
- 1 pinch of salt and pepper
Rim a chilled highball glass with salt and pour the vodka in the glass. Fill the glass with ice and stir to chill. Fill the glass with remaining ingredients and stir again.
Blue drinks can be more than just candy-sweet blue raspberry concoctions. This aromatic number tastes as good as it looks in your hand.
- 1.5 parts Hendrick’s Lunar Gin
- .5 parts Blue Curacao
- .75 parts fresh lemon juice
- .5 part simple syrup
- Garnish with orange twist
Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Fine strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist and edible flowers.
Utilizing the fireworks-like shape of star anise, this cocktail is bursting with Independence Day fever.
- 5 parts Grey Goose Vodka
- 4 parts freshly pressed red grape juice
- 3 parts blueberries
- 3 parts grapes
- 2 parts fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 part water
- 1 whole orange
- 5 star anise
Peel the skin of the whole orange first and place it in the punch bowl. Then, juice the naked orange into the punch bowl. Add all remaining ingredients (including 5 star anise) in the punch bowl. Let macerate in your fridge for 2 hours. Add 1 lump of ice, stir well for 1 min. Then serve in glasses filled with ice and garnish with fresh blueberries, grapes, star anise, and orange peels from the punch.
Deftly marrying the sun-kissed flavors or rum and orgeat with the woodiness of walnut, this drink has depth.
(Created by Sebastien Derbomez)
- 2 parts Flor de Caña 12
- 4 blackberries (muddled)
- .5 part orgeat
- 3.5 parts ginger beer
- 1 part lime juice
- 3 dashes black walnut bitters
Shake and strain, pour into an iced highball glass. Garnish with blackberry and thyme.
Sometimes, especially during a holiday when you might have your hands full tending the grill, it’s good to keep it simple. A scotch lover’s take on a shandy, this drink is oh so refreshing.
- 2 oz X by Glenmorangie
- 2 oz ginger beer
Fill highball glass with crushed ice. Add X by Glenmorangie and ginger beer. Stir, squeeze 3 lime wedges over the drink, then use them to garnish.
For the heat of the holiday weekend, there’s hardly a better drink than this bright and floral number. It’ll cool down your core temperature, reminding you of the refreshing days of spring.
- 2 oz The Botanist Islay Dry Gin
- 1 oz grapefruit juice
- .5 oz elderflower liqueur
- 3 oz premium tonic
Add all ingredients into a highball glass over ice. Stir with mixing spoon and garnish with grapefruit wheel and fresh seasonal herbs.
Read more: Best Citrus Cocktail Recipes
Quite simply, it’s hard to go wrong with a cocktail that involves a submerged popsicle, coconut, and gin.
- 2 oz Future Gin
- 1 oz lemon juice
- .75 oz coconut cream
Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a Collins glass and add your favorite popsicle in place of ice.
This take on the mojito goes full island-style with the delicious incorporation of guava.
- 2 parts Havana Club Añejo Blanco Rum
- 1 part guava nectar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 lime, juiced
- Mint leaves for garnish
- Ginger ale
In a hurricane glass, add all ingredients over crushed ice and swizzle.
The contrast at play here, between both pepper and fruit and cucumber and gin, makes this surfy drink a real hit.
(Created by Robert Bjorn Taylor)
- 1.5 oz Tanqueray No. Ten
- 1 oz watermelon juice
- .75 oz jalapeño simple syrup*
- .5 oz lime juice
- .25 oz grapefruit juice
- .25 oz cucumber juice
- Club soda
*Jalapeno Simple Syrup: Add 1 cup water & 1 cup sugar to pot, heat med-high to dissolve, stirring after. Once boiling, add chopped up jalapeño with seeds. Heat for 5 more minutes. Take off heat, let sit and cool. The longer it sits with the jalapeño, the more spice and possible color it takes on. Separate jalapeños from liquid after 20 minutes. Store until ready to use.
Add all ingredients to a shake except soda. Add ice and shake. Strain into a Collins glass or tall glass over ice. Top with 1oz Club soda. Garnish with watermelon, lime, and cucumber.
It’s the 4th — you need a red, white, and blue beverage. Remember to use good ice so as to not dampen the voice of this tasty drink.
- 2 oz Jose Cuervo Tradicional Plata Tequila
- .75 oz fresh lime juice
- .75 oz simple syrup
- .25 cup fresh blueberries
- 6-8 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Muddle the blueberries in the bottom of a Collins glass, top with crushed ice and set aside. Add the rest of the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into the prepared glass. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with bitters.
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