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Here’s what people are drinking for the Fourth of July

From hard seltzers to rum punch - what's hot this holiday

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waggtime / Pixabay

With Fourth of July coming next week, everyone is getting ready for grilling, picnicking, and, of course, drinking. As people get ready to toast to the start of the summer, restaurant technology company Toast has analyzed it platform data to highlight what the top trends are for eating and drinking this July 4. So if you’re looking for some inspiration, or wondering what drinks you should pick up to keep the crowd happy, then have a look at the drinks data below.

One trend that has climbed to great new heights over the last decade is hard seltzers, with many people opting to sip an alcoholic lemonade or other simple, pre-made beverage whether they are going out or staying in. That trend is rocketing on up toward summer, so if you want a simple and crowd-pleasing option for drinks then a bucket of ice with a bunch of hard seltzers is an easy win. If you’re feeling fancy though, you can mix your own sparkling water cocktails to get that bubbly, refreshing drink experience but with your own choices of flavoring.

A spirit which is having a real moment right now is tequila. Tequila used to have a pretty poor reputation, as it has often been marred by cheap mixtos and dubious slammer shots at college bars. But the craft tequila trend is huge right now, with smaller batch artisanal tequila makers creating high-quality spirits using traditional methods. There are endless tequila cocktails you can try — and Toast highlights the margarita and paloma as two perennially popular options — but a really great tequila deserves to be sipped neat.

Another spirit which is seeing its fortunes rise is rum. Rum is often overlooked outside of Tiki circles, and even for enthusiastic home mixologists it can be tough to keep up with all the different styles and brands that are out there. If you don’t fancy going full Tiki and investing in a whole range of different rums, you can still enjoy classic cocktails like the holiday classic pina colada or the daiquiri — and rum is also a great base for a punch for a big group.

Georgina Torbet
Georgina Torbet is a cocktail enthusiast based in Berlin, with an ever-growing gin collection and a love for trying out new…
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Here at The Manual, we love a big bowl of punch for a summer party when you have a bunch of friends coming round and you want to serve tasty drinks to everyone without any fuss. And with a few extra flourishes, like fresh fruit and fancy ice cubes, you can turn any simple punch recipe into something really special.

A new recipe from Julianna McIntosh, aka join_jules, makes use of ready to drink cans of Cutwater Long Island Iced Tea to make creating a punch even easier. McIntosh shows off her punch recipe in a new Instagram Reel, which includes making boozy ice cubes with edible flowers ahead of time. These cool the drink but don't water it down as they melt, which is a genius hack especially for hot summer parties.

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Today, July 12, is National Michelada Day, so that's the ideal excuse to kick back with this classic Mexican beer cocktail. Beer cocktails aren't the easiest thing to create as beer has such a low alcohol percentage and high amount of water compared to spirits -- but when you get it right, there are few things more refreshing. As the beloved combination of Mexican lager, lime, and tomato juice proves, there's a great way to mix almost any ingredient.

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What is a gruit, and where can you find one?
Gruit, the beer made without hops that you need to try
Beer snifter chalice glass

Most beers you know and love today have four primary ingredients: water, barley, hops, and yeast. That’s largely due to the centuries-old German beer purity law, or reinheitsgebot, which demanded that beer be made exclusively using these ingredients and set the standard for today’s brews. 
But beer is an ancient beverage — historians believe its story stretches back to 5th millennium BC in Iran and went on to be enjoyed by the likes of Egyptian pharaohs and the Greek philosophers. However, if Socrates or Tutankhamun ever enjoyed a pint in their days, the beer was likely missing one of those four critical ingredients: the hop.
In today’s hop-hungry climate of India pale ales (and hazy IPAs, New England IPAs, as well as milkshake IPAs, and others), it seems impossible that beer could exist without hops. The fact is that many other natural ingredients can serve as substitutes for the bittering, aromatic, and flavoring characteristics of hops. Today, if a beer relies on other herbs to fill the "hops" role, the beverage is classified as a gruit.

Gruit is the German word for herb. Instead of depending on hops, these brews use exotic additives like bog myrtle, horehound, elderflowers, and yarrow to offset the sweetness of the malts and create a more complex beverage.
Thanks to the creativity of modern breweries, you don’t have to travel back to the Middle Ages to find a gruit (though if you can, please let us in on your time travel technology). You can try them right now, but you will have to do some detective work.
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But don’t despair — this list will help you get started on the path toward discovering modern versions of the ancient ale. Start your gruit journey here:

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