Red, White, and Booze: 4th of July Cocktails
Ah, the Fourth of July. The best day of the entire summer to sit back, throw some burgers on the grill, set off illegal fireworks, and get sloshed in the name of our forefathers. Besides Father’s Day, the fourth is really the only summer holiday, sandwiched between the glorious three-day weekends of Memorial Day and Labor Day.
That said, if you are planning to celebrate our nation’s birthday this weekend, I hope you do it in style. Here are some patriotic concoctions that will make you declare your independence…from your dignity, that is.
Red Sangria and White Sangria
Sure, sangria originated in Spain somewhere, but its gotten so popular in the past few years, that even Applebees has a signature sangria on its drink menu. Besides, this recipe is totally Americanized– even George W. could follow these directions!
In a punch bowl (preferably a clear one so you can display your creatively festive colors), combine a 750 mL bottle of red or white table wine with a cup of peach schnapps, two cups of pineapple juice and one cup of lemon-lime soda. Add more peach schnapps for a sweeter punch, or more juice if you don’t want it super-strong (baby).
With these four ingredients, it’s hard to mess up the tastiness of the sangria, so feel free to experiment until it’s just right. I love to float rainbow sherbet in the bowl to add flavor and keep the drink cold without watering it down on a hot July day. Toss in some sliced lemons, limes, oranges, and cherries (which soak up the alcohol, so you can use them to keep the buzz going when the punch bowl is dry), and enjoy!
Electric Iced Tea and Long Beach Iced Tea
Warning: These two cocktails are super strong, so solidify the plans with your DD before diving into these LIIT spin-offs.
Basically, the Electric Iced Tea substitutes blue curacao for the splash of cola in a Long Island, and the Long Beach Iced Tea sports a splash of cranberry. Since there’s no soda in either, you can make a large quantity at once, and give yourself time to enjoy the party without being stuck behind the bar. Mix one part each of your “white” liquors – vodka, gin, rum, silver tequila, and triple sec – with 1 1/2 parts sour mix and a splash of either blue curacao or cranberry juice. Shake it if it’s a single serving; stir it if you made a batch.
Berry Blue Martini
In a martini shaker, pour 1 1/2 oz blueberry vodka, 1/2 oz triple sec, and 1/2 oz sour mix. Shake it and pour into a martini glass. If your budget permits, toss some fresh blueberries into the glass! Create a red, white, and blue martini bar by mixing up some Cosmos and classic martinis as well. Festive!
The Best Watermelon Margarita. Ever.
Nothing says “summer” like a nice juicy watermelon…and an ice cold beverage. So, why not put them together for the ultimate summer experiance? Mix 1/2 oz each of tequila, watermelon vodka, melon liqueur, and triple sec with sour mix, then serve on the rocks. Be super festive by rimming the margarita glass with blue sugar, and try not to slurp it down in one sip.
Washington Apple Shots
Sure, they’re named after a fruit, but they also bear the name of our first president and the capitol of our great country. Besides, it’s a shot. Do you really need prodding to down one of these fruity shooters? Strain 1 oz Crown Royal, 1 oz Sour Apple Puckers, and a splash of cranberry juice into a shot glass. Cheers to America!
This Fourth of July, I salute all of the designated drivers helping to make our country safer, one carload at a time. Here are some classic frozen favorites, also available in the red-white-and-blue trifecta.
For Virgin Strawberry Daquiris, blend ice, strawberry puree, and a splash of cranberry juice. For Virgin Pina Coladas, blend ice, pina colada mix, and a splash of pineapple. Pina coladas are easy to turn blue with a few drops of food coloring. Feeling super festive? Layer the strawberry daquiri and pina colada mixes in a hurricane glass and top with whipped cream and a blueberry garnish. It is like the American flag…only tastier.
Of course, these recipes are simply suggestions. Exercise your liberty by experimenting and coming up with your own festive cocktails. Just don’t drink and drive, don’t light any fireworks if you’re already slurring, and remember: there’s no “black out” in “red, white, and blue.”