This Independence Day, fireworks should not just be in the sky, they should be in your glass.
We rounded up some of our favorite cocktails for the summer holiday - a few are red, white and blue, others showcase fresh and light summer flavors, and all of them are enjoyable at that backyard barbecue. Oh, and while some may think our choice of 13 seems unlucky, just flashback to your high school history class and count up those colonies.
Cheers to independence!
With tangerine, strawberries and Champagne, this ditty makes for a great brunch time libations and will cool you off. Just remember, if you do start sipping this in the AM, you’ll want to pace yourself. You don't want to miss the fireworks?
This old-school recipe can be made in big batches so you can tend to the grill and not have to worry about the drink making. The recipe listed is non-alcoholic, but if you want to add a kick just pour in one cup of your favorite vodka for every three cups of water.
Nothing says summertime like a giant hunk of watermelon, but you’ve graduated beyond sticking a vodka bottle into the fruit and eating the results. This mix of gin, elderflower and the fruit is refreshing, and more importantly, mature.
Another watermelon-spiked libation, this summer picnic punch provides a great visual in that it’s actually served from a mini-watermelon. It’s so cute you won’t want to drink it (well, almost).
Even when it’s ice cold red wine sangria can make you a bit sleepy on a hot summer day. This drink will keep you awake, inspired and (most importantly) it provides the white on a well-balanced red, white and blue outdoor bar.
So you’ve got the white with sangria and the red with some watermelon. Blue is a little trickier, but that’s nothing a bottle of curaco won’t solve. This frozen concoction carries the hue of the flag along with a nice tropical breeze. The crushed ice is recommended for especially hot days.
Another, and more natural, way to get some blue in your mix of cocktails is with blueberries. Muddle a few into this mix of refreshing gin and lemonade, preferably while singing a patriotic song for good measure.
Rhubarb is a great, more savory seasonal fruit, and it adds a nice element to this slush (which you might just want to stick your face in when the temperatures pass 90 degrees). To add some floral notes, use gin in place of the vodka.
You can have all the colors of the flag with these jelly shots, which give you red, white and blue all in one gulp. They are a bit more time consuming to make, but provide a great talking point (and a healthy buzz) for your shindig.
Developed in New Orleans, The Ramos Gin Fizz is a classic, and one of the oldest, American cocktails. The drink contains egg whites and was traditionally consumed in the morning hours, so this is another great option for brunch over the long weekend. (Photo by Flickr user ReeseCLloyd)
This version of the classic lemonade and iced tea combo contains two not-so-secret ingredients that amp it up beyond the golf course. There’s the mint which provides a nice hit of freshness and the vodka (add one to two ounces for every serving), which makes it sublime at your summer picnic (though you might want to steer clear of the golf course after one or two).
Cranberry, kiwi juice and vodka - done and done. This simple beverage has flavor notes from the season and is totally easy to make. If you want to add some fizz to go with those fireworks, top off with a float of Champagne.
If you want to get silly, and think that sharing is caring, there’s nothing like sipping out of a giant fishbowl full of alcohol with your friends. This summery punch is blue-hued for the holiday, contains some rum and pineapple for a tropical twist and (best part) comes spiked with some gummy fisht that you can gobble up when you’re done. nybarfly knows his drinks and also where to get the best sauce in Manhattan. Check out his blog site, NYBarfly and his Tablespoon profile — be sure to continue to check Rock UR Party for more tips and suggestions for discovering new bevvies.