You could drink the same layered, sweet slushies you often find on July 4th. Or you could try something a little different like a red, white, and blue gin and tonic! I’ve got four July 4th cocktails simple enough to serve to a few guests or just to mix up for yourself.
Next week is Independence Day here in the US and while our celebrations may look a little different this year (thanks pandemic), one thing probably remains the same… you’ll want a nice cocktail.
July 4th Cocktails WITHOUT Blue Curacao
There are tons of recipes online for red, white, and blue layered slushy drinks. These generally involve creating three different batches of slushies: one with strawberries, one with lemonade, and one with blue curacao.
You make them ahead of time and store them in three separate bags in your freezer. Before serving, let them thaw a bit and then layer them in a glass. They look lovely and taste sweet.
I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a lot of work and risk. What if they didn’t thaw properly? What if I didn’t have enough for my guests?
Also? Not really a fan of Blue Curacao.
I wanted something simpler. So I set out to create some cocktails that are festive, easy, and a little different. Here’s what I came up with:
What goes with Red White and Berry Smirnoff Vodka?
If you’ve browsed the liquor store in early summer, you’ve seen Smirnoff’s Red White & Berry Vodka featured on an end cap. Yes, it tastes just like the label looks: like the classic Bomb Pop (aka Firecracker).
The easiest way to use this vodka is in lemonade! So my first recipe was a simple vodka lemonade. Mix two ounces of Smirnoff into your favorite sparkling lemonade.
This recipe is fantastic because it’s so flexible. Instead of sparkling lemonade, you could use regular lemonade, a low-cal version, a homemade lemonade with the sugar of your choice, club soda, or lemon seltzer.
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Patriotic Moscow Mule
This is my own take on a Moscow Mule using lemon juice and Luxardo maraschino liqueur to complement the Red, White and Berry vodka.
First, make the blue sugar by adding two drops of blue food coloring to two heaping tablespoons of white sugar in a Ziploc bag. Mash it around with your fingers and shake the bag until the coloring is evenly distributed.
Dump the sugar onto a plate or a wide bowl. Rub a piece of lemon around the edge of your glass, then roll it in the sugar.
In a cocktail shaker with ice, pour 2 ounces of Smirnoff, 1/2 ounce of Luxardo, and 1 ounce of lemon juice. Shake and strain into a glass over ice. Top with ginger beer. I like Q Mixers Ginger Beer because it’s natural and not too sweet.
Please ignore the ice in my photo! I tried to freeze cherries in my ice ball tray… but they just look like eyeballs. (Or something worse!)
Firecracker Hard Lemonade
This is for all the fans of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It used to be one of my absolute favorites, though I’m slowly growing out of overly-sweet, malt beverages. My 21-year-old son loved this one though!
For this super-simple cocktail, just pour a chilled Mike’s Hard Lemonade into a highball or collins glass and add 2 ounces of Smirnoff’s Red, White & Berry vodka. The vodka cuts the malt taste of the Mike’s and gives your drink a boost of alcohol (since the Mike’s has barely any!).
Float a Bomb Pop in there for extra presentation points!
Red, White and Blue Gin and Tonic
And now we get to the pièce de résistance! The layered, red, white and blue gin and tonic!
It was Naomi that originally found this recipe on Instagram. The first time I made it, I used plain tonic water. It was just “ok.” I like a little more sweetness in my G&T.
On my next try I used Fever Tree Lemon Tonic Water and OMG. It is delicious!
For this impressive-looking drink, you simply need to pour a half-ounce (or one ounce if you like it sweeter) of Grenadine in the bottom of a tall glass. Then fill the glass with crushed ice all the way to the top and pour in about 5 ounces of tonic water. The amount of tonic will depend on your glass size. Just leave an inch or so at the top for the blue gin!
Measure two ounces of Empress 1908 Gin into a jigger or large shot glass. Using a bar spoon, slowly pour the gin over the back of the spoon so it spreads across the top of your tonic water.
This 4th of July-themed gin and tonic is easy to make and your guests will love it! Give it a nice stir before drinking to mix up the flavors and it will settle into a nice bright pinkish-red color.
Have a wonderful holiday everyone and please share your drinks with us on Instagram – just tag us @spillingtequila!
- 1/2 oz Grenadine
- 5 oz Fever Tree Lemon Tonic Water
- 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
- Tall glass of crushed ice
- Pour the Grenadine into the bottom of an EMPTY glass.
- Add crushed ice to fill to the top.
- Slowly pour 5 ounces of lemon tonic water (use more if your glass is tall - you want about an inch left at the top of the glass).
- Pour the Gin into a jigger or shot glass, then SLOWLY pour it over the back of a bar spoon to float it on top of your drink.
- Serve for presentation, but give it a stir before drinking.
- Please drink responsibly.
If you like your drinks sweeter, use one ounce of Grenadine. You can also experiment with different flavors of tonic water.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240
Nutritional information is estimated and should only be used as a general guideline.