For many of us, celebrating Independence Day is done at outdoor activities, such as picnics and pool time. Here, we offer five ways to stay refreshed at the height of summer with our easy-to-make patriotic drinks for July 4th. Several of our favorites can be adapted to mocktails for kids or those who prefer nonalcoholic drinks.
1: Patriotic Pina Colada
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 can coconut cream
- 3–4 cups frozen pineapple (Freeze fresh pineapple, or drain 2 cans diced pineapple and freeze, or use frozen pineapple from your grocery store’s freezer aisle.)
- ½ cup rum
- Pineapple juice to taste
- Splash of Grenadine, for serving
- Splash of Blue Curacao, for serving
- Firecracker popsicle, for serving
- Blend all ingredients, minus Grenadine and Blue Curacao, until combined.
- Add ice to thicken and pineapple juice to taste.
- Slowly add a splash of Grenadine and Blue Curacao to create red, white and blue layering effect. Be careful to not add too fast or it will turn purple!
- Top with firecracker popsicle for garnish.
Yield: 2 drinks.
From Chrissie Nelson Rotko, Off The Eaten Path Blog: “I always equate pina coladas with tropical vacations, making them so perfect for summer’s hot temperatures. An added bonus, pina coladas are easy to make at home and the coconut milk makes them white, so they are a good starting point for a patriotic color palate.”
2: Red, White, & Blue Layered Cocktail
- 1 oz. grenadine
- 3 oz. lemonade
- 1 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. Blue Curacao
- Add grenadine to a glass and then fill with ice.
- In a shaker, shake lemonade and vodka. Then gently pour the mixture over the back of a spoon into the glass, creating the white layer of the drink.
- Cascade blue curacao over the back of a spoon to make the final blue layer.
Yield: 1 drink.
“After a little trial and error and some research I found the key to making a layered cocktail. The liquid with the highest sugar content needs to be at the bottom of the drink, then layered in order of their sugar content,” writes Sarah Vanderkooy of Creative Ramblings. “The layers last just long enough to show off your mixology skills, then they blend together to create a delicious drink.”
3: Watermelon Sangria
- 1 large watermelon
- 1 (750 mL) bottle white wine, chilled
- 2 c. white rum
- 1 c. seltzer
- ⅓ c. lime juice (from about 6 limes)
• 2 limes, thinly sliced
• 2 c. assorted fresh or frozen fruit, such as pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries
- Slice off the top third of the watermelon lengthwise (save for later use), and score fruit with a knife. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out watermelon and transfer to blender.
- Blend watermelon until smooth. (If desired, strain seeds.)
- Add white wine, rum, seltzer, and lime juice and stir until combined, then add limes and fruit.
- Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours, then serve.
Yield: 10–12 drinks.
From the editors at Delish: “This summery, batched cocktail can come together in no time, and serving it out of the watermelon is a surefire way to impress your guests. Any bottle of white will work here, but we imagine Moscato would be particularly good.”
4: Strawberry Popper Rocker
- Strawberry Schnapps
- Strawberry and Tropical Blue Pop Rocks
- Dampen the edges of your glass with lemon juice.
- Dip the rims into a plate filled with the Tropical Blue Pop Rocks.
- Pour 1 shot of Schnapps into a glass.
- Fill with 7UP.
- Drop Strawberry Pop Rocks on top.
Yield: 1 drink.
“Add a little firecracker spark to your cocktails (or mocktails) this summer! How? It’s easy! POP ROCKS!” says Courtney Whitmore on Pizzazzerie. “I used to love this candy as a kid. They make a crackle sound when they hit your tongue and come in a variety of colors and flavors.”
5: Broad Stripes and Bright Stars Cocktail
- 4 fresh blueberries
- 1 ounce blueberry vodka
- ¼ ounce absinthe
- ¼ ounce simple syrup
- 1 splash lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon raspberry liqueur
- 3–4 ounces ginger beer, to taste
- Sugar cube, for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the fresh blueberries.
- Add the blueberry vodka, absinthe, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Fill with ice and shake.
- Pour everything into a highball glass. Drizzle with the raspberry liqueur and top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with a sugar cube.
Yield: 1 drink.
“The flavor combination in the Broad Stripes and Bright Stars Cocktail is both marvelous and surprising,” says Colleen Graham on The Spruce Eats. “It’s a recipe created for Lucid Absinthe and definitely one of the more intriguing and pleasant ways to enjoy the somewhat notorious spirit.”
Happy Fourth of July!