17 Festive Cocktail Recipes for 4th of July

It's time to trade firework sparklers for sparkling cocktails

The 4th of July is quickly approaching, and with it the stress of curating the perfect grill menu and selection of booze.

This year, accompany those classic American beers with something off the Observer’s menu of Independence Day cocktails. The following list of drinks has everything one could want for the big July 4th, from sparkling drinks reminiscent of fireworks to others featuring American ingredients. Of course, many sport the famous red, white and blue as well.

The Porch Rocker

The Porch Rocker.

The Porch Rocker. (Photo: Amanda Picotte)

1.5 oz. Usquaebach Reserve blended scotch whisky
½ oz. Amontillado sherry
½ oz. Raw honey syrup
½ oz. Lemon juice
¼ White peach muddled
2 Dashes orange bitters
Garnish with a lemon peel

Muddle peach segments with lemon juice in a shaker. Add honey syrup, sherry, bitters, and Scotch. Shake and strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Reyka Sparklers

Reyka Sparkler.

Reyka Sparkler. Photo: Reyka)

1.5 oz. Reyka vodka
4 oz. Club soda
3 Dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients into Collins glass, garnish and serve.

Berry America

Berry America.

Berry America. (Photo: Martini & Rossi)

2 oz. Vodka
1 oz. St. Germain
3/4 oz. Lemon juice
1/4 oz. Simple syrup
1 oz. Muddled strawberry
Top with Martini & Rossi sparkling rosé
Garnish with strawberries

 Shake and strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass and top with rosé. Garnish with strawberries.

Red, White and Blueberry

Red White and Blueberry.

Red White and Blueberry. (Photo: Bar SixtyFive at Rainbow Room)

1.5 oz Brooklyn Gin
3/4 oz. Licor 43
1 oz. Lemon juice
1.5 oz. White grape juice
3 to 6 Blueberries
2 Strawberries
3 Golden raspberries
Top with seltzer

Start with a highball glass. Place golden raspberries on the bottom, add a layer of ice, place sliced strawberries next, add another layer of ice, and top with blueberries. Pour in Brooklyn Gin, Licor 43, lemon juice and white grape juice. Stir gently and top with seltzer. Garnish with one of each berry speared like an olive.

The Freedom Smash

Freedom Smash.

Freedom Smash. (Photo and recipe: The Living Room - W Hotel Times Square)

2 oz. Woodford Reserve
1 oz. Sour mix
3 oz. White cranberry juice
Garnish with blueberries and a strawberry

Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass and garnish.

Firecracker

Firecracker.

Firecracker. (Photo: Appleton Estate)

3 oz. Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
1 oz. Triple sec
1 oz. Lime juice
1 oz. Simple syrup
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
3 to 4 Watermelon chunks

Muddle watermelon chunks in a shaker. Add ice and other ingredients, shake and strain into a rocks or highball glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a small watermelon wedge, lime or sprig of mint.

Red, White and Blue Nectar

Red, White and Blue Nectar.

Red, White and Blue Nectar. (Photo: Amanda Picotte)

1.5 oz. Blue Nectar Reposado Extra Blend
1 oz. Simple syrup
1 oz. Cranberry juice
3/4 oz. Orange liqueur
4 Lime quarters muddled
Garnish with a lime wheel

Muddle the lime quarters with the simple syrup in a shaker. Add tequila, orange liqueur and cranberry juice, top with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with lime wheel.

The American Dream

American Dream, created by Joel Cuellar of The Brandy Library

American Dream, created by Joel Cuellar of The Brandy Library (Photo: Bache-Gabrielsen American Oak)

2 oz. Bache-Gabrielsen American Oak
1/3 oz. Cherry heering
1/3 oz. Dry vermouth

Stir all ingredients together, pour in a stemless snifter and add four ice cubes. Garnish with a Cognac-marinated cherry bits-sprinkled caramel cracker.

Razberry Bianco Spritz

Rasberry Bianco Spritz, Created by Franky Marshall, Le Boudoir.

Raspberry Bianco Spritz, Created by Franky Marshall, Le Boudoir. (Photo: Aperol

1.5 oz. Aperol
3/4 oz. Cinzano Bianco
1/2 oz. Lemon juice
1/2 oz. Simple syrup
1 oz. Dry sparkiling wine
3 Raspberries, plus more for garnish
Garnish with a mint sprig

Muddle raspberries in a shaker, add the rest of the ingredients and shake. Fine strain into wine glass over fresh ice, top with wine and garnish.

The Angry Firework

The Angry Firework.

The Angry Firework. (Photo: Angry Orchard)

1 oz. Blue curacao
1 oz. Raspberry schnapps
Top with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
Garnish with a lime wedge

In a pint glass, combine blue curacao and  raspberry schnapps over ice. Fill with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple and garnish.

The Cherry Orchard

The Cheery Orchard by Francesco Dionese.

The Cherry Orchard by Francesco Dionese. (Photo: Dutch Freds)

2 oz. Cherry infused whiskey
1/4 oz. Simple syrup
3 Dashes homemade orange bitters
Orange oils
Garnish with three cherries

Pour all ingredients into an old fashioned glass, stir and garnish. 

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty (Photo. Martini and Rossi)

1/2 oz. Bacardi Godl Rum
4 oz. Martini & Rossi Asti
Dash of lemon juice
Cinnamon sugar rim

Rim the glass with cinnamon sugar. In a prepared champagne flute, add all ingredients, stir once and serve.

Berry American

Berry American.

Berry American. Photo: Smirnoff)

1.5 oz. Smirnoff Red, White & Berry
3 oz. Lemon-lime soda
Muddled blackberries
Garnish with a lemon wedge

In a Collins glass, muddle blackberries with ice. Add vodka and stir. Top with lemon-lime soda and garnish.

Sailor Jerry All American Punch

Sailor Jerry All American Punch.

Sailor Jerry All American Punch. Photo: Sailor Jerry

1.5 oz. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1 oz. Pineapple juice
½ oz. Lime juice
1/2 oz. Port
1/2 oz. Sugar syrup
4 Dashes of aromatic bitters

Smoked Independence

Smoked Independence, by Ivy Mix,

Smoked Independence, by Ivy Mix, (Photo: Laphroaig)

1.5 oz. Laphroaig 10 Year Old
1/2 oz. Pineapple rum
3/4 oz. Lime juice
3/4 oz. Simple syrup
Barspoon pomegranate molasses
Garnish with a lime wheel

 Shake all ingredients and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish.

Mini Bottles

Stars and Stripes, Boodles the Beautiful and Fresh Picked Freedom.

Stars and Stripes, Boodles the Beautiful and Fresh Picked Freedom. (Photo: Hangar 1, Boodles and Tradicional)

Stars and Stripes

1 Bottle (50 ml) Jose Cuervo Tradicional
50 ml Grapefruit juice
10 ml Campari
10 ml Fresh Lime Juice
10 ml Simple Syrup
Top with club Soda
Garnish with an orange slice

Build the drink in an ice-filled mason jar, top with club soda and garnish with an orange slice.

Boodles the Beautiful

1 bottle (50 ml) Boodles gin
10 ml Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
10 ml Lemon juice
Top with San Pellegrino Pompelmo

Build the drink in an ice-filled mason jar. Add the gin, liqueur and lemon juice, then top with San Pellegrino Pompelmo.

Fresh Picked Freedom

1 bottle (50 ml) Hangar 1 Vodka
20 ml Lemon juice
20 ml Simple syrup
Top with lub soda
Handful of blueberries, plus more for garnish
6 Fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Muddle blueberries, mint, lemon juice and simple syrup into a a shaker. Add vodka and ice and shake. Strain into an ice-filled mason jar and top with club soda and garnish with a mint sprig and some blueberries.