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9 Essential Cocktails for the Fourth of July

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It would be easy, given the current political climate, to feel cynical and perhaps a little unenthused about the Fourth of July. But there’s one American invention that we can always get pumped about: Fourth of July cocktails. The foundation of this country was built on plenty of mixed drinks, so let’s salute our forefathers in the only appropriate fashion: with a raised glass.

1. Clover Club


There’s Clover Club, the New York City bar, which is named for Clover Club, the pre-Prohibition drink, which is named for Clover Club, the organization. Simple, right? Okay, let’s back up: The original Clover Club was a men’s society made up of lawyers and thought leaders who met at the Bellevue-Stratford hotel in Philadelphia during the late 1800s and all the way through World War I. The drink came about through the organization but fell out of fashion until Julie Reiner’s Brooklyn bar resurrected the name (and brought renewed energy to the drink).

Get the recipe for the Clover Club.

2. Corn ’N’ Oil

Call this one a nod to two of our country’s most valued commodities (cue Darth Vader theme song). The drink itself, a powerful mixture of black strap rum, falernum, lime juice and bitters, is much less controversial than its namesakes.

Get the recipe for the Corn ’N’ Oil.

3. Ward Eight

A relative of the Whiskey Sour, this grenadine-spiked cocktail has origins in Boston around the turn of the 20th-century, though its exact provenance is disputed (most say it was created at the Locke-Ober hotel). Regardless of the history, it’s worth reconsidering in the present as a Fourth of July cocktail.

Get the recipe for the Ward Eight.

4. Sour Watermelon Shandy

The components of this cocktail (watermelon and beer) are staples at most Fourth of July barbecues. So if you’re going to someone else’s party this year, keep this recipe handy; you’ll know what to do (and be the hero of the day) when the punch runs out.

Get the recipe for the Sour Watermelon Shandy.

5. Bourbon, Vanilla and Chocolate Milkshake

Summer means different things to different people. For some, it’s bikini season; for others, it’s milkshake season. Count us in the latter camp, especially when our blended dessert is spiked. This recipe is for days when you’d rather not choose between your cravings.

Get the recipe for the Bourbon, Vanilla and Chocolate Milkshake.

6. Fish House Punch

This rum punch was likely the fuel behind George Washington’s career. The drink’s point of origin (and namesake) is the Schuylkill Fishing Company, a social gathering place and fishing spot frequented by colonists in what is now Pennsylvania.

Get the recipe for the Fish House Punch.

7. Lady in Blue

It might not seem particularly American on the outset, but blue curacao actually plays a pretty big role in Fourth of July cocktails—at least since Pinterest has been around (how else are you going to get your red, white and blue cocktail gradient?). This recipe is a variation on the White Lady, a New Orleans classic.

Get the recipe for the the Lady in Blue.

8. Soda Jerk

America has another claim to fame in the beverage world: soda pop. Cocktails and carbonation are as American as apple pie, so why not combine the two?

Get the recipe for the Soda Jerk.

9. Sweet Tea Smash

We could never get away with a Fourth of July drinking index that didn’t celebrate whiskey, one of our greatest claims to fame. And while a Mint Julep might be the more obvious choice, this tea-infused smash is a little less austere and much more our speed for a day usually spent at the beach or by the pool.

Get the recipe for the Sweet Tea Smash.

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