Mixing Up July 4

Forget fireworks, parades and hot dogs; it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July without a helping of delicious watermelon.

While we love a juicy, cold slice, it’s also the ideal summery cocktail ingredient and pairs perfectly with a range of spirits and other mixers.

So this weekend, as you’re relaxing with friends and family, shake up New York mixologist Nick Mautone’s refreshing Basil Watermelon Cooler (pictured above). It combines the fruit with Grey Goose Vodka, basil leaves and both fresh ginger and ginger ale.

Another favorite of ours you should try is the simple-but-elegant Summerlin created by Las Vegas-based bar consultant Tobin Ellis. The recipe calls for complex Zacapa 23 Rum, watermelon juice, lemon juice and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper.

Looking for something even spicier? Fix talented San Francisco bartender Brian MacGregor’s Coa Fresca. It’s a thirst-quenching mix of watermelon, blanco tequila, lime juice and a bit of hot chile pepper tincture.

That icy-and-hot combination also works in the jalapeño-spiked Tequila Mockingbird from Greg Seider, co-owner of New York’s acclaimed The Summit Bar. It’s so good, you’ll want to drink it all summer long.

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