Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Fourth of July

11 Cocktails to Make for the Fourth of July

They’ll make your celebration really pop.

Red, White & Night cocktail
Image: / Tim Nusog

Raise a glass to the good ol’ red, white and blue with these patriotic sippers. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue for a few close friends or shooting fireworks at the neighborhood block party, there’s a patriotic drink for every kind of celebration. Grab a boozy twist on the classic Firecracker popsicle, a low-ABV aperitivo or a red-wine-based sipper. There’s no wrong way to celebrate when you have these cocktails fueling the party.

  • Firecracker

    Firecracker cocktail / Tim Nusog

    A Fourth of July without watermelon is like Thanksgiving without turkey—pretty much unthinkable. Not only is the fruit in the height of its season in July, but its refreshing sweetness is the perfect counter to hot days, and it’s a sweet treat you can count on being a crowd-pleaser. A twist on a Watermelon Margarita, this recipe subs in aged rum for the usual tequila alongside watermelon, triple sec, lime juice, and simple syrup to highlight the fruit in the best way possible. Then the whole thing is given a hint of heat with a small dash of cayenne pepper that completes the show-stopping cocktail.

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  • Boozy Root Beer Float

    Boozy Root Beer / Tim Nusog

    What’s more American than a root beer float? How about a root beer float with booze added to it? This boozy take on the childhood classic is ideal for hot summer days, making it perfect for the Fourth of July. Plus, the recipe couldn’t be easier. Just scoop some vanilla ice cream into a glass, then add a little rum. Pour some chilled root beer (we like A&W or Dad’s Root Beer) over the whole thing, stir briefly and enjoy with a straw.

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  • Watermelon Mojito

    Watermelon Mojito / Tim Nusog

    The classic Mojito is delicious on its own, but one of the recipe’s best qualities is that it makes a great template for experimentation. Add in different fruits, syrups and lengtheners, and you have a nearly failsafe way to create new and delicious drinks, like this one. In this riff, the usual mint, lime and light rum get a hit of sweet summer flavor from watermelon, while the usual soda water is omitted, rendering a sweet and refreshing but more compact version of the cocktail.

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  • Stars & Stripes

    Stars and Stripes cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Pay homage to the colors of the holiday with this fruity layered cocktail. Muddled blueberries lend blue to the drink, a drizzle of raspberry brandy provides a red hue, and the sugar cube garnish gives a white touch and a burst of sweetness to the drink. 

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Mayan Michelada

    Mayan Michelada / Tim Nusog

    If you have a few six-packs of beer to crack open in celebration of the holiday, save a few to try in this refreshingly spicy drink. Mexican lager gets kicked up a notch with a splash of mezcal, plus hot sauce, Maggi seasoning sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a squeeze of lime juice. Mix it all up, serve in a chipotle salt-rimmed glass with a lime wedge, and be sure to serve the rest of the beer alongside so everyone can top off as they sip, making the drink even more refreshing as you go.

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  • Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea

    Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea / Tim Nusog

    Classic American nostalgia is the driving force in this recipe, which takes iced tea and elevates it with summer flavors to make a Fourth of July-appropriate drink you’ll also want to sip all year long. Tall, cool, and easy-drinking, the mix of bourbon, strawberry, and lemon is fruity and boozy enough to stand up to but not overpower unsweetened iced tea. To make it truly festive, garnish with a mint sprig and a strawberry-and-blueberry skewer.

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  • La Estrella

    La Estrella cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This was created by star bartender Phil Ward and calls for muddling watermelon with sugar and a splash of club soda, then stirring it together with aged rum, lime juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper before topping with more club soda. Finish it off with a garnish of skewered pineapple and strawberry. The combination of spicy, sweet and refreshing is sure to leave you feeling starry-eyed long before the night’s fireworks displays start.

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  • Red, White & Booze Popsicles

    Red White & Booze popsicles

    Cocktail Crafty

    OK, they may not be a cocktail in the traditional sense, but you need these boozy popsicles at your Fourth of July party. Inspired by the Bomb Pops or Firecrackers of your youth, these popsicles feature a Cherry Bomb layer, a Piña Colada layer, and a Blue Hawaii layer to give you a mix of flavors as you slurp your way through. 

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Libertea

    Libertea cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Not only is this drink thematically perfect for Fourth of July, but the recipe makes enough to serve a gathering. Like an herbaceous John Daly, this recipe uses black tea, lemonade, basil, bourbon and honey liqueur to create a drink that’s easy to make by the pitcher, so you can focus less on playing bartender and more on having fun with your Independence Day guests. 

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  • Americano

    americano cocktail / Tim Nusog

    If you’re looking for something bitter and bubbly to pair with your cookout meal that won’t knock you off your feet before the fireworks start, try this low-ABV drink. The mix of Campari, sweet vermouth, and club soda is easy to throw together and absolutely perfect for when you want something festive and refreshing all at once.

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  • Red, White & Night

    Red, White & Night cocktail / Tim Nusog

    For larger parties, this ruby-red punch is a scalable sipper that’s easy to make and even easier to drink. Cabernet sauvignon, vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup may seem like a simple combination, but they come together to form complex flavors that are perfectly complemented by a garnish of a blueberry or black raspberry coated in powdered sugar. 

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