Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Fourth of July

11 Essential Cocktails for Your Fourth of July Party

Kentucky Mule.

The Fourth of July is the cornerstone of summer. Celebrate it right with good friends, great food and pitch-perfect cocktails. These are 11 essential drinks for washing down those dogs and burgers this Independence Day.

  • Big Red

    Tim Nusog

    The King of Beers is the perfect addition to this patriotic concoction. Budweiser is a malty base for Johnnie Walker Red Label blended scotch, and ginger beer lends spice and keeps everything from being too boozy. It’s great for all-day sipping.

  • Watermelon White Wine Spritzer

    Becky Hardin

    Your Fourth of July celebrations are bound to include a ripe, fat watermelon or two. Save some of the fruit and whip up a batch of these light spritzers. Fresh melon, your favorite white wine and club soda combine into a cocktail that’s easy to make and even easier to drink.

  • Firecracker

    Tim Nusog

    Even if you aren’t lighting actual fireworks this year, you can still enjoy a zippy summer treat. This aptly named spicy cocktail brings the heat with a dash of cayenne pepper, while rum, triple sec, watermelon chunks and lime juice add sweetness, keeping the drink from being unbearably hot.

  • Root Beer Float

    photo: Stacy/CC. Stacy/CC

    Get a taste of your childhood (with an extra adult kick) with this boozy float. All you need is your favorite root beer, then add in a dash of RumChata liqueur for that creamy taste you remember. We won’t judge if you decide to throw in a scoop of ice cream.

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  • Spicy Mint Avocado Margarita

    Tim Nusog

    Mint, jalapeño, lime and avocado provide a green base for this spicy cocktail that’s loaded with antioxidants and healthy fats. Blanco tequila and orange liqueur give it all a boozy kick, while a salt rim adds an extra savory element. It’s just as good with tacos as it is with a traditional Fourth of July barbecue.

  • Roosevelt

    Tim Nusog

    Channel the original Rough Rider with this spirit-forward libation. Dark rum, dry vermouth and orange juice become a delicious sipper when shaken with ice, strained and served in a cocktail glass with an orange twist.

  • Bulldog Smash

    This fruity twist on a Whiskey Smash is a perfect sipper for a long outdoor party. Lemon, peaches, mint and sugar cane syrup are crushed together into a fruity base for bourbon and Cointreau.

  • Red, White & Night

    Does your barbecue crowd normally stick to wine? Invite them to branch out with this beautiful red punch. Cabernet sauvignon, vodka, simple syrup and fresh lemon juice join forces to make a cocktail that’s not too sweet yet not too bitter either.

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  • Standard Summertime Punch

    If you’re serving a large crowd for the holiday, batching cocktails is your best bet for keeping everyone happy—and hydrated. This crowd pleaser uses cognac and sherry to add a boozy bite to peach tea, mineral water, honey syrup, lemon juice and two kinds of bitters.

  • Lady in Blue

    Deck out your drinks in red, white and blue for the holiday with this colorful cocktail. A spin on the White Lady, this gin-based cocktail has lots of floral flavor, thanks to orange flower water and crème de violette. A dash of blue curaçao gives the whole thing a vibrant color, while edible flowers round out the patriotic palette.

  • Kentucky Mule

    Kentucky Mule.

    This refreshing summer sipper combines bourbon with lime and ginger beer to make a cocktail that’s all-American. Copper mugs make for the best presentation, but highball glasses will do in a pinch. Whatever you do, don’t forget the mint sprigs for garnish.