Drink to Independence: 5 Recipes and American Beers for the Fourth

The U.S. may have lost its World Cup run this week, but we still have plenty of reason to celebrate. Independence Day is nearly upon us—and with the holiday falling on a Friday this year, we can all enjoy a long, three-day weekend. What better way to celebrate the season than to sit back, soak up the sun, eat fresh off the grill, and sip on a few of the following?

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dherholz/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dherholz/

1. Firecracker Cocktail

Remember these? They were quite possibly the best part of the ice cream truck, if not the best part of summer. Period. Well, they’re back — in cocktail form. This easy recipe from Yahoo! will help you recreate that classic flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce watermelon schnapps
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ¼ ounce blue curaçao
  • Soda water

Directions: Fill a tall glass with ice. Add watermelon schnapps and cranberry juice, then carefully add lemon, simple syrup, and vodka to create the white layer, then carefully layer the blue curaçao to create the blue level and gently top with club soda. Garnish with fresh watermelon pieces. Stir before drinking.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/

2. Guy Fieri’s Fourth of July Cocktail

Food Network offers this refreshing cocktail via restaurateur and television personality Guy Fieri. While this option echoes the refreshing fruity flavors of its brethren, the bit of jalapeño will give it a unique kick — sure to make it a party standout.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce watermelon schnapps
  • 1 big splash cranberry juice
  • 1 very thin slice jalapeño or serrano pepper
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 slice lime
  • 1 ½ ounces tequila
  • ¼ ounce blue curaçao
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Watermelon wedge, for garnish (optional)

Directions: Mix the schnapps and cranberry juice in a shaker; pour into an ice-filled glass. Muddle the jalapeño pepper, lemon and lime slices, tequila, blue curaçao, and simple syrup (to make a batch, dissolve sugar in equal parts hot water and chill) in the shaker. Slowly strain into the glass over the red layer. Garnish with watermelon, if desired.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

3. Red, White, and Blue Sangria

This patriotic offering from RecipeGirl serves up two of our favorite summer treats — wine and fruit — in one tasty (and colorful!) mix. This option is ideal for warding off both freedom encroachers and scurvy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is good)
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • ½ cup berry-flavored vodka
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup simple syrup (see tips below)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 ½ cups hulled and sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple chunks

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl or pitcher and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve well-chilled with a good scoop of fruit floating in each drink, or serve over ice.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexandsharkey/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rexandsharkey/

4. Red, White, and Blue Spritzers

This recipe from Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate is alcohol-free — ideal for everyone to enjoy on a hot Fourth of July weekend. Best of all, it’s only three ingredients: no complications, no mess — just deliciousness.

Ingredients:

  • Diet 7-Up or Diet Sprite/Sprite Zero
  • Blue Gatorade Frost
  • Cranberry juice cocktail

Directions: Fill glasses with ice. Pour a layer of cranberry juice cocktail first, then follow by slowly pouring gatorade over the ice to help keep it from mixing. Top by slowly pouring diet 7-up or sprite on top. Serve!

Note: Our source emphasizes that substitutions will not work in this recipe, as the densities of the ingredients listed will create a perfect red, white, and blue layering effect. 

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/

5. Cucumber Lemonade

Looking for a cocktail without the red, white, and blue kitsch? Treason is a dangerous game, friend, but we’re here to help. What follows is Yahoo!‘s recipe for a simple, delicious, and all-purpose summer punch that everyone will love.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • ¾ ounce Combier
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 2 cucumber slices
  • Club soda

Directions: Place cucumbers, lemon juice, and simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker and muddle. Add Combier and tequila with ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice in highball glass. Top with club soda and garnish with cucumber and lemon wheels.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zieak/

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zieak/

All-American Beers

Not everyone is a cocktail person. Some of your guests might prefer to kick back with a beer — an American-brewed beer, of course .(What are we, traitors?) Here are a few of our favorite patriotic brews:

  • Hell or High Watermelon (21st Amendment Brewery) is a refreshing, crisp wheat beer brewed with watermelons. Simple, sippable, and by a brewery named after our country’s Constitution. It doesn’t get much more patriotic than that.
  • But the Samuel Adams Summer Ale (Sam Adams Brewery) certainly gives it a run for its money. Named for one of our nation’s Founding Fathers, this brew is an American wheat brewed with notes of lemon and pepper. It’s crisp, bold, and screaming out for a hot dog.
  • Yuengling Lager (Yuengling Brewery) brings you the finest in budget beer, without sacrificing character. It’s a simple lager, but it comes from America’s oldest brewery, founded in 1829.

What would our great nation be without that grand triumvirate: Miller, Bud, and Coors? They’re cheap and American. What more could you ask for while celebrating your Independence?

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Want more great content like this? Sign up here to receive the best of Cheat Sheet delivered daily. No spam; just tailored content straight to your inbox.,