Straight Up: Top 4 Cocktails for the 4th of July

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We’re hosting a small gathering of friends and family for Independence Day this year, and have been busily browsing through some of our favorite cocktail books for inspiration.

Here are four of our personal top picks for Fourth-of-July-themed drinks:

For a refreshing muddled-fruit option that can be made with or without alcohol:

Independence Day Punch (adapted from Dale Degroff, The Craft of the Cocktail)
makes one drink

1/2 cup watermelon chunks (seeds and rind removed)
1 1/2 ounces simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
4 ounces brewed tea (chilled)
1 1/2 ounces citrus vodka (optional)

In a mixing glass, muddle the melon with the simple syrup until the fruit is watery. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.

For a cool, sophisticated classic that doesn't come on too strong:

The Americano Cocktail (as blogged by Faith during our special cocktail week in May)

For a sassy Transatlantic salute:

Blushing Monarch (adapted from Peter Dorelli (and Harry Craddock), The Savoy Cocktail Book)
makes one cocktail

1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce orange curacao
1 1/2 ounces passion fruit juice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange slice, a wedge of lime, and a cherry.

For something with a little 1950s-style patriotic flair:

Betsy Ross Cocktail (adapted from Gary Regan, The Joy of Mixology)
makes one cocktail

1 1/2 ounces brandy
1 1/2 ounces ruby port
1/2 ounce curacao
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

Do you have any Fourth of July cocktail favorites? Let us know!

Related: Summer Cocktails: The Full Roundup

(Image: Nora Maynard)


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Drinks, 4th of July, Cocktail, Drinks, Liquor

Nora Maynard is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her recent work has appeared in Salon, Drunken Boat, and The Millions. She recently completed her ninth marathon and her first novel, Burnt Hill Road. Nora wrote for The Kitchn from 2006 to 2011.