In How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice (Harper), authors Jordan Kaye and Marshall Altier pair classic cocktails with every imaginable social situation. We challenged them to come up with four drink suggestions for the July 4 holiday, and they more than met our expectations. If you want to add some flair to your Independence Day celebration, read on!
Guest post by Jordan Kaye and Marshall Altier, authors of How to Booze
The government wants you to spend Independence Day buying cars. Your neighbor wants you to slather on face paint, buy half a ton of Lipton’s tea bags and protest on the White House lawn—or at least on the lawn of that socialist who lives down the street and won’t stop babbling about the World Cup. But deep down, you know that there’s only one way to honor the day, and it’s how the Founding Fathers would want you to do it, too: fire up the grill, throw on the steaks and—oh, yes!—shake up a nice, cold cocktail.
Of course, beer is also a fitting choice, but it will surprise your neighbor to learn that while beer comes from Europe (that sorry, suffering land of universal healthcare and trains that go too darn fast), nothing is more American than the cocktail. The cocktail, like freedom itself, was born here. Even better, there happen to be a few cocktails absolutely perfect to enjoy with barbecue. So here are four July 4 choices, for four different locales:
#1, Urban Dweller
If you aren’t going anywhere for the weekend, there is no better place to watch the fireworks than from your own roof. Just hope the landlord doesn’t notice you trying to squeeze the Weber into the elevator, and make sure your kids (if you have them) are shackled to the chimney pipe. Here’s a drink made from the official spirit of the American Revolution. The economies of the rum trade were part of the formula that led to rebellion and, when the party ended, George Washington ordered a barrel of Barbados prime for his inauguration.
2 oz aged rum
½ oz strained lime juice
¾ ginger beer
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake rum, lime juice and bitters without ice, pour over fresh ice into collins glass and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with a wedge of lime
#2, Suburban Americana
Perfect for backyards and shady decks, the Halekulani Cocktail will keep you company while you listen to the crickets (drowned out, possibly, by your neighbor’s target practice and your other neighbor’s howls about unjustified red cards and penalty kicks). The drink’s tropical lushness and all-American spirit is well-suited for the occasion.
½ oz unsweetened pineapple juice
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz orange juice
1½ oz Bourbon
½ tsp grenadine
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
#3, Summering In Style
A fabulous summer drink suitable for a party thrown by that great American protagonist Jay Gatsby, the Champagne Cup is our recommendation if you should be fortunate enough to have (or at least rent) a summer rental by the beach. Just don’t lend out the Rolls to any bad drivers, and watch out for those vengeful gas attendants. This drink is perfect for a gala affair—prepared as a punch before the festivities begin, and classed up with the ritziest ingredients.
1 bottle Brut champagne
1½ oz Cognac
1½ oz Cointreau
1 bottle club soda
Rind of 1 orange(s)
Slices of pineapple(s)
Slices of orange(s)
Mix in a punch bowl. Garnish lavishly by placing orange and pineapple slices into the mix and placing sprigs of mint into each individual serving glass
#4, Faux Barbecue
If you are a vegetarian, we admire your strength of character but worry that your red-blooded neighbor might just try to barbecue you. Here’s a good option that might pair well with a grilled fish or a (gasp!) tofu burger. From the market to your glass, take the time to go to your local green market and source good local ingredients and savor the difference.
2 oz Irish Whiskey
1 oz strained lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
3 slices of cucumber, muddled in mixing tin
8-10 leaves of lightly bruised mint
Shake with ice, double strain (to remove mint and cucumber bits) into old-fashioned glass over fresh ice
Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and cucumber slices.
Thanks, Jordan and Marshall! For more on How to Booze, check their website or follow @HowtoBooze on twitter. Will you add one of these cocktails to your holiday menu? Which one? Tell us in the comments.