The Fourth of July always comes with a catch. Those idiot kids blowing up the backyard, the grill running out of gas for the third time, the traffic labyrinth surrounding the ballpark. With the recent shortage of hops, even a cold one demands a hefty price. But what better day to try something different, than the day we severed ties with the mother country? Assert your Independence this Friday with these unique sips from the annals of American History.
1) The Bald Eagle Martini
Photo by EasyDrinkMixer
Though Ben Franklin thought him “a bird of bad moral character,” the bald eagle was nonetheless chosen as the symbol of our country in 1782. Its habit of circling battlefields inspired patriots in the Revolution, convincing them the majestic bird was shrieking for freedom. To commemorate the longevity and strength of our national bird, try this tequila-based cocktail.
2 oz. tequila
1 oz. pink grapefruit juice
½ oz. cranberry juice
½ oz. lemon juice
Directions: Shake, then strain into a martini glass with a salted rim.
2) The Patriot
“The King of Beers” meets its match in this nod to our first president, George Washington. Simply drop a shot of whiskey in a tall cold Budweiser and reflect on the life of our founding father, who was the most successful brewer of rye in the country, and also put down the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania, keeping our young country together.
3) The Lafayette
Photo by Doug Ford
Of course, we wouldn’t be here without a little help from our friends, particularly the Marquis De Lafayette, who devoted personal resources and military savvy to the war effort.
3 oz. rye whiskey (for his buddy Washington)
½ oz. French vermouth
½ oz. Dubonnet rouge
1 dash Angosutra bitters
Directions: Stir in ice until cold, then strain into a martini glass, and garnish with an orange peel.
4) The Constitution
This cocktail comes courtesy of Founding Farmers in D.C., where they’re known for their signature cocktails and knowledgeable mixologists. Just like our governing document, finding all the ingredients may be simultaneously frustrating and worthwhile.
T Salon chamomile tea, infused with blueberries
Domaine de canton ginger liquer
fresh lemon juice
You might want to make the trip for this one.
5) The Strawberry Spangled Banner
Though inspired by the battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, and paired with a tune from 1780, Francis Scott Key’s “The Star Spangled Banner” wasn’t adopted as our national anthem until 1931. Nonetheless, the song was, and is, an assertion of our resilience and autonomy as a nation. Now you can sip the sweet flavors of freedom in this festive drink.
1½ oz. Disaronno
½ oz. Grey Goose Vodka
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
Directions: Mash three strawberries and basil leaves, then add ingredients into a shaker. Shake and strain into a highball glass, with strawberries and basil leaves as garnish.
6) The Robert E. Lee
Photo by Burnett’s
A true patriot, the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia was actually offered command of the entire US army before Virginia succeeded. After the war, Lee encouraged reconciliation between the states. He was opposed to drinking, which explains the ginger ale in his cocktail, though not the gin.
2 oz. gin
1 oz. lime juice
½ tsp. powdered sugar
2 oz. club soda
Directions: Shake well then pour into a tall glass. Add ice, and fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale.
7) The Statue of Liberty Shot
Another gift from the French, the Statue of Liberty gave a grand welcome to those bound for the decidedly un-grand Ellis Island. For this shot, make your glass the hopeful light of freedom.
? oz grenadine
? oz white creme de cacao
? oz blue curacao
? oz rum
Directions: Layer the liquors in a shot glass, then Light that torch!
8) Rosé the Riveter
Photo by Jonas Halpren
The formidable icon of World Wars past gets her own cocktail—fizzy, sweet and strong just like she is. Rosie inspired countless women to support the war effort and their families in ways that were previously unacceptable, and with this fun drink you can add an unexpected twist to your national holiday.
1 ½ oz. Hendrick’s gin
½ oz. Pama pomegranate liquer
½ oz. honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
3 oz. dry rosé
Directions: Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a tall glass with ice and garnish with a lime wheel.
9) The Allies
Photo by Brian Hagiwara
Perhaps misnamed, this shot will turn your fourth into a blitzkreig. It’s enough alcohol to make Winston Churchill cough.
½ oz gin
½ oz vodka
½ oz dry vermouth
½ oz bourbon
Directions: Combine in a shaker and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and your guests will start calling you Unconditional Surrender.
10) Yes We Canton
There’s no reason historic events in the 21st century shouldn’t have drinks named after them! Whether or not you’re an Obama fan, this drink would make a great toast to equality.
Domaine de canton ginger liquer
Directions: Fill your glass with equal parts of the ingredients and enjoy.
Will you stick to a frosted beer stein this Fourth, or switch it up? Tell us in the comments!