We’re sharing four cocktails to consider serving during your 4th of July events. They are all tasty, so to help you in deciding which to make — but mostly just for fun — we’ve also developed a “firecracker” rating system. Each concoction will be graded on each of the following characteristics, up to a possible perfect score of 4 Firecrackers:
- Has coloring that matches our 4th of July theme
- Uses seasonal ingredients, such as summer fruits
- Is easy: 4 or fewer ingredients, not including ice or garnish
- Originality: it’s so unusual that guests will talk about it after the party
Raspberry-Lemon Ricky (Serves 4)
In a cocktail shaker, muddle together 8 ounces of berry-flavored vodka, 2 ounces Limoncello, 2 ounces simple syrup and about 10 raspberries. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well. Pour over ice-filled cocktail glasses and garnish with additional raspberries and lime wedges.
Rating: 3 Firecrackers for red color, use of seasonal fruits and ease in making.
We found this cocktail at iVillage.com
Island Time (Serves 4)
Place 8 ounces dark rum, 4 ounces coconut nectar, and 8 ounces of pineapple juice into a blender filled with ice. Blend until smooth and pour into curvy glasses. Garnish with pineapple chunks speared with tropical fruit picks or drink parasols.
Rating: 2 Firecrackers for matching (closely enough) the white in our red-white-blue color scheme and for its simplicity (you could add seasonal berries for a third Firecracker if you are so inclined).
This one also came from iVillage.
Cucumber-Lemonade Chiller (Serves 4)
Start with 3 large cucumbers. Cut 12 thin slices from one of them and set aside; then peel and chop the rest and put them into a food processor with 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary. Puree the mixture. Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl (or large measuring cup), pressing on the solids to extract all the juice. Add 1 cup water, ¾ cup gin, ½ cup lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of agave syrup to the cucumber juice until dissolved. Pour over ice-filled glasses. Garnish with the reserved cucumber slices and rosemary sprigs.
Rating: 2 Firecrackers, for use of seasonal ingredients and for originality.
We discovered this cocktail at Delish.com.
Guadalajara Sour (makes 1 at a time)
Combine 1-3/4 ounces blanco tequila, ¾ ounce lemon juice and ¾ ounce simple syrup in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled rocks glass over fresh ice. Hold a spoon with its back side facing up on the surface of the drink and slowly pour ¾ ounce chilled rosé over it, in order that the rosé only mixes with the top of the cocktail.
Rating: 3 Firecrackers for color, simplicity and originality (we love the two-tone look).
This recipe was published in the New York Times.
Lots of “firecrackers” given or no, we think any of these cocktails would be just dandy for your Yankee Doodle day; but of course, the rating system that counts is your own! Be sure also to check out and rate our selection of cocktail accessories and to visit Party Tableware for beverage napkins and cute new centerpieces to enhance your 4th of July party experience.