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4TH OF JULY SUMMER DRINK IDEAS

Updated: May 16



4th of july cookies

Summer is officially underway which means everyone is reaching for an ice cold drink to help them cool down and beat the heat across the states. A refreshing beverage is great on any hot day, and it’s especially satisfying while celebrating the 4th of July. Whether you’re at a backyard barbeque, picnicking in the park, or enjoying the fireworks with your red and blue shirt, these drinks will be the perfect pairing for all of your fun summer activities. Make one for yourself to sip on while lounging poolside or whip up a big batch and be the hit of an ultimate Independence Day party. Just make sure you have lots of ice!



TIPS AND TRICKS

For drinks that include brewed tea, it is recommended to brew the tea in advance if possible and put it in the refrigerator to cool down before making the drinks. Since these are all iced drinks, perfect for summer, having the tea already brewed and chilled in the refrigerator means that less ice will be needed. The ice won’t melt and dilute the drink, and a stronger and better flavor will be achieved as the end result. Of course, there are times when we just want something refreshing, especially on a hot summer day, so it still works to brew the tea right before making the drink.


Another tip for brewing tea is to always use hot water. The hot water shocks the tea leaves, releasing the most flavor and antioxidants from the leaves into the water, which is what we want from our tea. Lastly, let the tea steep in the hot water for a minimum of five minutes before removing the tea bag. This is for the same reason as using hot water, to ensure we get all the good stuff, including caffeine.


This 4th of July-inspired list has both cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks but you can customize them to fit your tastes and make them your own. Add a shot of your favorite spirit to any mocktail to turn it boozy or simply omit the alcohol from any cocktail. You can also try adding some sparkling water for a refreshing spirit variation while having a festive drinking experience.


If you’re mixing drinks for a group, make it easy on yourself and create a big batch all at once. The 4th of July is a good reason for big gatherings! All of these drinks can be easily made in a pitcher or punch bowl and then served in individual cups. Just don’t add the ice while you’re making the drink because it’ll melt and dilute the flavors. Put the ice in the cups right before serving and the drinks will stay cold and delicious. It’s quick and simple so you can sit back and enjoy the happy company.


The garnishes are all optional but add a bit of flair to each drink. They aren’t necessary but they are a nice touch if you’re serving these drinks to guests. A 4th of July straw or décor will make it extra cute! Even if you’re enjoying a drink alone, throw on a garnish anyway; it makes every drink more Instagrammable and it’s both pretty to look at and fun to eat at the end.


Most of these ingredients are common but check out our website, www.foodcraftnyc.com, where you could get some of the harder-to-find ingredients. Those ingredients include butterfly pea flower tea, brown sugar syrup, passion fruit syrup, strawberry syrup, and basil seeds.


 

TEN DRINKS FOR YOUR SUMMER ENJOYMENT!

  1. MAGIC LEMONADE

  2. PASSION FRUIT MIMOSA

  3. BROWN SUGAR PALMER

  4. STRAWBERRY BASIL PUNCH

  5. SUNSET SANGRIA

  6. GREEN COOLER

  7. MINT JULEP

  8. WATERMELON STRAWBERRY SLUSH

  9. BROWN SUGAR EGG CREAM

  10. PINK LADY SPRITZ


MAGIC LEMONADE

magic lemonade

This first drink is the most interesting and one of the prettiest drinks on the list. The butterfly pea flower tea is a very unique ingredient and is what makes this drink so special. The butterfly pea flower is a blue hibiscus flower that is high in alkaline. With the addition of an acid, such as citrus juice, the pH level of the drink changes, and as a result that causes the color to change! That’s why this drink is called “magic” lemonade- the tea base starts out as a beautiful deep blue color, then it magically changes to a lighter purple-pink color with the addition of the lemon juice. It’s a fun drink for both kids and adults to enjoy, and the magic color change trick will guarantee your title as a magician for the day. Imagine serving this on the 4th of July? JUST WOW!


Ingredients:

Butterfly pea flower tea

1 tea bag in ½ cup hot water

Sugar 4 tablespoons

Lemon juice 1 oz

Cold water ½ cup


Steps:

  1. Brew the butterfly pea flower tea: combine one butterfly pea flower tea bag with ½ cup of hot water in a heat-safe cup or container and let it steep for at least 5 minutes.

  2. While the tea is still warm, add 4 tablespoons of sugar and mix to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture cool if possible.

  3. Pour the sweetened tea mixture into a tall, clear glass and add a big handful of ice.

  4. Right before serving, mix 1 ounce of lemon juice with ½ cup of cold water. Slowly pour the lemon water into the glass over the tea mixture and watch the magic happen! The addition of citrus juice to the tea will cause the color to change from dark blue to light purple pink. Wow!


PASSION FRUIT MIMOSA

passion fruit mimosa

This recipe was an accidental creation during Mother’s Day brunch. My aunt loves bellinis but is not a huge fan of mimosas, and after we weren’t able to find peach juice for our brunch, I decided to try this combination and it was a success. It’s like a mix of mimosa and a bellini with similar flavors but with a twist. The addition of the passion fruit syrup gives the drink a tropical note and brings it to the next level.


Prosecco is an Italian sparkling white wine and is the traditional alcohol for mimosas and bellinis. You could find a decent quality bottle for under $20, but if you don’t want to use prosecco, any sparkling white wine would be fine. To stay close to the original, try to choose a sparkling white wine with a similar flavor profile to prosecco- light, a little dry, and not too sweet. The last part is important because if you choose a sweet sparkling white wine, adding syrup and juice would increase the sweetness too much and all you would taste is sugar. So if you don’t use prosecco, substitute it with something similar and your drink will still taste great. This might be just my 4th of July drink!


Ingredients:


Passion fruit syrup 1 tablespoon

Orange juice 2 oz

Prosecco / sparkling white wine 6 oz


Steps:

  1. In a shaker or mixing vessel, add 1 tablespoon of passion fruit syrup and 2 ounces of orange juice. Shake or stir to dissolve the syrup into the juice.

  2. Pour into a champagne flute or wine glass.

  3. Top with 6 ounces of prosecco or sparkling white wine and give it a light stir to combine.



BROWN SUGAR PALMER

brown sugar palmer

The Arnold Palmer is also known as a “half and half”- half iced tea and half lemonade. It’s named after the professional golfer who would ask for a combination of iced tea and lemonade while on the golf course. The refreshing drink has become one of the most popular ways to cool down. This version is a slight twist on the traditional Arnold Palmer with the addition of brown sugar syrup as a sweetener instead of regular sugar, giving it a slightly caramelized flavor. Skipping booze on the 4th of July? I highly recommend this drink.


Ingredients:


Black tea 1 tea bag in 1 cup of hot water

Brown sugar syrup 2 tablespoons

Lemon juice 1 oz

Lemon wedge Garnish


Steps:

  1. Brew the black tea: combine one black tea bag with one cup of hot water in a heat-safe cup or container. Steep for at least five minutes before removing the tea bag.

  2. Before the tea is completely cool, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar syrup to the warm tea and stir well to dissolve the syrup. Let the tea mixture cool if possible.

  3. Pour the black tea and brown sugar mixture into a shaker or mixing vessel. Add 1 ounce of lemon juice and a handful of ice. Shake well to incorporate the lemon juice and chill the drink.

  4. Add a handful of ice to a glass and pour the chilled drink into the glass from the shaker. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


STRAWBERRY BASIL PUNCH

strawberry basil punch

This refreshing and fruity punch is summer in a glass. The fresh basil brightens up the drink and compliments the strawberry perfectly. Sparkling white wine can be used to make it a stronger punch, or seltzer can be substituted to decrease the alcohol but still give it the refreshing carbonation. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, the vodka could be omitted completely for a fruity and fizzy mocktail that is so nice on a hot summer day. The color is perfect for a boozy 4th of July. Don’t you agree?


Ingredients:


Vodka 1 oz

Strawberry syrup 1 tablespoon

Fresh basil leaves 1 handful, stems removed

Lemon juice 1 oz

Sparkling white wine or seltzer 6 oz

Strawberry slices and basil leaves Garnish


Steps:

  1. Make the strawberry basil base for the drink: in a blender, add 1 ounce of lemon juice, the fresh basil leaves, and 1 tablespoon of strawberry syrup. Blend on high to puree the basil leaves and combine the ingredients. Add a splash of water if needed to help the blending process.

  2. Pour the strawberry basil base into a shaker or mixing vessel. Add 1 ounce of vodka and a handful of ice. Shake well to mix and chill.

  3. Pour the contents of the shaker into a glass with another handful of ice.

  4. Top the drink with 6 ounces of sparkling wine or seltzer. Stir lightly to combine.

  5. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices and basil leaves.


Tip: You can use fresh strawberries and muddle them!


SUNSET SANGRIA

sunset sangria

This sangria recipe is simple but has both white and red wines and uses a bartending technique to give it an impressive presentation. It starts with a combination of white wine and passion fruit syrup for a tropical and fruity base. Then an ounce of red wine is layered on top to create a two-toned drink that has the colors of a sunset. You will surely impress your 4th of July guests with this summer drink.


Ingredients:


White wine 8 oz

Passion fruit syrup 1 tablespoon

Red wine float 1 oz

Fresh fruit slices (peaches, oranges, lemons) Garnish


Steps:

  1. In a shaker or cup, add 1 tablespoon of passion fruit syrup and 2 ounces of white wine. Stir to dissolve the syrup into the wine.

  2. Add the remaining 6 ounces of white wine and stir lightly to combine.

  3. Add a handful of ice to a wine glass or rocks glass and pour the contents of the shaker over the ice.

  4. For the red wine float: pour 1 ounce of red wine into a small measuring cup or something with a spout. This will make it easier to pour into your drinking glass without making a mess.

  5. Hold a tablespoon upside down with the curved side facing up and place it against the inside of the drinking glass with the tip on the side of the glass and above the surface of the liquid.

  6. Slowly pour the red wine on the back of the spoon to layer it over the passion fruit wine mixture.

  7. Garnish with slices of fresh fruit such as peaches, oranges, or lemons.


GREEN COOLER

green cooler

This cooler is super refreshing and hydrating with the combination of cucumber juice and basil seeds which is perfect for hot summer weather! Basil seeds are similar to chia seeds because they absorb liquid and form a gel membrane around the seed which helps to keep you hydrated. They are also high in antioxidants and fiber so they’re a great healthy part of this drink. The basil leaves add freshness while the lime juice and simple syrup balance everything out to make an ideal thirst-quenching summer drink. If you have a 4th of July guess that’s all about a “healthier” option, this might be it!


Simple syrup can be made by combining equal parts sugar and hot water, then dissolving the sugar to make a syrup. Any liquid sweetener can be substituted here such as maple syrup, honey, or agave, but the simple syrup has the most neutral flavor.


Ingredients:

Cucumber juice 2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded

Lime juice 1 oz

Fresh basil leaves 1 small handful, stems removed

Basil seeds 1 tablespoon

Simple syrup/liquid sweetener 3 tablespoons

Cucumber slice and basil leaves Garnish


Steps:

  1. Peel and seed 2 cucumbers and cut them into chunks. Add the cucumber chunks to a blender with a small handful of basil leaves. Blend on high to puree into a liquid. Strain to remove any seeds or chunks.

  2. Pour the cucumber basil juice into a shaker or mixing vessel. Add 1 ounce of lime juice, 3 tablespoons of simple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of basil seeds to the shaker.

  3. Add a handful of ice and shake very well to mix the ingredients and dissolve the syrup.

  4. Pour into a glass and add more ice if needed. Garnish with a slice of a cucumber and a sprig of fresh basil.


MINT JULEP

Mint juleps originated in the South and are the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. They are traditionally made with fresh mint leaves but we’re using mint tea for this recipe which provides a great mint flavor but doesn’t require the elbow grease of muddling the fresh mint. Plus, you won’t worry about getting bits of mint stuck in your teeth while you sip on your drink. We also substituted brown sugar syrup for regular simple syrup or white sugar which gives the drink a more caramelized sugar flavor. To keep with tradition, serve your mint julep over crushed ice in a copper mug. Any bourbon lovers at your 4th of July party? This one is for them!


Ingredients:

Bourbon 1 oz

Mint tea 1 mint tea bag in 1 cup of hot water

Brown sugar syrup 1 tbsp

Fresh mint 1 sprig for garnish


Steps:

  1. Brew the mint tea: combine 1 mint tea bag with 1 cup of hot water in a heat-safe cup or container. Steep for at least five minutes.

  2. While the mint tea is still warm, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar syrup. Stir well to dissolve the syrup into the tea. Let it cool if possible,

  3. Pour the mint tea mixture into a shaker. Add 1 oz of bourbon and a handful of ice to the shaker. Shake well to mix and chill the drink.

  4. Add some crushed ice to the copper mug or drinking glass. Strain the contents of the shaker into the drinking glass and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.


WATERMELON STRAWBERRY SLUSH

watermelon strawberry slush

Watermelon is my favorite fruit and makes any drink taste like summer. This drink could be made with watermelon and ice if you don’t have time to freeze the watermelon. However, if you cut the watermelon into cubes and are able to put it in the freezer beforehand, the flavor is amazing because it doesn’t get diluted by adding ice. To make it easier on your blender, take the frozen watermelon cubes out of the freezer a little before blending so they’re not too solid.


Watermelon has a high water content so it’s very hydrating during those hot summer months. The strawberry syrup adds a great flavor to the watermelon, and the lemon juice balances out the sweetness to make this slush perfect. Add a shot of tequila to make this into a frozen watermelon margarita, or just add your favorite alcohol to make a delicious 4th of July summer treat.


Ingredients:

Frozen watermelon chunks 1 cup of watermelon cubes

Strawberry syrup 1 tablespoon

Lemon juice ½ ounce

Watermelon wedge Garnish


Steps:

  1. Cut watermelon into cubes and freeze. Take them out of the freezer a little bit before making the drink.

  2. Put 1 cup of frozen watermelon into a blender. Add 1 tablespoon of strawberry syrup and ½ an ounce of lemon juice.

  3. Blend on high until the watermelon becomes slushy. Add a splash of water if the mixture is too thick,

  4. Pour into a glass and garnish with a small wedge of watermelon.


BROWN SUGAR EGG CREAM

brown sugar egg cream

This is the only drink on the list that is creamy, but it’s still refreshing with the carbonation from the seltzer. The egg cream is a New York classic that used to be found in old-fashioned ice cream parlors and diners. The traditional flavors are usually vanilla or chocolate, but the brown sugar syrup in this version is so delicious, that it’s sure to become a modern classic.


Choose a seltzer or club soda that is very carbonated. You want as much fizz as possible, and the milk decreases the number of bubbles, so the seltzer needs to make up for it. Also, be sure your ingredients are well chilled because this drink tastes the best when it’s very cold, but isn’t usually served with ice. Your 4th of July guests will surely be impressed with this drink, a unique summer drink indeed!


Ingredients:

Brown sugar syrup 1 tablespoon

Milk or half and half 3 oz

Seltzer 4 oz


Steps:

  1. In a large glass, add 3 ounces of milk or half and a half and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar syrup. Mix very well to dissolve the syrup. If you have a handheld milk frother, give it a quick blend to make it airy and create some foam. Otherwise, whisk and mix in a zigzag motion to make bubbles.

  2. Top the drink with 4 ounces of chilled seltzer.


PINK LADY SPRITZ

pink lady spritz

This spritz is the prettiest pink drink to sip on this summer. The sparkling rose base makes this a low ABV cocktail and the strawberry syrup brings out the fruity notes of the rose. A few ounces of cranberry juice adds the right amount of tartness to balance out the sweetness and add to the vibrant pink color. You could also add a splash of seltzer to lighten up the drink, even more, making this a spritz you could enjoy any time of day. Give your guests a well-deserved 4th of July drink!


Ingredients:

Sparkling rose wine 6 oz

Strawberry syrup 1 tablespoon

Cranberry juice 2 oz

Strawberry slices Garnish


Steps:

  1. In a shaker or mixing vessel, add 2 ounces of cranberry juice and 1 tablespoon of strawberry syrup. Add a few cubes of ice and shake well to dissolve the syrup.

  2. Pour the strawberry-cranberry mixture into a wine glass or rocks glass with the ice if you’d like or strain it into the glass.

  3. Top with 6 ounces of sparkling rose wine.

  4. Garnish with a few strawberry slices.

 

All the drinks on this free list are not only delicious, but they’re also quick and easy to make so you can spend your time having fun and celebrating July 4th with friends and family. Make your holiday get-together extra special with one of the more unique drinks, or stick with a classic that will be sure to please the crowd. Either way, you can’t go wrong with any of these refreshing drink recipes to make your 4th of July extra fun!


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