Fourth of July celebrations are usually an explosion of red, white and blue — and I don’t just mean the fireworks! People, myself included, tend to go all-out with patriotic decorations and place settings for Fourth of July entertaining. This year I’m bringing the color into my cocktails! These red, white and blue Fourth of July cocktails are the perfect way to make your party menu a lot more colorful.
These Fourth of July cocktails have a definite tropical flair to them, which makes they an excellent choice for warm summer weekends — even if you don’t need drinks of a particular color!
The recipes below are for one drink quantities. It may seem a bit labor-intensive to mix up drinks one at a time, but you can easily make batches of each drink ahead of time and store them in pitchers or large measuring cups. When you’re ready to serve, you simply have to combine the drinks with ice, shake and pour them out into waiting cups. I find that people will want to try each of these drinks during the course of a party, so it’s nice to be able to give your guests options.
These drinks are so much fun that I recommend having a little bit of fun with the garnishes, too. Tropical cocktail umbrellas are always a good summer cocktail option, but slices of fresh citrus and pineapple can really liven up a drink, too. Whether you’re using tall glassware or simply plastic cups, I recommend picking up some colorful straws at your local party store to give the drinks an even more festive finish.
Hurricane cocktail recipe
The Hurricane is a cocktail that was invented in New Orleans back in the 1940s. The story says that a local bar owner came up with the sweet, colorful cocktail in order to entice people to drink more rum, which was not very popular at the time. The drink caught on and can now be found at just about every bar in town.
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 1 1/2 oz dark rum
- 1 1/2 oz light rum
- 2 oz passion fruit juice
- 1 oz orange juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz grenadine
In a shaker, combine all the ingredients. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, or until cold. Pour everything, including the ice, into a tall hurricane glass or other large glass. Garnish with an orange wedge and a maraschino cherry.
Coconut rum punch recipe
This creamy coconut cocktail is a variation on a recipe for Jamaican Rum Punch that is found in my latest cookbook, Tiki Drinks. Both versions are delicious, but this one is a little bit mellower than the original and is better suited for sipping at a party when you’re serving up three tempting cocktails at a time. The drink is made with coconut milk, cream of coconut and a blend of light and dark rums.
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 1 oz light rum
- 1 oz dark rum
- 2 oz coconut milk
- 1 1/2 oz cream of coconut
In a shaker, combine all the ingredients. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, or until cold and well-combined. Pour all ingredients, including ice, into a stemless wine glass —or a coconut, if you have one — and garnish with a funky cocktail pick or tropical umbrella.
Blue Hawaii cocktail recipe
The Blue Hawaii is another cocktail that has quite a bit of history. It was invented in the 1950s in Waikiki by a bartender named Harry Yee, who wanted to find an interesting way to showcase an unusual ingredient: Blue Curaçao, an orange liqueur with a vivid blue hue. The cocktail mimics the color of the sea in the islands, and will definitely put you in the mood for a tropical vacation!
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 3/4 oz vodka
- 3/4 oz light rum
- 1/2 oz blue Curaçao
- 3 oz pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (or substitute 1 oz sour mix for lemon juice and simple syrup)
In a shaker, combine all the ingredients. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds, or until cold. Pour all ingredients, including ice, into a tall glass. Garnish with a cocktail umbrella and add a pineapple wedge if you have one.
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