Our Favorite Festive Drinks to Serve on the Fourth of July
Toast to Independence Day with one of these cool, refreshing drinks. We've got recipes for spritzes, beer cocktails, punches, fruity iced teas, and more.
Celebrating America's birthday calls for the ultimate menu: From a buffet of snacks to the best grilled food and a variety of summery desserts, most people choose to go all out for their July 4th celebration. And even if the holiday looks different due to COVID-19—maybe you're trading in your usual block party for a small, socially-distanced outdoor gathering—there's no reason to give up on some of the traditions you hold dear. So, while you're mapping out the ultimate barbecue menu, be sure to plan a few festive drinks, too. While you may have the urge to create cocktails that are all red, white, and blue (there are quite a few out there!) we suggest something more classic; there are a number of time-honored drinks that are still festive without being kitschy. And whether you're planning a feast for just your immediate family or a few close friends, we always suggest making your holiday entertaining easier by choosing crowd-pleasing drinks that you can make in batches ahead of time. Trust us, you'll be pleased when you're not tied to the bar when you'd rather be mingling.
So, what kind of drinks should you plan to prepare for your holiday festivities? Try the Kentucky Half-and-Half, seen here, which can be made in advance of your celebration. It's a cross between two summertime favorites: the Arnold Palmer and a mint julep, combining a deep-steeped black iced tea with robust bourbon. Instead of using ice to chill these drinks, we freeze lemon wedges and let them gradually cool the cocktail rather than dilute it with water.
There are plenty of other fun twists on classic cocktails that you can make in big batches so everyone can have a few glasses, from sangria to mojitos and daiquiris, too. We have a slew of different recipes, so whether you want to make a few drinks that all contain the same type of liquor (whether it be vodka, rum, tequila, or another summertime favorite) or plan to whip up just one drink that pairs well with chilled wine and beer, you'll find a refreshing option here.
And we didn't forget about little ones or adults who choose not to imbibe. If you're looking for booze-free beverage ideas, we're sharing a few holiday-worthy options that are appropriate for loved ones of all ages, including classic lemonade and tea drink.
Mint, Lime, and Ginger Sparkler
If you want to offer a patriotic drink option, opt for just the red-hued beverage seen here. But this is your holiday gathering, so you make the rules—if you'r open to a variety of color options, go ahead and make all three so that there's a Fourth of July drink to suit every family member's preferences.
Aperol Jasmine Spritz
If you want to make a drink that's as rich as dessert, go for this Coquito. Its name means "little coconut" in Spanish and refers to the coconut milk in this classic Puerto Rican rum cocktail. It also contains evaporated milk and condensed milk. You'll need a blender for this recipe, but it makes six stellar drinks.
Chamomile Tea and Limeade
Make a batch of this caffeine-free citrusy drink to help your loved ones keep cool in the July heat.
If you're looking for a more overtly patriotic option, this shrub is it. We love that it's the perfect combination of sweet and sour, which makes for a flavorful Fourth of July drink.
Smoky Lemon Margarita
Looking for a fruity big-batch drink for your festivities? Try this mojito. The mango base can be made up to a day in advance. Add mint and club soda just before serving.
Michelada Beer Cocktail
There are many variations on this classic beer-tomato-lime cocktail. Our version is slightly spicy, making it just right for a long, hot day.
Mediterranean Cucumber Tonic
This refreshing non-alcoholic drink looks sophisticated but is so easy to mix up: Just combine lemon juice, cucumber slices, and good tonic water for a booze-free version of the G&T.
Watermelon Punch and Bowl
A hollowed watermelon is the perfect serving bowl for a drink made with its juice.
The Golden Ticket Mocktail
Ideal for kids and those looking for a non-alcoholic option, this drink is a tiki-inspired beverage that will transport everyone to a tropical locale.
Summer Fruit Sangria
A pitcher of sangria made with white wine, fruit, and orange liqueur will get the party started.
Rooibos Tea and Grapefruit-Ade
Try this colorful update on the Arnold Palmer: Floral herbal tea combines with bright citrus flavors to create a really refreshing, slightly sweet drink that everyone will enjoy.
Frosty Coconut Lemonade
Arguably one of the most refreshing Fourth of July drinks around, this frozen treat will delight adults and kids alike. Add a bit of booze to grown-ups' cups for a sweet frozen cocktail.
Mix a large pitcher of this ultimate warm-weather cocktail to quench your guests' thirst.
Pimm's Cup with Ginger Ale
Our take on the classic summer quencher includes ginger ale in addition to the usual lemonade. The ginger ale mellows the flavor of Pimm's—a fruity, spicy gin-based liqueur—and makes a celebratory, effervescent drink.
Jack and Jill's Iced Jasmine Tea
Cooling, sweet, and with just a little caffeine, this long iced drink is just right on a summer afternoon.
Two summer classics come together to create this fruity favorite. It's the perfect sip for a day spent under the sun.
Here's a light, fruity party punch that can be made with any sparkling wine. Macerate sliced peaches, nectarines, and apricots in peach brandy and stir in the bubbly just before serving.