Our 7 favorite Independence Day drinks for every gathering

Don’t you just love summer? The long hot days, the laid-back fashions, and the endless array of weekend barbecues, watermelon, and corn-on-the-cob. In our opinion, every summer party is a good party, but few rival the fun and festivities of  Independence Day parties. 

Whether you’re hosting this year’s gathering, or you’ve been invited as an honored guest, if you’re searching for Independence Day Party ideas, you’ll find dozens of DIY hacks, decorating tips, and oodles of recipes for salads, slaws, grilling, and red, white, and blue desserts. 

We’re taking the fun up a notch with our pick of the seven best tasting, best-looking July 4th drinks—if you’re into adult cocktails or just want a refreshing (and festive) drink to celebrate our nation’s birthday!   

July 4th drinks for party goers of any age

Easy Bomb Pop Cocktails

This patriotic bomb pop cocktail can be made with or without alcohol for a festive treat anyone can enjoy at your Independence Day party! Two ingredients are all it takes to put a little extra patriotic flair into your 4th of July bash!

Ingredients:

  • Something Sparkling—champagne, prosecco, sparkling water, seltzer, or lemon/lime soda
  • Bomb Pops—those red, white, and blue ice pops you’ll find in the freezer section of your grocery store

Directions:

Right before you’re ready to serve, place popsicles inside the glass—stick end up.

Top off the glass with the sparkling beverage of your choice and serve immediately!

Flirty Firecracker Cocktail

Swap out the pineapple vodka for soda, seltzer, or even pineapple juice, for a family-friendly version of this tasty red and blue cocktail. The secret for its eye-catching look? Raspberry and blue raspberry syrup that adds vibrant color and a yummy taste, too!

Ingredients:

Directions:

Pour red raspberry syrup into a champagne flute, then fill the glass to the top with ice.

Add the shot of pineapple vodka (or a non-alcoholic replacement). Note: The vodka shot and the red raspberry syrup will mix slightly, but that’s to be expected.

Just before you’re ready to serve, add a shot of blue raspberry syrup and serve!

July 4th cocktails for the 21 & over set

Rocket Jell-O Shots

There’s always room for Jell-O, and this time, your childhood favorite has a decidedly grownup makeover. This recipe yields a batch of 20 shots, so get ready to party.

Ingredients:

Blue layer

  • 1/2 c. water, boiled
  • 1 box instant berry blue Jell-O
  • 1/2 c. vodka

Red layer

  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 box instant cherry Jell-O
  • 1/2 c. vodka

White layer

  • 1 envelope gelatin
  • 1 c. milk, divided
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. vodka

Directions:

Combine boiling water and berry blue Jell-O mix in a small bowl, and stir until completely dissolved. Stir in vodka. Then, repeat the process with the cherry Jell-O mix in another small bowl. Allow both mixtures to cool.

To make the white layer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining 3/4 cup milk to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off heat, then stir in sugar, vanilla, and vodka.

Pour the heated mixture over the plain gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Lightly spray 20 two-ounce plastic shot glasses with cooking spray.

Spoon about 1 tablespoon berry blue Jell-O mix into each shot glass, then refrigerate until set but not completely firm (about 15 minutes).

Top with about 1 tablespoon white gelatin mixture and refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.

Finish each shot glass with about 1 tablespoon cherry Jell-O mixture and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Cheers!

Watermelon Texas Margarita

This recipe whips up about 8 cocktails, so it’s a great option for an Independence Day gathering with your friends. We love the mix of tequila with ice-cold all-American beer and how it gives this festive, fruity cocktail a little extra kick!

Ingredients

  • 1 small watermelon peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces tequila
  • 4 ounces orange liqueur
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 4 cans pale beer (we recommend Pabst Blue Ribbon)
  • Fresh lime slices
  • Fresh watermelon wedges
  • Ice

Directions:

Purée watermelon chunks in the blender and then pour the juice into a tall pitcher, using a fine mesh strainer to catch and discard all of the pulp.

Pour tequila, orange liqueur, and the juice of two limes into the watermelon juice and stir until combined. Place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.

Prep your glasses by juicing the remaining lime into a shallow dish. Pour salt into a separate dish. Coat the rims by dipping the glasses upside down into the lime juice, followed by the salt.

Fill each glass with ice and pour the watermelon and booze mixture about half full, then top off the glass with beer and garnish with a slice of lemon and a watermelon wedge.

East Bayside Cocktail

Every gathering deserves a signature cocktail. This one is yours. Summer-fresh produce takes the tart sweetness of ripe blueberries and blends them in a holy alliance of flavors with bone-dry gin. Our recipe is for a single serving, so you can make them to order. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Gin
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • 7 fresh mint leaves
  • 5 fresh blueberries
  • Ice

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. 

Strain into a glass using a fine-mesh strainer. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve.

Red, White, & Blue Boozy Slush

It tastes every bit as good as it looks! The semi-frozen consistency of this lemonade slushy makes it so easy to layer colors on top of each other. You can make homemade lemonade to really impress your guests or make it easier on yourself and use bottled lemonade from the refrigerated aisle of your grocery store. Makes 1-3 servings.

Ingredients:

Blue Slush Layer

  • 2 cups of ice
  • 2 oz. Blue Curacao
  • 1 cup lemonade 

Blend together until smooth. Store in a freezer until ready to build your cocktail.

White Slush Layer

2 cups of ice

2 oz. Smirnoff Red, White & Berry Vodka

1 cup lemonade

Blend together until smooth. Store in a freezer until ready to build your cocktail.

Red Slush Layer

  • 1 ¼ cups of strawberries, quartered
  • 2 oz. Smirnoff Red, White & Berry Vodka
  • ¼ cup of homemade lemonade

Blend together until smooth. Store in a freezer until ready to build your cocktail.

Directions:

Add a blue slush layer to the bottom 1/3 of your glass (mason jars work really well), followed by a white slush layer in the middle 1/3, and a red slush layer for the top 1/3. 

Serve immediately or store in a freezer until ready to serve.

Red, White, and Blue Sangria

Everyone loves homemade sangria, but when you’re making a batch for Independence Day parties, it might be time to pull out all the stops! This sparkling red, white and blue sangria is jam-packed with delicious flavors, not to mention strawberries, blueberries, and star-shaped apple slices!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of dry white wine (no need for a high-priced wine when making sangria, but try not to select one that’s too sweet)
  • 1 bottle of sparkling white wine (cava, prosecco, or champagne)
  • Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (for the red and blue portion of the recipe)
  • Apples: For an easy option, you can add regular slices of your favorite apple variety. But, for Independence Day parties, we like to use a small star cookie cutter to cut apple slices into festive star shapes.
  • Liqueur: Brandy is the most traditionally added liqueur for sangria, but you could also use cognac, orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec), white vermouth, or another liqueur you have on hand.
  • Ice for serving.

Directions:

Stir together white wine, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in a large pitcher.

Cover and refrigerate for one to four hours so that the sangria can chill and the fruity flavors can meld together.

When you’re ready to serve, add the sparkling white wine, apple slices, and a handful of ice.

Pour sangria into a glass, over ice, and enjoy!

When you’re looking for Independence Day party ideas, don’t forget about the beverages. Whether you’re into cocktails—or mocktailsour fun and festive drink selections will cool you off while making you look cool, too. Happy 4th of July!

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