Fourth of July Cocktails: A Toast to Our Founding Fathers

Fourth of July is here and on Friday we'll celebrate our country's 238th birthday with hot dogs, picnics, fireworks, and cocktails.

Cocktails, you say? Of course. After all, our founding fathers loved a good nip. Legend has it that the father of our nation, George Washington, loved his daily rations of wine and whiskey so much his wooden teeth would get stained. Thomas Jefferson's estate at Monticello housed both a winery and a brewery.

And let's not forget Benjamin Franklin who is oft quoted in bars as saying "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria."

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So, this Independence Day, let's toast to our founding fathers and life, liberty, and the pursuit of a good cocktail. Here are some patriotic libations to get you started:

See also: Miami's Fourth of July 2014: Ten Best Parties

Batch Gastropub

This Imperial Negroni is the perfect way to drink to our independence from British rule. This firecracker red cocktail is $15 at Batch Gastropub or make it at home with this recipe:

Imperial Negroni

  • 1 oz Mandarine Napoléon
  • 1 oz Spring 44 gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz dry vermouth

Equal parts of all stirred for 20 seconds. Strain into a old fashion glass over ice, and servers with an orange peel garnish.

Earl's Kitchen + Bar

Sure the restaurant is Canadian, but that doesn't stop it from celebrating the U.S. of A with a special Stars & Stripes cocktail. This strawberry margarita with blue Curacao also has the distinction of being the only true red, white, and, blue cocktail on our list. It's available on July 4 for $4.50.

Blackbird Ordinary

Blackbird Ordinary's Golden Eagle is all-American in so many ways. Kentucky bourbon, apples from Massachusetts, and maple syrup from Vermont combine to pay tribute to our great country. It's $12 at Blackbird Ordinary or make it with this recipe:

Golden Eagle

  • 2 oz Bulliet bourbon
  • 1/2 oz maple syrup
  • 2 dashes of baked apple bitters

Build in double rocks glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

What says a July Fourth picnic more than a cold, refreshing slice of watermelon? How about Yardbird's watermelon sling ($13), a refreshing blend of Troy & Sons platinum white whiskey, fresh pressed watermelon juice, and lemon balanced with rosemary and Aperol. Sure beats pouring booze in a watermelon and letting it freeze overnight!

Broken Shaker

Planning an old fashioned cookout with hot dogs and beers? Leave it to the Broken Shaker to combine the two in their Boardwalk Shandy. Is it a refreshing cocktail or a meal? Yes. Yes it is. It's all in here -- rum, beer, lemon juice, mustard, and a hot dog. Available at Broken Shaker on July 4 for $9 or make it at home.

Boardwalk Shandy

  • 1 oz Atlantico rum
  • 3 oz Miller Highlife
  • Spicy mustard reduction
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • Garnish: hotdog sausage

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