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Patriotic cocktails that sparkle

By Paula Felps

Fourth of July cocktails this season could help you show off the red, white, and blue in stunning new ways. From an American Flag Shot to a Patriotic Collins, your drinks can showcase Old Glory’s colors and bring extra sizzle to your holiday celebration.

“You can layer your drinks, or you can add red and blue garnishes like blueberries and raspberries,” suggests Cheryl Charming, a renowned mixologist and the personality behind the cocktail site Her fourth book, The Everything Cocktail Party & Drinks Book, includes a chapter on “Striped Slurps and Sips,” which tells just about everything you need to know about making a layered drink.

“The most important thing to remember about layering a drink is the density of the beverage,” Charming says. “Usually, the lower the proof, the heavier it is, so that needs to go at the bottom of the drink.”

Presentation is everything

Once you’ve found your recipe and perfected your layering technique, look for other ways to dress up your drinks. Charming offers the following suggestions:

  • Make it sparkle. Attach a sparkler to a swizzle stick, then light it just before serving to add dramatic impact.
  • Remember the stars! Starfish fruit is the perfect patriotic garnish — either on the rim, or thinly sliced and placed side-by-side to line the glass.
  • Add watermelon. Watermelon goes hand-in-hand with summer celebrations, so cut yours in triangles and put the straw through it to make a tasty garnish.

The following are a few patriotic adult beverage recipes by Charming:

Independence Colada

1.5 oz. light rum
.5 oz. blue Curacao
1 Coco Lopez
1 oz. strawberry daiquiri mix
4 oz. pineapple juice

1. In a blender, blend the rum, Coco Lopez, and pineapple juice with a half cup of ice. Add more juice if needed to reach a pourable consistency (also add more Coco Lopez if you like a more coconut flavor).
2. Pour strawberry mix into the bottom of the glass.
3. Pour blended mix into the glass and the red will gush up the sides.
4. Top with blue Curacao.

American Flag Shot

1 oz. white crème de cocoa
.25 oz. grenadine
.25 oz. blue Curacao

1. Fill a shot glass almost to the top with white crème de cocoa.
2. Slowly pour in the grenadine and it will sink to the bottom.
3. Gently pour the blue Curacao on top with a spoon.

Patriotic Collins

1 oz. gin
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. blue Curacao
Lemon lime soda and soda water

1. Fill a tall glass with ice.
2. Shake the gin, blue Curacao, and lemon juice with ice and strain into the glass.
3. Fill with equal parts of lemon lime soda and soda water.
4. Garnish with cherries.

American Cobbler

1 oz. raspberry rum
1 oz. peach schnapps
4 oz. white wine
4 oz. soda water
Handful of blueberries and raspberries

1. Pour rum, schnapps, and wine into a large wine glass then add half of the fresh fruit.
2. Fill glass with ice then add the other half of the fruit.
3. Top with soda water and stir.