With parades from Paramus to Point Pleasant, fireworks from Finesville to Freehold, and barbecues from Bayonne to Buena Vista Township, no one celebrates Independence Day like New Jersey. And why not? The Garden State was pivotal in the Revolutionary War. Though the holiday weekend is just around the corner, there’s still plenty of time to add a splash of Jersey pride to your cocktails for 4th of July festivities.
Whether you’re preparing for a picnic at the beach or a party in the backyard, these red, white, and blue cocktails for 4th of July are a perfect way to add fireworks of your own to this year’s stars and stripes soiree. Cheers, America! (As always, please drink responsibly.)
What’s more American than apple pie and more New Jersey than Bon Jovi? This cocktail, of course! Devotion Vodka and Heritage Vineyards are based here in the Garden State, who also happen to be the 4th in peach production nationwide.
2 oz Devotion“Pure” Vodka
½ oz Jersey Peach wine from Heritage Vineyards
¼ oz Giffard Crème de Framboise
1 dash Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters
½ oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
Lime or lemon peel, for garnish (optional)
Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, and then strain into a chilled martini glass. If desired, garnish with a thin slice of lime or lemon peel.
George Washington’s Orchard Sour
This take on a classic whiskey sour conjures both the bright flavors of summer and our first president’s love of fruit trees and apple brandy.
2 oz Laird’s Jersey Lighting Apple Brandy
¾ oz Bols Apricot Brandy
¾ oz lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 dash angostura bitters
1 egg white
Brandied cherries or thinly sliced red apple, for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, then shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. Strain the mixture into a mixing glass, then strain it again into a cocktail glass. Garnish with brandied cherries and a slice of apple.
This cocktail, featuring a port-style wine from Plagido’s Winery – winner of the 2016 Garden State Wine Growers Association Winery of the Year award – is a smooth and stylish way to honor the woman who made the first American flag. Traditionally, this cocktail includes an egg yolk, but feel free to omit as desired.
1 ½ oz Rémy Martin XO cognac
1½ oz “Homestead” port-style wine from Plagido’s Winery
1 egg yolk
½ t simple syrup
3 dashes Bols Triple Sec
3 dashes angostura bitters
Freshly ground nutmeg, for garnish
Go Lightly Down the Shore
This cocktail was inspired by the Go Lightly, a cocktail created by the geniuses at St-Germain. It takes the renown elderflower spirit down the shore by adding a dry sparkling wine from the award-winning Tomasello Winery in the Garden State’s Outer Coastal Plain AVA.
1½ oz Cocchi® Americano
½ oz St-Germain®
1 sprig basil, for garnish
2 oz NV Sparkling Rkatsiteli from Tomasello Winery
Lemon peel, for garnish
Method: Add the Cocchi Americano, St-Germain, and basil to a cocktail shaker, then fill the remaining space with ice. Shake well and then strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass. Float the sparkling wine on top of the cocktail, and garnish with a lemon peel.
1½ oz Laird’s Applejack
¾ oz Petty’s Island Rum, or Petty’s Island Rye Oak Reserve Rum from Cooper River Distillers
2 dashes lime juice
2 dashes simple syrup
Lime wedge, to garnish
Method: Combine the applejack, rum, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the rest of the shaker with ice. Shake well and then strain the contents into a chilled cocktail glass or over rocks. If desired, garnish with a wedge of lime.
West New York
This cocktail was inspired by the classic Manhattan. This version is sassy and smooth, with a slight citrus bite, just like everything on our side of the Hudson.
2 oz Barnegat White Whiskey from Jersey Spirits Distilling Co.
1 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1 dash Bitter Truth orange bitters
Orange peel, for garnish
Method: Add the whiskey, vermouth and bitters to a cocktail glass filled with ice. Stir to combine and garnish with a twist of orange peel.
And The Blue…
Did you know that wild blueberries were first domesticated and cultivated in New Jersey by Elizabeth White, the daughter of a New Jersey farmer, working with USDA botanist Frederick Coville? The team harvested and sold the first commercial crop of blueberries out of Whitesbog, N.J., in 1916. The rest is history, just like this refreshing cocktail will be on a warm summer day.
1 oz Busted Barrel Silver rum by Jersey Artisan Distilling
½ oz Busted Barrel dark rum by Jersey Artisan Distilling
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 T fresh lime juice
1 t sugar
4 T fresh blueberries, divided
4-6 oz lemonade
Seltzer, as needed
Thinly sliced lime, for garnish
Method: Combine the mint leaves, lime juice and sugar in a 16-oz glass. Mash the leaves using the back of a spoon or cocktail muddler until the leaves are fragrant. Add half of the blueberries and muddle with the leaves. Next, add ice and lemonade until the glass is about two-thirds full. Top with a splash of seltzer, light rum, dark rum, and remaining blueberries. Stir the mixture well and serve garnished with a slice of lime or sprig of mint.
Hail to the Chief
In the American flag, the color blue represents the U.S. presidency and its core values of perseverance, vigilance, and justice. This cocktail is just as bright and bold.
1½ oz DSP.7 Gin from Jersey Spirit Distilling Co.
½ oz Bols Blue liqueur
1½ oz Lemon juice
Lemon slice, for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain the mixture into a martini glass or coupe Pour. Garnish with a slice of lemon.
Did you know that 80% of the Garden State’s blueberries come from Hammonton? This refreshing cocktail is a great way to honor both our country and the “blueberry capital of the world.”
½ Blueberry Wine from Plagido’s Winery
2 oz Claremont Vodka from Claremont Distillery, very cold
3 fresh blueberries, for garnish
Method: Pour the blueberry wine into a chilled martini glass. Gently pour the vodka on top of the wine so that it floats. Garnish with fresh blueberries.
Looking to step up your kitchen game? Click Here to see Best of NJ’s Top Recipes & Kitchen Tips!
Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Syda Productions / Adobe Stock
Additional Images (in Order) Courtesy:
Evan Swigert / CulinaryGeek.net (via Wikimedia)
Malmaison Hotels / Flickr
Kitchenriffs.com / Flickr
Cliff Hutson via / Flickr
Alan Levine / Flickr
US Highbush Blueberry Council
Lucas Bols Amsterdam B.V.
US Highbush Blueberry Council