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Classic American Cocktails to Honor Independence Day

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Beer and food are staples for any Independence Day celebration, but popular cocktails are a must, too! Every party needs a well-curated beverage menu and a good wine list, especially if you are running a restaurant. Now that the 4th of July is getting closer, businesses in the hospitality industry need to prepare all of their offers. 

We have already covered topics like interesting 4th of July cocktails you should not miss and sparkling cocktails that are great for Independence Day, as well as your brunch menu. In this article, however, we want to cover the classic American cocktails that you should not skip when preparing your offers for the celebration.  

These bar drinks are common cocktails that won’t be new to any cocktail expert or avid cocktail drinker. However, we want to list these all-time favorites and inspire you to add them to your unique cocktail list. You can always make these delicious drinks more festive by using special straws, adding food coloring, or other colorful elements through cocktail garnishes

Keep reading if you want to get inspired and host an amazing 4ht of July celebration at your restaurant!

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Classic American Cocktails to Serve on Your Independence Day Party

Celebrating Independence Day with classic American cocktails is a great way to add a touch of tradition to your festivities. Considering the crowd that is going to come to your restaurant for the 4th of July, it’s safe to say that they will love anything classic American you can give them. That’s why knowing your cocktails and serving these all-time favorites is important!

Key Takeaway: There are plenty of amazing classic American cocktails you can make. The ones that are a great choice for summer will surely be a hit during your 4th of July celebration!

1. Old Fashioned

This cocktail always makes it to the list of true classics and favorites. It dates back to the 1800s and the Old Fashioned is known for its simplicity and sophistication. We bet that a large majority of your customers will enjoy at least one or two Old Fashioned drinks on the 4th of July. 

If you want to make a great cocktail, you need to get these ingredients: 

The steps below are the ones you need to follow strictly to achieve perfection: 

  1. Place the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass.
  2. Saturate with bitters and a dash of water.
  3. Muddle until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add the whiskey.
  5. Stir gently and garnish with an orange twist or cherry.

2. Mint Julep

Known as the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep is refreshing and perfect for summer celebrations. If you don’t have it already on your summer cocktails list, now is the time to reconsider. 

To make a show-stopping Mint Julep, you need: 

  • 2 oz of bourbon
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 sugar cube or 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Follow the instructions listed below to make an incredible drink: 

  1. Muddle the mint leaves and sugar (or simple syrup) in a julep cup or glass.
  2. Fill the cup with crushed ice and add the bourbon.
  3. Stir until the cup is frosted.
  4. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

3. Manhattan

Can’t talk about classic American cocktails without mentioning the Manhattan. This sophisticated drink originated in New York City and it became a timeless choice over the years. You need it on your beverage menu, so don’t skip the information below!

The ingredients you need for a Manhattan cocktail are: 

  • 2 oz of rye whiskey
  • 1 oz of sweet vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

The steps to creating the perfect Manhattan are: 

  1. Stir the whiskey, vermouth, and bitters with ice in a mixing glass.
  2. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
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4. Whiskey Sour

This is another true classic that needs to be on every cocktail menu. Don’t skip the Whiskey Sour if you want to serve classic American cocktails on this 4th of July. Whiskey cocktails in general are always a good idea and many people love to enjoy them during the summertime. 

The ingredients you need are: 

  • 2 oz of bourbon
  • 3/4 oz of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Lemon wheel and cherry for garnish

Make a delicious Whiskey Sour that will leave people wanting more, by following these steps: 

  1. Shake the bourbon, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  3. Garnish with a lemon wheel and cherry.

5. Sazerac

Originating from New Orleans, the Sazerac is a bold and flavorful cocktail. It’s a perfect drink to have during the 4th of July celebrations. 

The ingredients needed for Sazerac include:

  • 2 oz of rye whiskey
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 2-3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
  • Absinthe or absinthe substitute
  • Lemon peel for garnish

The steps you need to take to create a perfect Sazerac are: 

  1. Rinse a chilled Old Fashioned glass with absinthe and discard the excess.
  2. Muddle the sugar cube and bitters in a separate glass.
  3. Add the rye whiskey and ice, and stir well.
  4. Strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon peel.

6. Tom Collins

Don’t look away from this refreshing and fizzy drink that’s perfect for any summer celebration! Tom Collins is a true classic that deserves a spot on any menu and can be combined with a large variety of foods. 

To make the ideal Tom Collins, you need to get: 

  • 2 oz of gin
  • 1 oz of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz of simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Lemon slice and cherry for garnish

The instructions to follow are: 

  1. Shake the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice.
  2. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice.
  3. Top with club soda.
  4. Garnish with a lemon slice and cherry.

How to Present Classic American Cocktails for Independence Day

If you want to make the day even more special for your customers, you need to work on some aspects of your classic American cocktails. Here are some helpful tips to follow: 

  • Presentation: Use patriotic garnishes like red, white, and blue cocktail picks, fresh berries, or themed drink stirrers.
  • Batching: Prepare cocktails in large batches for ease of serving at parties, especially for drinks like the Old Fashioned, Mint Julep, and Tom Collins.
  • Variety: Offer a selection of these classic cocktails to cater to the different tastes and preferences of your guests.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Classic American Cocktails

If you want to learn more about the classic American cocktails you should serve on Independence Day, read our answers to the most frequently asked questions!

Can I Make a Manhattan with Bourbon Instead of Rye?

Yes! You can make a Manhattan with bourbon, which will result in a slightly sweeter and richer flavor compared to using rye whiskey. Both variations are popular and delicious.

Why Is the Sazerac Considered a New Orleans Classic?

The Sazerac is considered a New Orleans classic because it was invented there in the 19th century and showcases the city’s vibrant cocktail culture. Its use of local ingredients like Peychaud's bitters highlights its New Orleans roots.

Can a Whiskey Sour Include Egg White?

Yes! Some variations of the Whiskey Sour include egg white, which adds a creamy texture and a frothy top to the drink. It is shaken dry (without ice) first, then with ice.

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