The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate backyard barbecues, patriotic traditions and fine spirits. Like any American holiday, it's a wonderful feeling to kick back, enjoy the day off and let someone else do the work for a change — especially when it comes to making a drink.
We all know a great Fourth of July cocktail when we see one. They come in towering, skinny glasses, saturated in red, white and blue syrups with corny-but-adorable toothpick flags. A few Austin bars and restaurants have incorporated special Fourth of July cocktails into their menus to celebrate both independence and the right to boozy libations. Here are some patriotic concoctions worth checking out.
Drink.Well. Drink.Well. is featuring a chalkboard special called the New England Smash ($9). The drink is made with American rye whiskey, seasonal mixed berries, fresh lemon juice, vanilla syrup and Bittermens Spiced Cranberry Bitters.
Flat Top Burger Shop. Flat Top has crafted a rouge libation entitled Sweet Sparkler ($8). The popular burger joint received its TABC license just a few weeks ago, but is already mixing and mastering a selection of boozy drinks for Austinites to check out. "This drink was something that we came up with after many attempts at a 'patriotic cocktail,'" Flat Top manager Neil Rubenstein says. "A little girl came into the restaurant with blue pop rocks one day, and that sparked an idea that eventually turned into the Sweet Sparkler."
The Flat Top drink is made with vodka, cranberry juice, lemonade, triple sec, lime juice and Tropical Blue Pop Rocks that line the rim of the glass.
Z'Tejas. Z'Tejas is featuring a vibrant watermelon libation called My Summer Crush ($7.95). "The My Summer Crush is a perfect summertime cocktail; it uses fresh watermelon, which in my opinion represents one of the best summer flavors. And with the tequila, lime and citrus and ginger liqueurs, you have a great cocktail for sipping on a patio," says Melanie Moore, bartender at Z'Tejas. The drink is made with 1800 Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, Domaine de Canton, lime juice, fresh watermelon and black sea salt.
For all those watching their waistlines, fear not: The drink has no added sugars or artificial flavors, so it's under 250 calories.
Mettle. Bridget Dunlap's new East Side restaurant Mettle has cleverly created the Spicy Cherry Lemonade ($10) – a blend of habanero-infused Tito's vodka and fresh lemonade with a splash of cherry bitters. "What's more American than a freshly squeezed lemonade? We wanted to make the perfect 'patio-sipper' to hold onto while barbecuing in the yard or sitting by the pool," Mike McMillan, bar manager, says.
The Bonneville. For the Fourth of July, The Bonneville has put together a rather unconventional beverage: the Peach and Blackberry Cobbler. "Peaches, to me, mean summertime, and the ones that we're getting from Fredericksburg are delicious. The combination of Firestone & Robertson TXBlended Whiskey really works. It's exactly what you want to be drinking at your Fourth of July barbecue," says Chris Dalaku, bar manager of The Bonneville.
The drink is made with Firestone & Robertson TX Blended Whiskey, Fredericksburg peaches, local blackberries, a raw sugar cube and Licor 43.
Salty Sow. Salty Sow’s Blue Sow ($8) is anything but traditional. The drink's base is Tito’s Vodka, but is finished off with a blue cheese-stuffed pickled okra. No, we're not kidding...