hot dogs on a table

Make Way for Fourth of July

Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is here. Bartender Chris Cardone shows you how to shake things up for 4th of July with two new cocktails filled with plenty of star-spangled spirit and that pair perfectly with whatever is on the grill.


Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes


The Fourth of July

Is also called Independence Day in the United States of America, is the annual celebration of the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the first Continental Congress on July 4, in the year 1776.

The Continental Congress was the original body of delegates that spoke for and acted on the behalf of the people in the colony-states that later became the United States. This was before the two-party political system was put into place and was much more a group of delegates trying to work towards releasing the colonies from the control of the British government. 

The Declaration of Independence was the announcement of the separation of the 13 original colonies from the control of the British government. A unanimous vote of 12 colonies (New York abstained) was that they should be “free and independent states.”

Although the Declaration of Independence was actually drafted on July 2, it wasn’t completed until two days later. The original author most famous for drafting the majority of the document was Thomas Jefferson, however, there were other consulting members that helped finalize the draft, such as John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and a few others.

During the early years of the new republic, Independence Day was celebrated with parades, parties, and toasts that celebrated the existence of the new United States. These rites played an equally important role in the evolving federal political system. With the rise of informal political parties, they provided events and festivals for leaders and their constituents to tie local and national contests to independence and the important issues, new and old, facing the new nation.

Over the years, the Fourth of July has emerged as a major midsummer holiday and tradition. During the late 20th century, although it remained a national holiday marked by parades, concerts of patriotic music, and fireworks displays, Independence Day declined in importance as a day focused on politics. It remains an important symbol of national power and specifically American qualities—including, but not limited to, the ability to stay at home, hosting friends and family with a barbecue, and spending some time in the pool or at the beach.

On the Fourth of July, people across America will be firing up their grills and filling their neighborhoods with the delicious smell of grilled meats and vegetables. Nearly eight in ten Americans attend a picnic or barbecue, which is considered the most popular Fourth of July activity. Even Thomas Jefferson hosted a barbecue dinner in Paris for expatriate Americans way back on July 4, 1789, shortly before the French Revolution.

A summer tradition and maybe an obsession for many is to cook our meat outdoors on a grill.  Brisket, beef ribs, and baby back pork ribs are the mainstays of barbecue here in the U.S., but of course, chicken is on the grill as well.   Hot dogs, covered in any possible condiment, and hamburgers are also extremely popular foods hitting grills all over the country.  

In addition to the grill, sides are also a must-have at any great BBQ; for example, potato salad, corn on the cob, baked beans, deviled eggs, buttermilk biscuits, watermelon, pies, cobblers, and of course, ice cream all make appearances at a well thought out and executed barbecue. 


So, when constructing my first cocktail for the Fourth of July, I wanted to use the flavors of watermelon and the herbaceous notes in green Chartreuse to help this cocktail pair with some BBQ chicken or ribs. The juniper and licorice notes from Tanqueray Ten will allow the cocktail to hold up against all the strong flavors that grilled food (see the Mayard Reaction) will bring to the table, so to speak. The citrus heart, specifically lime, orange, and grapefruit will add a zesty citrus to the cocktail that will also pair wonderfully with grilled meats. Lastly, the serrano tincture will bring a subtle back note of spice to a cocktail that otherwise might be a touch too sweet without it. Plus, who doesn’t a like a slightly spicy cocktail on a hot summer day?