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Independence Day – We’ve Got You Covered!

June 29, 2017 – The Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday this year but we’re still going to party like we’re 241 years old, because we are.  If it’s hot and sticky, just think of how it was in 1776 in Philadelphia in a room without air conditioning and those clothes and wigs the Founders were wearing.  Not only do we have air conditioning, we have better drinks and we’re sharing a whole lot of terrific recipes right here.  They are mostly fairly simple and based on liquor and flavorings you probably already have on hand.  After all, it’s a holiday and the host and hostess want to party too.

There’s one group of Americans that deserves to be remembered on Independence Day and that’s our veterans.   Our Sangria recipe does just that.  More about that in a minute.  Make it for sipping as you barbecue at home or over a campfire and try our super easy grilled chicken and S’mores recipes.

Next we’ve got you covered with a selection of easy breezy cocktails using rum, gin, whiskey (American) and whisky, the Scottish kind, vodka, mezcal and various liqueurs, aperitifs, wine and sparkling sake (which you probably don’t have in your liquor cabinet but is available at BevMo). A big bowl of punch makes entertaining easy so we have a special recipe that includes banana flavored rum and whipped coconut cream.  Sounds yummy.

Then there’re cocktails made with beer, in this case Sam Adams Summer Ale so we call them Ale-tails.

Finally, we have two cooling ice pops that can be made for grown-ups with the addition of Patron tequila.

Let’s get started!



The following recipe for Classic Red Sangria made with Riunite Lambrusco means $1 of every bottle sold until Independence Day will benefit Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) –

Ruinite, imported by Banfi, is the number one imported red wine in the United States.  Now in its fifth year, Banfi’s partnership with TAPS helps provide peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, connections to community-based care, casualty casework assistance, and a 24/7 resource and information help line for those who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces.

Scroll down for the Garlic and Basil Chicken with Tomato Mozzarella Salad recipe followed by Dark Chocolate Coconut S’mores and you have a complete package for a feast.


Classic Red Sangria

Serve as an aperitif and buy an extra bottle of the Riunite Lambrusco to enjoy with the meal.  An extra dollar goes to TAPS.

1 750ml bottle of Riunite Lambrusco
1 lemon, 1 orange, 1 peach, 1 ripe green apple, sliced
½ cup Orange juice
¼ cup Brandy (optional)
¼ cup Triple Sec
1 can of lemon-lime soda

Method:  Combine the sliced fruit, brandy and triple sec in a pitcher. Add Riunite Lambrusco, orange juice and lemon-lime soda. If you are having a picnic, pre-mix in a big plastic container with a lid.  Just hold the can of lemon-lime soda until ready to serve.


Garlic and Basil Chicken with Tomato Mozzarella Salad

1 whole chicken, cut up
½ cup fresh basil leaves
5 large cloves of garlic
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls
12 ounces assorted grape and cherry tomatoes


  • Rinse the chicken and place it into a large bowl or zip closure bag. Mince the basil leaves, reserving 4-5 for the salad, and crush the garlic and place into the bag or bowl. Add in ½ cup olive oil, salt and pepper to the chicken. Toss the ingredients well to coat the chicken and allow the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Heat a grill or campfire to medium-high heat. Place the chicken onto a clean grate and cook for 35-45 minutes, flipping chicken throughout the cooking process.
  • While the chicken is cooking, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, remaining olive oil, basil and salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Serve the chicken with the tomato mozzarella salad. Serves 4


Dark Chocolate Coconut S’mores

12 large marshmallows
24 coconut flavored shortbreads or wafer cookies
4 ounces dark chocolate with almonds, divided
½ cup toasted coconut


  • Thread the marshmallows onto wooden or metal skewers and toast until they reach a desired color.
  • Place 1 marshmallow on the backside of 1 cookie. Divide the chocolate between the 12 marshmallows and cookies.
  • Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top of the chocolate and marshmallow and top with cookie. Lightly press the two cookies together to form the S’more. Serves 6




Q Club Aperol Spritz

1 part Aperol
2 parts Sparkling white wine
3 parts Q Club Soda

Method:  Build cocktail over ice in a tall Collins glass or white wine glass. Garnish with an orange twist.





Sailor Jerry Cherry*

1 ½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
3 parts Q Ginger Beer
1 cherry
2 dashes of cherry bitters

Method:  Build Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and Q Ginger Beer over ice, top w dashes of Cherry bitters. Garnish with a cherry.  

* Check out Sailor Jerry’s BBQ advice, Spiced Rum BBQ Sauce recipe and Dog Bites recipe.




Hudson’s Dirty Boots

1 ½ parts Hudson New York Corn Whiskey
1 part Coconut water
¾ part Orgeat syrup
½ part Lime juice
2 dashes Aromatic bitters to taste

Method:  Add ingredients to a shaker, then add ice, shake vigorously to chill, then strain over cracked/pebble ice in a Collins/tall glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.




Monkey Jam Sour

1 part fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons your favorite jam
1 ½ parts Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky
½ part Simple syrup
1 dash orange bitters
½ part soda water

Method:  Combine the lemon juice and the jam in a jar. Shake vigorously until mixed. Pour the jam mixture, whisky, simple syrup, and bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for a minute. Strain over fresh ice cubes in a tall glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge and serve.



Montelobos Oaxacan Julep

2 parts Montelobos Mezcal
½ parts Fernet Branca
½ part Earl Grey ginger tea syrup
½ part Water
4-6 Mint leaves

Method:  Combine all ingredients in a Boston shaker. Shake and strain over crushed ice in a clay jarrito or julep cup. Garnish with ginger candy and a mint sprig.



Drambuie Mojito

½ parts Drambuie
¾ parts Lime juice
1 part Club soda
½ part Simple syrup
1 part White rum
10 Mint leaves

Method:  Put all ingredients EXCEPT soda into glass, gently muddle the mint. Fill the glass with crushed ice, top with soda water and churn briskly with a bar spoon. Garnish with a sprig of mint.


Getting Jiggle With It

Created by Cody Goldstein, The Fat Monk
- New York

1.25 oz Jägermeister
1.5 oz Fresh pineapple juice
1 oz Simple syrup
.75 oz Elderflower
.50 oz Fresh lemon
.25 oz Aperol
1 cup of Cantaloupe, sliced

Method: Combine all ingredients into a blender with 4 ice cubes. Blend for 10 seconds and strain into a Jell-O Lime Cup.


Nolet’s Silver Watermelon Sparkler

1 oz Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
1 oz Sparkling Sake
.5 oz Fresh lemon juice
.5 oz Agave Nectar
3” Watermelon square

Method: Muddle watermelon with Nolet’s Silver, lemon juice and agave nectar in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake and strain into a port glass. Top with chilled sparkling sake and stir. Garnish with a watermelon sphere.




Nolet’s English Garden

2 oz Nolet’s Silver Dry Gin
.5 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
.5 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth

Method:  Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir until frosted. Strain into coup. Garnish with rose petal and drops of rose water.





Truly Sicilian Spritz

Created by Natasha David, Nitecap – New York
4 oz Truly Blood Orange

2 oz Pinot Grigio (or any other dry white wine)
.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Method: Combine all ingredients in a wine glass with ice and stir for 10 seconds. Garnish with a Blood Orange Slice.




Firecracker Martini

3 parts elit Vodka
Garnish of raspberry, blueberry and pearl onion

Method: Pour elit into a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a raspberry, blueberry and pearl onion.






elit Mint Lemonade

Created by Nola Woodall, Sweetwater Social – New York

2 parts elit Vodka
¾ parts Fresh Lemon Juice
¾ parts Simple Syrup
Mint sprigs

Method: Combine elit, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and three mint leaves in a rocks glass. Fill glass with crushed or pebble ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.




Bacardi Tropical Rum Punch

8 parts Bacardi Banana
4.5 parts Bacardi Superior
4 parts Coconut cream – Whisked
5 parts Orange juice
4 parts Lemon juice
3 parts Simple Syrup

Method: Add all ingredients into a punch bowl with an ice block. Garnish with orange slices.




Summer Ale Spritz

1 bottle of Sam Adams Summer Ale
1 oz Rosemary syrup*
1 oz Lemon juice
0.75 oz Aperol
Rosemary sprig

Method: Add Sam Adams Summer Ale, rosemary syrup, lemon juice and ice in a blender. Blend ingredients. Pour in a tall beer glass and top with an Aperol float. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.


*Rosemary Syrup: In a saucepan, put 250 ml sugar and 250 ml of water. Add a handful of rosemary and cook on high for 7 minutes, while stirring the sugar to dissolve. After 7 minutes, let it cool for another 7 minutes and then strain.  Note – 250 ml is about 8 ounces.


Wet Hot American Summer Ale-tail

3 oz Sam Adams Summer Ale
1.5 oz Mezcal (preferably Del Maguey Vida Mezcal)
.75 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Ginger Syrup (Can be substituted for simple syrup)
1 whole strawberry

2 slices of Jalapeño

Method: In a shaker, muddle the Strawberry and Jalapeño slices. Add the rest of the ingredients. Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass with ice. Top with 3 oz of Sam Adams Summer Ale. Garnish with a Lime wedge.




Cucumber Coconut Lime Ice Pop

(Makes about 12 Pops)

12 oz organic coconut water
9 oz organic coconut milk
1 Cucumber – peeled and seeded
1 cup Pineapple chunks
3 oz Lime juice
4 oz Orange juice
5 oz Simple syrup (recipe below)

Pinch of salt


– Add your favorite Patrón Tequila for a fun twist.
– Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into popsicle molds, place the sticks in the popsicles and freeze overnight.
– Simple Syrup*
  In a small saucepan, bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil; simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.


Blackberry Apricot Basil Ice Pop

(Makes about 12 pops)

12 oz container of blackberries
4 Apricots – skinned and pitted
4 Basil leaves
1 cup water
1/2 c. Simple syrup
pinch of salt



– Add your favorite Patrón Tequila for a fun twist.
– Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then pour into popsicle molds, place the sticks in the popsicles and freeze overnight.