12 All-American Summer Drink Pairings
July 4th and all other patriotic celebrations are filled with red, white and blue and plenty of picnic foods. Make your 4th of July celebration a little more unique this year by incorporating any of the pairings below into your All-American festivities. These traditional summer food favorites couple perfectly with the American flag-themed drinks, the whole thing coming together in a distinctive red, white and blue package ideal for any USA celebration.
3 Red Patriotic Summer Drinks:
- Sandia Smash—watermelon chunks, ice, lime juice, agave nectar, elderflower liqueur and white tequila blend to make this red-colored summer drink hit. It is refreshing, light and perfect with heavier food items such as barbeque pork or chicken.
- Rum Swizzle—dark rum, amber rum, triple sec, lemon juice, pineapple juice, orange juice, simple sugar syrup, bitters and cracked ice combine to make this beverage. Add a splash of grenadine to turn it red, and enjoy it with a traditional 4th of July burger, club-style sandwich or any type of salty finger food.
- Strawberry Margarita—blend crushed ice, strawberries, tequila, lime juice, triple sec and simple syrup to make the perfect margarita, a delicious summer favorite that will go well with spicy dishes such as jalapeno poppers or buffalo wings.
3 Blue Patriotic Summer Drinks:
- The Blue Steel—made from golden rum, simple syrup, fresh lime and passion fruit juices, almond-flavored syrup, bitters, ice, blue curacao and orange and lime slices for garnish. Add extra blue curacao for a deeper blue appearance. It will pair well with anything tropical, like seafood skewers.
- Pacific Breeze—combine black currant vodka, lemonade, ice, blue curacao, mint sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish. The curacao helps this drink blend well with—and elevate—simple desserts like ice creams, whipped pies and any sweet items containing vanilla.
- Blue Cosmopolitan—mix Absolut Citron, white cranberry juice, blue curacao, lime juice and an orange peel to make a deliciously simple blue Cosmo. Sip on this beverage while consuming fruit skewers, vegetable kebabs, summer salads and trail mixes.
3 White Patriotic Summer Drinks:
- Horchata Milk Shake—a traditional favorite in Latin America, and paying homage to the mix of cultures that makes up our great country, this drink will bring a little ethnicity to your red, white and blue festivities. Mix long-grain white rice, water, cinnamon sticks, sliced almonds, ground cinnamon, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, banana, vanilla ice cream and ice in a blender. Drink it by itself as a dessert, or pair it with simple dishes such as a taco bar or traditional nachos.
- Pina Colada—ice, rum, coconut cream, coconut milk, pineapple chunks, sliced pineapple and a maraschino cherry make up this drink. Blend the ingredients together, and enjoy with burgers, brats and other summery favorite dishes. Best enjoyed on the beach, by a pool or on a boat while listening to a playlist of summer classics.
- Mojito Lemonade—you’ll need mint leaves and sprigs, limes cut into wedges, crushed ice, lime-mint syrup, white rum, lime juice, club soda, sugar, water and lime zest to create this crowd-pleasing favorite. Drink this summertime hit while munching on fresh vegetables, salads and other light-and-refreshing food items.
3 Red, White AND Blue Patriotic Summer Drinks:
- Red, White and Blue Daiquiris—the blue layer is made from a combination of ice, blue Alize, fresh lime juice, curacao liqueur, white rum and sugar. Red is made from ice, frozen strawberries, watermelon chunks, lime juice, white rum and sugar, and the white comes from a mix of coconut sorbet, rum, sugar and lime juice. When it is completed, one layer poured in at a time, the drink is super sweet and pairs perfectly with appetizers like queso blanco or fresh salsa and tortilla chips.
- Red, White and Blue Cocktails—make a favorite red beverage, such as a Red Cosmopolitan (see Blue Cosmopolitan above, and substitute grenadine or a splash of cranberry juice for the blue curacao). Next, run a lemon wedge around the edge of the rim of a martini glass, dip the glass in blue Tropical Punch Pop Rocks (or blue colored sugar). Pour the Red Cosmopolitan into the martini glass, and enjoy with any items that are lightly steamed, lightly breaded or just light in general.
- Non-Alcoholic Patriotic Drink for Kids (and Non-Drinkers)—perfect for children and non-drinkers alike, this red, white and blue beverage is a great patriotic treat. It contains cranberry juice, blue Gatorade sports drink, sugar-free lemon-lime soda (Sprite or 7-Up) and plenty of ice. Pour the cranberry juice first, followed by Gatorade and then the lemon-lime soda to make a red, white and blue flag-themed drink that will go well with absolutely any summer picnic favorite, especially burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fresh fruit and more.
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Shamara DeBow is the Sous Chef and Grade Manager at BG Events & Catering.