Fourth of July celebrations and revellers along boardwalk. Photo: Matthew Micah Wright (Getty)
The Fourth of July is a special day for Americans. It’s the day we celebrate our independence by lighting up the night sky with all kinds of fireworks. But, it’s also a day filled with parties, shindigs, soirees, and get-togethers. A whole lot of anxiety and nervousness may come with it if you are the one throwing said party, but fear not. Your friends at Mandatory are here to help you throw that bash your friends and family will be talking about for years to come. Honestly, nobody is going to care about going to Uncle Frank’s lake house after they partake in the joy, merriment, and patriotism that will be in full force at your house.
In order to throw the most badass party, you’ll have to prepare a few things. We can’t really help you in terms of food. Burgers are usually a hit and you can’t go wrong with hot dogs, corn on the cob, and barbecue. However, we are all in when it comes to booze. Lucky for you, we’ve prepared a list of what you need to help your guests get their drink on. Check it all out below.
Premium Cocktail Mixers
Obviously, if you’re throwing a backyard party, you don’t need to hire a bartender or have years of experience creating elaborate cocktails. Your friends don’t want to stand around while you prepare a 15-ingredient drink. You do need high-quality mixers, though. The mixer makes up 70 percent of summer classics like Paloma, G&T or Moscow Mule. Try mixers from Brooklyn’s Q — Original Tonic, Indian Tonic, Grapefruit, Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer, Soda, and Kola. Carbonation levels are among the highest on the market. So high, in fact, that Q’s mixers are bottled in mini Champagne bottles. They’re sweetened with organic agave nectar, meaning they’re lower in calories and less-sweet, thus won’t overpower those great spirits you mix them with. Also, make sure to have simple syrup — you can make it at home easily — and a few different juices and sodas so your guests can prepare their own drinks.
A Few Good Bottles of Booze
There’s no doubt you could go the easy, cheap route and grab a bargain bottle of vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, and tequila. But are your friends going to be happy with that? Plus, they’ll remember the horrible hangover they got from your cheap spirits just as much as they’ll remember your award-winning taco dip. There’s really no reason you can’t set out a few higher-quality bottles. Quality eventually trumps quantity. Go for a lighter-bodied American gin like Brooklyn Gin or Bluecoat Gin, made in the birthplace of America’s independence, to make a great G&T. When it’s 95 degrees outside, you want something a little heavier on the citrus notes and lighter on the juniper. Grab a quality, but reasonably-priced, blanco like El Jimador, an orange liqueur and some limes. Then, you’ve got a margarita bar.
Pro tip: Bols has a wide range of flavored liqueurs at reasonable prices so you can play around with margaritas of different flavors. You can’t go wrong with a bottle of Ardbeg Ten Years Old to make smoky whisky sours or slow sipping. Don’t underestimate a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon either.
Spritz kit: Prosecco, Italian bitter liqueur, splash of soda – done. For the Italian bitter liqueur, try a new one: Galliano L’Aperitivo’s flavor profile lands right between Campari and Aperol — a little sweeter than Campari and a little more bitter than Aperol. It also comes in a pretty bottle.
Bartender’s secret ingredient: Every bartender has a secret ingredient they always have handy. For those who take their bloody mary, michelada, or dirty martini seriously, the secret is a bottled, premium olive juice like Dirty Sue. Created by a bartender for bartenders, Dirty Sue is twice filtered and adds a salty kick to these classic drinks.
Beer and Wine
No fourth of July party is complete without the right beer and wine choices. If you want to appeal to everyone, you can’t just buy super dry wine and bitter, hoppy IPAs. You can go ahead and throw in a juicy New England style IPA like Two Roads Two Juicy that should quench the thirst of even the most anti-IPA drinker at your party. Another great choice is a light, session beer like Founders All Day IPA or Victory Helles and a refreshing white wheat ale like UFO White. In terms of wine, there are many great canned wines on the market. One of the best is the Union Wine Company with its Rose, Pinot Gris, and The Bubbles.