The right cocktails can take any party to the next level. The Fourth of July holiday weekend is just around the corner and is sure to be filled with cookouts, swimming, fireworks, and of course some fun, festive cocktails to keep the soiree rolling. I’ve picked out some of my favorite Summertime libations for you to try, so channel your inner mixologist and get ready to impress your friends. Cheers!


Cava Sangria, from Bon Appetit Magazine (bonappetit.com)


Ingredients 

  • 1 orange, preferably blood or Cara Cara, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 750-ml bottle chilled brut cava

Ingredient Info:
  • Rose water is available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Middle Eastern markets.
Preparation
  • Using a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon, mash first 3 ingredients in a large pitcher. Add cava; stir gently to combine.
  • Fill wine glasses with ice. Divide sangria among glasses.

Sangria is one of my favorite summer drinks, and it’s perfect for sharing! Make a few pitchers ahead of time and you’re all set for the rest of the party. I especially love this Cava Sangria because the fresh blood oranges and rose water make for a truly unique and delicious flavor.



Blueberry Mojito

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ ounces light rum
  • 8 mint sprigs
  • 8 fresh blueberries
  • ½ a lime, cut in four wedges
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Club soda

Muddle mint, blueberries, 3 lime wedges and sugar in a tall glass. Fill glass with ice, add rum, and top with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint and remaining lime wedge.

For all you health-conscious people out there, I suggest using an organic rum, such as Papagayo Organic White Rum (http://papagayorums.com/). Papagayo is a made in Paraguay and is USDA Certified Organic, as well as Fair Trade Certified. Pretty cool!


Another delicious variation on the classic Mojito is a Strawberry Mojito. Replace the blueberries with 3 large strawberries, 2 of them muddled in the drink, and the third as a garnish. Side-by-side, the Blueberry Mojito and Strawberry Mojito make a festive and tasty July Fourth duo.