Beverages for El Quatro de Julio

What happened to June? Anyway, the Fourth of July is around the corner and I decided to post a few recommendations for libations this holiday.

Not much can beat cold beer, barbecue and blowing shit up on the day we solemnly remember the founding fathers and their bravery, but everyone can use a little dose of variety in life.

Sparkling Dutch Red Sangria


For something a little sophisticated, try this Sangria mix. Sangria, a heady punch mixture of fruit and wine is great for parties, but it can sneak up on you. Be sure to use a premium Champagne for this recipe.

1 bottle Dry red wine

3 oz Orange Liqueur

3 oz Van Gogh Pomegranate Vodka

6 oz Grenadine

½ bottle Pomegranate juice

½ bottle Pommery Brut Royal Champagne

1 sliced Orange

Cinnamon sticks

Combine the first five ingredients. Add Champagne and give a quick stir.  Pour mixture over ice and add slices of orange. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick.

The Grateful Dead


My friend John was recently regaling me with tales of The Grateful Dead variation of the Long Island Ice Tea. (Trouble … only trouble.) Not a big fan of the band, but I got to say I think this cocktail could really liven any party up.

1 dash Chambord

2 oz sweet and sour mix

1/2 oz triple sec

1/2 oz tequila

1/2 oz rum

1/2 oz gin

1/2 oz vodka

Pour the ingredients into a Collins glass as listed.

A red, white and blue shot


You’re not going to wow everyone with the taste of this cocktail, but the presentation of a shot in good old red, white and blue will make everyone holler and forget about the fact that we lost to Ghana in the World Cup.

1/3 oz blue curacao
1/3 oz grenadine
1/3 oz peach schnapps
Pour each ingredient on top of each other using the back side of spoon to layer the liqueurs. Start with the grenadine and then the schnapps followed by the blue curacao.
Beer recommendation:
Laqunitas Dogtown Pale Ale. This brew has a light body to placate the lite beer drinkers at your party but with an excellent balance and pleasantly powerful hop presence to impress your beer snob buddies. Take a virtual tasting here.
Wine recommendation:
Indulge a little boasting here, but I’ve got to pick the 2009 Starmont Sauvignon Blanc, a wine that I helped make during last harvest. It’s not just my opinion this wine is good, read the recommendation by the esteemed wine writers of the SF Chronicle. “Full, powerful flavors of nectarine and Meyer lemon are edged by a subtle grassy, stony bite. Juicy and generous, with fruit that carries through.”

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