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3 Festive Drinks for a Fun July 4th

Serve these red, white and blue concoctions spiked or virgin

By Bryce Kirchoff | July 14, 2014

Summer's here and the heat is on. Whether you're looking for refreshing drinks to share at a Fourth of July party this week or a cool cocktail any hot night, we have you covered. Here are three fresh ideas for summer beverages — each can be enjoyed with or without alcohol:




Red, White and Blueberry Spritzer


Why It's Great: With little to no added sugar, this refreshing favorite is low on unwanted calories while packing an antioxidant punch with seasonal berries.

Ingredients
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 2 c. strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • Sparkling water or lemon-lime soda, chilled

Instructions

Layer or mix blueberries and strawberries in a pitcher or individual glasses.
 
Top with sparkling water or white soda and serve.
 
For an added kick, include crushed ice and a splash of vodka or gin.

Serves: 4
 
(Recipe and photo courtesy of Culinary Hill)





Cherry Bombs


Why It's Great: Perfect for a large group. Prepare the mixture the day before, then serve — no need to be behind a blender all day.

Ingredients
  • 2 - 3 lbs. of bing cherries (pitted)
  • With alcohol: 1 liter of vodka (lime or cherry flavor if desired); Without alcohol: 1 liter of 100 percent pomegranate or cherry juice
  • Sparkling water or lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 2 - 3 c. of simple syrup
  • 2 c. of lime juice

Instructions

Combine cherries, vodka or fruit juice, simple syrup and lime juice in a large container and refrigerate overnight.

Ladle roughly 4 oz. of mixture (and a few cherries) into a glass filled with ice, then top with soda or sparkling water.
 
To create both an alcoholic and non-alcohilic version, combine half of the listed ingredients in two separate containers; add vodka to one and fruit juice to the other.

Serves: 20 - 22





Key Lime Cooler


Why It's Great: A mix between a piña colada and a margarita, this blended beverage has a sweet-tart tanginess.  

Ingredients
  • 2 c. coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tsp grated lime rind
  • ¼ c. lime juice
  • ¼ c. honey or agave nectar
  • 24 oz. key lime flavored yogurt (frozen)
  • 10 ice cubes
  • Rum (if desired)

Instructions

Combine coconut milk, lime rind, juice and sweetener in blender and process.

Add yogurt and blend.

Slowly add ice cubes and 4 oz. of rum (if desired), until smooth.

Serves: 3 - 4