When it comes to adult beverages for the Fourth of July, beer and perhaps a large bottle of Pinot Grigio used to do just fine. But now, cocktails are in vogue for all occasions, even a casual backyard cookout. And if you can add a few fresh fruits, vegetables or herbs, they’re even more fashionable. Try one or more of these refreshing cocktails to beat the heat in July.

  1. Roasted Cherry & Sage Lemonade Cocktail – Plan ahead to roast the cherries for this cocktail made with Sage, a garden gin from Art in the Age. If you can’t get that specific spirit, any good gin will work.
  2. Fennel-infused Watermelon Cooler – Make a cocktail for a crowd in a large mason jar with ingredients like pureed watermelon, vodka and a sliced fennel bulb. Start this one on July 3; it has to sit overnight.
  3. Mint and Cucumber Mmm Cocktail – Grab some mint and basil from the garden, tear a few cucumbers from the vine, and start building this refreshing vodka-based drink. I wonder if Prairie Organics Cucumber Vodka would work well in this?
  4. Peach Strawberry Bourbon Popsicle – Don’t let the kids near these pops! They’re for the adults only — a cocktail frozen on a stick. As the name suggests, these fruity pops contain bourbon. There are several grown-up popsicle ideas on the linked page. Scroll down a bit to find this specific one.
  5. Cucumber Dill Fizz – Fresh dill and cucumber are muddled together and topped with gin and tonic.
  6. Minty Lemon-cello – Fresh mint, fresh lemon juice, and limoncello combine to make a lemonade with a kick.
  7. The Unnamed Cocktail – I’m still looking for a name for this refreshing cocktail I created using homemade strawberry shrub, limoncello and vodka. Even without a name, it’s a perfect, refreshing, summer cocktail.

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