Our Country Tis of Thee Best Drinks

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What better reason to throw a party than our nation’s birthday? You know, there’s a reason our Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in July … a backyard bash in Michigan would suck in February!

We charged our members to seek out drinks that will make your Independence Day party squeal with delight, like the sound of that bottle rocket your juvenile neighbors light off at 1:30 a.m.

And, while you wouldn’t necessarily find these drinks at the Kiddush Club (we’re a staid lot), we hope to score an invitation to your soiree so we can try them out. Forget the rockets’ red glare; we’ll expect some glazed-over red eyes after knocking back a few of these puppies … Happy Birthday, America!

CHERRY BOMB
Louis Pasteur might not approve, but the active ingredient in this drink will light up your night sky: 1 oz. Brandy, ½ oz. Triple Sec, 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp. grenadine, 4 ice cubes. Combine all ingredients in a shaker and get agitating. Strain into some swanky glasses, garnish with a maraschino cherry and serve.

FIRECRACKERS
With a nod of gratitude to our Southern neighbors, we suggest refraining from lighting this drink’s namesake for fear of injuring your mixing hand: 1½ oz. tequila, cracked ice, tonic water, lime wedge. Pour the tequila over the ice in a highball glass. Fill with tonic, stir and garnish with a lime wedge.

STAR-SPANGLED JELL-O SHOOTERS
Yes, we know many of our readers aren’t in college anymore, but that shouldn’t stop you from partying like a sophomore on occasion. How psyched will your guests be when you offer them Jell-O shots? Dare we say, “Very!”: 4-cup package of Jell-O, 2 cups of boiling water, 2 cups of vodka.

(Jell-O is a brand name but is not certified kosher. Kosher gelatin brands include Kojel and Kolatin. Any flavor vodka will do, but don’t exceed 100 proof.)

Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water and let it cool. Add the liquor. Pour about 1/8- to ¼-cup into little plastic cups and chill. We trust you can figure it out from here.

AMERICAN FLAG
Because the theme counts for this holiday, serve up some American Flags. When prepared properly, this shot will look red, white and blue. (And, if it doesn’t come out, it will still taste quite lovely!) It’s like a liquid chocolate-covered cherry: 1/3 cup of grenadine, 1/3 cup of Creme de Cacao, and 1/3 cup of Blue Curacao. Mix in the aforementioned order and drink up.

OLD GLORY
A variation of the previous offering, this drink should guarantee the color theme you may have missed before: ½ oz. grenadine syrup, ½ oz. vodka and ½ oz. Blue Curacao.

INDEPENDENCE DAY PUNCH
There’s something about a punchbowl that seems so nostalgically American, we couldn’t give you suggestions without including a classic punch recipe. Of course, this punch also packs one so keep those pesky kids away from this bowl:

26 oz. Rye, 2 bottles of sherry (Kedem and Tio Pepe are kosher), 3 bottles of ginger ale and 3 oranges, sliced.

Pour two bottles of ginger ale into a bundt pan and add two of the sliced oranges — freeze to use as an ice ring in the punchbowl, into which you’ve poured the Rye and sherry. (It won’t dilute the punch as it melts.) Add the third orange to the punch and have a good time.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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