Toast the U.S.’s birthday with a celebratory spirit conceived by Northern Michigan’s craftiest mixologists. Our recipe contributors are Northern Michigan’s Red Hot Best bartender Jesse Bader from The Grand Hotel’s Gate House restaurant on Mackinac Island and Jacqui Herman from View at Traverse City’s Holiday Inn Resort.  Caution: these Northern Michigan 4th of July cocktails are tasty and overtly patriotic.

4th of July Bomb Pop, courtesy of Jesse Bader from the Gate House

This twist on the traditional Bomb Pop (inspired by the synonymous red, white and blue popsicle) is a flavor, color-coordinated drink.  The following recipe makes one 4.5-ounce drink.

  • 3/4 oz raspberry or dragon berry rum
  • 3/4 oz lemon-lime soda
  • Splash of sour mix
  • 1.5 oz blue curaçao
  • 1.5 oz Grenadine

Shake rum, soda and sour mix together with ice, and strain this ‘white’ into a rocks glass.  Carefully pour the blue curaçao into the glass by drizzling it onto an upturned spoon situated near the surface of the rum, soda and sour blend; the ‘blue’ should float above the white.  Lastly, pour the red grenadine along the inside edge of the glass; the grenadine will sink below the white, giving the drink a patriotic red, white and blue gradient.

Red, White and View, courtesy of Jacqui Herman of View

Another red, white and blue number, but this frozen drink is the perfect cocktail to enjoy during the 4th of July fireworks, Cherry Festival fireworks or the Blue Angel’s Air Show from the Holiday Inn’s deck or beach on West Grand Traverse Bay.  Learn more about their exclusive festival events at The following recipe makes one 16-ounce drink.

  • Large glass of ice
  • Strawberry daiquiri mix
  • 1.5 oz coconut rum
  • Piña colada mix
  • Blue curaçao
  • Cherry for garnish
  • Sparkler for garnish (optional)

Add half of ice, half of rum, and 6 to 8 ounces of daiquiri mix to blender and blend.  Pour into chilled glass and set aside.  Rinse blender, then add the remaining ice, remaining rum, and 6 to 8 ounces of piña colada mix to blender and blend.  Pour gently over daiquiri mix, leaving 1/2″ at top of glass.  Top with blue curaçao, a cherry, an ignited sparkler.  Wait for sparkler to burn off before enjoying!

Traverse City Sangria, courtesy of Jesse Bader from the Gate House

A traditional, thirst-quenching sangria featuring ingredients found only in Northern Michigan.

  • Blueberries, raspberries, limes and cherries
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1 bottle cherry wine from one of many Northern Michigan wineries
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate liqueur
  • Soda water and lemon-lime soda

Muddle fruit in simple syrup.  Combine fruit and syrup, wine Grand Marnier and pomegranate liqueur to a large pitcher and store for 2 hours (or up to 2 days).  Serve over ice, and top with soda water and lemon-lime soda to finish.

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