Friday, June 19, 2009

Cocktails for Independence Day

You Must be Joking
One of the consequences of being a cocktail blogger is that I receive press releases from PR people for lots of other spirit companies - several a week. And often they are for companies that only make products in the same categories that we do. It's not like I hide who I am or what I do for a living. Do they really think I'm going to write about that Russian vodka? At least I know what they're up to, I guess.

This week, I've received several with ridiculous suggestions for cocktails for the 4th of July holiday. In every single case, they suggest that we use an imported spirit for the cocktail. Really, for the celebration of American Independence? We should use imported vodka (from Poland, or even (gasp) England?), tequila, gin (from England again), or absinthe (France)?

What to Do, What to Do

I think a proper 4th of July cocktail should be made with an American-made spirit, perhaps influenced by what was popular back then. For what was popular back in the day, I'd go with RUM. A great American-made rum. I'm reading And a Bottle of Rum right now, so I've definitely got rum on the brain - and I know it was quite popular in that era, although it became scarcer once Britain stopped letting us import molasses from the islands.

As for other ingredients, I'll probably use what's in season, and what is common to the USA. Or maybe I'll go Tiki - an American phenomenon, after all. Or maybe back to cocktails from the 1770's, or with an American whiskey drink? Next week I'll report with some recipes for 4th of July.

In the meantime, anyone have any suggestions or ideas of what you'll be drinking on the 4th of July? Please share - as long as it doesn't call for tequila or imported vodka.


Stevi Deter said...

To date, my favorite example of Unclear on the Concept comes from walking by a bar advertising that its St. Patrick's Day special was...Bass Ale.

~Sonja~ said...

Exactly! That is a good one - unfortunately I fear it still happens with some frequency.

Mike Ryan said...

I dig the old-school rum thing. I've also been thinking about rye whiskey, or even white whiskey (white dog.) Something strong and fierce, to get the job done.

Tekstone said...

i have been really liking the combination of gold rum and bourbon (America's current national spirit of course). somehow the two really work symbiotically together. here's a couple specifics:

235. The Rioviper
1 oz Bourbon
1 oz Gold Rum
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1 oz Lime Juice
1 Tbs Marasque Sour Cherry Preserves
1 Egg White
Combine all ingredients and shake hard with ice. Double strain into a chilled champagne coupe. No garnish.

236. The Sasha Sour
1 oz Bourbon
1 oz Gold Rum
3/4 oz Canton Ginger
3/4 oz Tuaca
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
splash Simple syrup depending on tartness of lemons
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Mix all, shake w/ ice & strain.

cheers! from Alex Smith, bar manager Ramblas & Thirsty Bear, SF, CA

~Sonja~ said...

Thanks Alex, those both sound great - I'll give them a go this week! Cheers.

.o. said...

Well, if you're going to be mining history for your Independence Day-inspired cocktails, I might shy away from rum - it's too closely intertwined with slavery at that point in history. Plus it was made from imported molasses. Sure it could be distilled in America, but that's only a marginal improvement over using foreign spirits, hardly truly American-made. Now applejack - there's a true American colonial hooch. George Washington himself was a big fan. That's what I'll be sipping on the Fourth myself. Or rye. Or both.

Regardless of what you use, have a good Fourth.