Gindependence Day Cocktails for the Fourth of July

Image: Bluecoat American Dry Gin cocktails

Are you ready to celebrate the Fourth of July? We hope so since it’s less than a week away. To help give your cocktail menu and drink-based promotions a boost we’ve gathered four gin-based recipes. Why not make this Independence Day a Gindependence Day?

“But David – isn’t gin a British creation?” I can’t hear you asking because this is an article, not a face-to-face conversation. “How can we possibly celebrate our independence from the Redcoats with gin?”

First, you should switch to decaf, hypothetical outraged reader, for you are too wound up. Second, no, the British didn’t invent gin. Third, American distillers are producing some innovative styles of gin that act as counterpoints to traditional European offerings. It’s amazing, and it proves that we do more with spirits than make bourbon. Did we invent gin? No, we’re approaching it in true American style – we’re innovating and improving on it.

Depending on whom you choose to believe, the Dutch or the Italians began producing gin in the 17th century. It started off as so many things did way back then: medicine. To help the medicine go down in a more delightful way, the Dutch or Italians added juniper berries.

The British were introduced to gin during the Thirty Years’ War, contender for the Most Aptly Named Conflict Award, to keep them warm. Gin had found its way into pharmacies (“chemist shops” in British talk, whatever that language is called) already, but now returning troops were helping to make it more popular.

British gin was a bit rough at first, but King Charles I formed the Worshipful Company of Distillers (seriosuly) and the quality improved. King William III furthered King Charles I’s distillation agenda, with gin’s daily sales volume eventually outpacing that of beer and ale. No, I don’t have Technomic data from the 17th century to back that up; just take my word for it and please resist the urge to shout, “Fake news!” at me if you see me out and about. Gin was even given out as part of workers’ wages, showing that the British took to gin in a big way. It’s understandable, therefore, that people associate the spirit with England, home of some guy named William “Bill” Shakespeare.

However – and it’s a big however – the Craft Cocktail Movement, Craft Spirits Movement, and Cocktail Renaissance in America means we’re taking ownership of all sorts of spirits. This includes gin, and American craft producers are doing some amazing things with it.

Death’s Door gets their juniper berries from Washington Island and mixes them with fennel seeds and coriander; FEW Spirits in Chicago makes American Gin, which blends juniper berries with lemon peel and vanilla; and Berkshire Mountain Distillers located in Massachusetts (you know, where that whole Boston Tea Party thing happened) has two gins, Greylock Gin and the limited edition Ethereal batches.

All of this leads us to the following recipes, which feature Bluecoat American Dry Gin and Green Hat Distilled Gin. Bluecoat hails from Philadelphia, “the birthplace of America,” and produces two expressions that make use of 100% certified organic botanicals: American Dry Gin and Barrel Finished Gin. They also have the single greatest name for July Fourth celebrations, honoring those who served in the American militia during the Revolutionary War. Green Hat is located in Washington, DC, the capital of our incredible country. Does it get any more patriotic? I think not, so let’s make this 4th of July our Gindependence Day.

Cheers!

 

Gin Julep cocktail recipe from Bluecoat American Dry Gin - Fourth of July Gindependence Day recipes
 
Gin Julep

Recipe and image courtesy of Bluecoat American Dry Gin

  • 3 oz. Bluecoat American Dry Gin or Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin
  • 0.75 oz. Honey syrup
  • 6 to 8 Mint leaves

Add gin and syrup to a Julep cup and stir gently. Top with crushed ice and garnish with mint leaves.

 

Gin Old Fashioned cocktail recipe from Bluecoat American Dry Gin - Fourth of July Gindependence Day cocktails
 
Gin Old Fashioned

Recipe and image courtesy of Bluecoat American Dry Gin

  • 3 oz. Bluecoat American Dry Gin or Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin
  • 0.75 oz. Honey syrup
  • 2 dashes Bitters
  • Orange twist and Luxardo cherry for garnish

Fill a mixing glass with ice and add first three ingredients. Stir until chilled and pour into an Old Fashioned glass over a large block of ice. Garnish with the orange twist and Luxardo cherry.

 

The Income Tax cocktail recipe from Bluecoat American Dry Gin - Fourth of July Gindependence recipes
 
The Income Tax

Recipe and image courtesy of Bluecoat American Dry Gin

  • 1.75 oz. Bluecoat Barrel Finished Gin
  • 0.75 oz. Sweet vermouth
  • 0.75 oz. Dry vermouth
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Fill a cocktail shaker full of ice and add all ingredients. Shake vigorously. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an expressed orange peel.

 

Gin-dependence cocktail recipe from Red's Table - Fourth of July Gindependence cocktails

Gin-dependence

Recipe and image courtesy of Red’s Table

  • 2 oz. Green Hat Distilled Gin
  • 0.75 oz. Simple syrup
  • 1 oz. Lemon juice
  • 1 Egg white
  • Splash club soda
  • Blueberries and raspberries for garnish

Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker, and dry shake to emulsify. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice, top with a splash of club soda, and garnish with blueberries and raspberries.