Make the 4th of July Work for You

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The All-American Beauty vodka-based cocktail.

The 4th of July is fast approaching! Do you have your food and beverage menus, entertainment and promotions lined up? Here are some tips and cocktail recipes to get help you out.

Food

With very few exceptions, the mention of the 4th of July makes most people think of hamburgers and hot dogs. Yes, the 4th is a drinking holiday for many but it’s also a big-time barbecue holiday. People all across the country will be planning on either firing up their grills or finding somewhere to party that will have copious amounts of grilled foods available. If you want to succeed on the Fourth it’s imperative that you have food to offer your customers.

If you want your bar to be a go-to July 4th destination, you must understand that this is a holiday every bit about certain foods as it is about alcohol, socializing and celebrating. People tend to search out venues and locations that will give them access to great eats. If you have a kitchen, plan on offering the staples of this great holiday: hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken wings, chicken fingers, cole slaw… If you don’t have the ability to cook food, team up with a neighborhood restaurant that can crank out great barbecue. You can also collaborate with food trucks to draw a crowd. Whatever option you choose, hit social media and have your staff spread the word that you’ll have food on the Fourth.

Fun

This is a celebration! Our great country declared its independence  from Great Britain 239 years ago! Food and beverages are incredibly important but so is entertainment. Dive into your contacts lists, team up with your promoters, find out what your guests want… Whatever it takes, book some bands, DJs or special guests for your July 4th promotion. EDM venue? Now’s the time to book the biggest, most high-energy names you can afford. High-end whiskey bar? Bring in a brand ambassador, whiskey master or distiller to do a big toast to our independence. Country bar? You know exactly what to do…

Keep your guests fed and keep them having fun.

Fireworks

It’s the Fourth – like New Year’s Eve, people expect fireworks. If it’s legal and you can pull it off safely, consider a fireworks display and bringing in a pyrotechnics company. Nothing works much better than a brilliant, explosive fireworks display to re-energize a crowd that has been eating and drinking all day. If hiring your own pyrotechnics display isn’t within your budget or simply doesn’t appeal to you and you have an outdoor area, know where and when fireworks displays will be popping off and inform your guests. If outdoor seating is at a premium, raffle off or simply sell off exclusive seating for fireworks viewing. Just remember that safety is the key here.

Fluids

Get your beer ice cold, stock up on bourbon, rye, sour mash and Fireball and have water readily available. If you’re operating a wine bar, have plenty of rosé, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc on hand. Should you be a wine bar offering barbecue, load up on red zinfandel.

You should definitely be offering beer, beertail, whiskey cocktail, shot and Jell-O shot (red, white and blue, of course) specials. Put your head together with your bar staff to come up with a fun and inventive – and tempting – 4th of July cocktail menu. Work with your distributors and, should you have one, social media manager to get the word out about your Independence Day promotions. You know what your guests like to drink so stock up on it and get creative with their favorite beers, spirits and wines.

A few excellent cocktail choices are the vodka-based All-American Beauty, UV Blue and sherbet Life and Liberty, whiskey and ginger beer Fire in the Sky, Rhumbar's red, white and blue Patriot and 38th Floor's bourbon-based Golden Gate.