11 Most Patriotic Cocktails From America’s History

Font Size:

The Fourth of July is right around the corner. The one day a year where every American should take time off to celebrate the red, white and blue. This means patriotic face paint, hot dogs, potato salad and — everyone’s favorite — boozing (responsibly, of course). So in honor of our great nation’s history, here are 11 historic, all-American drinks The Daily Caller recommends this holiday weekend.

No. 11: Breakfast Old Fashioned 


Breakfast Old Fashioned [Source: Wikimedia Commons]

This variation of the classic Old Fashioned is a Daily Caller exclusive. The perfect cocktail for waking up and starting Fourth of July festivities. After all, what’s more American than bourbon and maple syrup?

What To Do: Muddle together 1/2 oz of maple syrup, a twist of grapefruit and 3 dashes of grapefruit bitters. Stir in 2 oz of bourbon whiskey and add ice. 


No. 10: Phipps Fizz

Phipps Fizz

Phipps Fizz [Source: Regatta Ginger Beer website]

The Phipps Fizz is another under-the-radar All-American cocktail we recommend this Independence Day. Rye whiskey production dates back to the 18th century in the colonial Northeast, particularly in Pittsburgh. With a combination of this Prohibition-surviving whiskey and carbonated ginger beer, this fizzy cocktail is great for cleansing your palette between 4th of July meals.

What To Do: Combine 2 oz American rye whiskey, 1/2 oz lemon juice and a dash of Angostura bitters. Pour over ice, then top off with ginger beer. 


No. 9: Cape Codder

Cape Codder

Cape Codder [Source: Ocean Spray website]

In the early 1940s, Ocean Spray inaugurated this refreshing summer cocktail to promote cranberry juice cocktail, originally calling it “The Red Devil.” Cape Cod, being one of the initial points of settlement for colonial pilgrims in America and still known for its cranberry cultivation, soon became the namesake of this refreshing summer-day drink.

What To Do: Combine 2 oz of vodka and 4 oz of cranberry juice. Pour over ice and garnish with lime. (For an even more refreshing taste, top it off with soda water!) 


No. 8: Apple Pie Punch

Apple Pie Cocktail

Apple Pie Punch [Source: YouTube, AllRecipes]

This summer drink is about “as American as apple pie” and perfect for gathering to drink in large groups. This patriotic beverage is a combination America’s favorite pre-colonial dessert and American rum made famous by the 16th-19th century Triangle Trade in which Africa exported slaves to South America, South America exported sugar and molasses to New England, and New England used those resources to make rum. On top of that, the earliest American politicians would lure voters to to the polls using punch — particularly our founding president and king of the rum punch, George Washington!

What To Do: Blend together 2 cups apple cider, 4 oz Captain Morgan rum, 2 oz Fireball whiskey. Serve over ice and garnish with slices of red apple. 


No. 7: Applejack 


Applejack [Source: Laird & Company Applejack website

Originally called “Jersey Lightning,” this apple cooler was used as currency in colonial New Jersey to pay off the crews of men who built the city roads. Although it was historically made by concentrating cider, this American cocktail is now made by mixing different spirits and is yet another good and historic Fourth of July drink.

What To Do: Stir 1/2 tsp. sugar, 2 dashes of bitters and a splash of club soda until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in ice and 1 1/2 oz. Laird’s AppleJack, then garnish with an apple slice and a cherry.

No. 6: Boilermaker


Boilermaker [Source: Wikimedia Commons]

The boilermaker is another American classic derived from the popular post-work drink for 19th century locomotive engineers. After a long day building steam-engines, workers would hit the bar for a shot of whiskey followed by a beer. Now at some places in Boston, you can order a shot of whiskey and the bartender will give you a beer on the house. Now what American doesn’t enjoy a good beer on the house?

What To Do: Pour a shot of whiskey and a glass of beer. Shoot the whiskey in one gulp then chase it with the beer. 


No. 5: Mint Julep


Mint Julep

Mint Julep [Source: Wikimedia Commons]

This cool, summer refresher is the quintessential Southern cocktail, hailing from Kentucky as the poster drink for the Kentucky Derby. The cocktail was first brought to Washington D.C. by Kentucky Sen. Henry Clay who taught the bartenders at the Round Robin Bar in the Willard Hotel, his longtime residence, how to mix it up. If your holiday is particularly hot, we recommend this cocktail — but make sure you serve it in a silver cup!

What To Do: Muddle together 4 mint leaves, 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar and 2 tsp. of water. Add ice then pour in 2 oz. of bourbon whiskey. Garnish with mint. 


No. 4: Old Fashioned


Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned [Source: Wikimedia Commons]

This All-American cocktail got its title during the late 19th century when an 1882 Chicago Daily Tribune cited a bartender saying the most in-vogue drink was an “old-fashioned” cocktail. The name “Old Fashioned” spread to gentlemen’s clubs all over the South until it was a national phenomenon. During the U.S. Prohibition, whiskey was often made in bathtubs — it was so bad that bartenders compensated for the taste and altered the recipe for this famous drink. If you are drinking an Old Fashioned with a maraschino cherry, rethink your life decisions, because you are drinking the version that Old Fashioned-loving Americans had to settle for during the Prohibition.

What To Do: Muddle together 1 oz. sugar, a twist of orange, and angostura bitters. Add 2 oz of bourbon whiskey and pour over ice. 

No. 3: Manhattan



Manhattan [Source: YouTube, Liquor.com]

Want to make your dreams of living in Mad Men a reality? Mix up a Manhattan this weekend! This American cocktail originated in the 1970s at the Manhattan Club in New York City. It was invented for a banquet that Jennie Jerome (Winston Churchill’s mother) was hosting for then-presidential candidate, Samuel J. Tilden. The drink was then and continues to be wildly popular among Americans in and out of Manhattan!

What To Do: Stir 2 oz American rye whiskey (or bourbon), 5 oz sweet vermouth and 1 dash angostura bitters over ice. Strain it into a martini glass and garnish with a cherry. 


No. 2: Sazerac



Sazerac [Source: Wikimedia Commons]

Another American original, this classic is rumored to be the first cocktail in all history. It hails from the French-influenced South where a New Orleans coffee house owner sold his business to begin importing liquor. Upon receiving a French cognac called “Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils,” this southern gentleman mixed up the first Sazerac cocktail and eventually changed the name of his trading post to “Sazerac Coffee House.” Eventually we had to alter the recipe and replace the French brandy due to the parasitic Phylloxera insect that infected and wiped out all of the wine vineyards in France in the late 19th century. But don’t get too disappointed yet, because American bartenders made the new Sazerac even better with our very own bourbon whiskey.

What To Do: Wash a martini glass in absinthe. Blend together 2 oz American bourbon whiskey and 1/2 oz sugar. Then stir in your ice, strain into your absinthe glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.


No. 1: Bourbon


Bourbon [Source: Wikimedia Commons]

At the end of the day, there really isn’t another drink more American than straight bourbon whiskey. Bourbon was invented in America and codified by President William Taft. Fancy cocktails aside, this Fourth of July weekend, pay tribute to the Land of the Free with a glass of what has been considered a “distinctive product of the United States” since 1964: bourbon.

Having trouble picking which great American bourbon to serve this holiday? No problem! Here are 14 The Daily Caller recommends for you!

What To Do: Pour your favorite American bourbon whiskey over ice and enjoy.