Learn how to make sangria for the perfect summer drink. It’s easy and does the double duty of both looking amazing in a glass and tasting delicious. The concept is extremely simple: add fruit to wine and chill. There are hundreds of ways to customize your sangria but I find that simple is best. Simply add fresh blueberries, strawberries and apples to white wine with a squeeze of lemon, chill and serve with a splash of sparkling water.
The pretty combination of red strawberries, blue blueberries and white apples makes this a must-serve at your 4th of July barbecue. And the best part: it’s easy to transport if you’re not the one doing the hosting. Simply pour the wine and fruit into a large jar with a lid or use plastic 32-ounce soup containers. A bottle of wine usually contains 25 ounces so figure 5 ounces per person.
White wine sangria is best with a bright and light wine, something like chardonnay or pinot grigio. Adding a few dashes of bitters just before serving makes this wine cocktail less sweet. This sangria is best enjoyed VERY cold. So make sure you keep it in the fridge or in a cooler and have plenty of ice to serve with it. Use dainty cocktail glasses or champagne flutes to serve smaller drinks that guests can enjoy before it warms up.
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4th of July: A Red, White and Blue Sangria Recipe
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8 hours, 10 minutes
2 bottles of chilled white wine (chardonnay or pinot grigio)
1 cup blueberries
10 strawberries, thinly sliced
1 apple (Gala or Honeycrisp is best), peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice)
4 ounces sparkling water
Angostura bitters (optional)
8 hours, 10 minutes
Pour the wine into a large bowl or jar. Add the blueberries, strawberries and apples and use the back of a wooden spoon to mash the fruit (only slightly, for about 15 seconds). Cut the lemon in half and squeeze in the juice.
Chill in fridge overnight. Serve with ice in wine glasses with a splash of sparkling water and a dash of bitters.
If you’re on the lookout for delicious dishes to serve for your 4th of July bash, look no further. From gourmet plant-based recipes to dishes that will satisfy any carnivore to the perfect cocktails and mocktails, this list has everything you need to make Independence Day a culinary success.
Meat-Based Mains and Sides
1. Gourmet Sliders
These gourmet sliders are a great choice to make your 4th of July barbecue special. Topped with caramelized onions, gouda, and homemade rosemary aioli, they certainly take the classic burger up a notch or two.
2. Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Instead of opting for a mayo-based pasta salad, which can be heavy in the summer heat, choose the light, fresh flavors of this Mediterranean-inspired orzo salad. Fresh herbs, olives, and a touch of feta cheese add tons of flavor to this salad.
3. German Potato Salad with Salami
This German-inspired potato salad features a light vinaigrette, fresh dill, and thinly sliced salami. It’s a great side dish for whatever you’re grilling.
For a second burger option with a bit more spice, these quinoa and black bean burgers are a surefire crowd pleaser, seasoned with cumin, chile, and cilantro.
6. Fiery Vegan Summer Salad with Beet Greens and Grilled Peaches
This plant-based salad combines peppery beet greens with sweet, caramelized grilled peaches. A bit of your favorite grain adds a touch of bulk to the salad, making it the ideal 4th of July main for vegan guests.
7. Heirloom Tomatoes on Toast
No need to go super fancy for your 4th of July bash to make it delicious. Seasonal summer heirloom tomatoes on toast make an incredible appetizer or side, and they couldn’t be simpler to prepare.
8. Vegan Potato Salad with Peas and Pesto
Potato salad gets a makeover with this fresh-flavored version made with fresh peas and pesto. The combination is bright and herbaceous – ideal for a 4th of July cookout or picnic.
9. Chocolate-Dipped Watermelon Pops
There’s perhaps no dessert more perfect for the 4th of July than watermelon, but why not dress it up a bit? This recipe allows you to get creative with a variety of different toppings. When sprinkled atop the dark chocolate drizzle, they’ll turns this seasonal summer fruit into a special occasion treat.
10. Easy Stuffed Peaches
Peaches make a fantastic dessert option, especially if you throw them on the grill for a touch of caramelized flavor. Top them with homemade granola, and dessert is ready!
11. Homemade Vegan Ice Cream
Ice cream is an essential barbecue treat, so this 4th of July, why not try your hand at making your own? This vegan ice cream, made with coconut milk and sweetened with agave, is the perfect base for a sundae bar (or delicious on its own!)
Summery Cocktails and Mocktails
12. Watermelon Agua Fresca
Brightly colored watermelon is the base for this agua fresca recipe, a summer mocktail that everyone can enjoy. (Of course, we won’t tell anyone if you jazz it up with a touch of rum!)
13. Fresh Fruit Spritzer
This fresh fruit spritzer is the perfect 4th of July cocktail. Made with seasonal berries, club soda, and just enough vodka, it’s the ideal way to celebrate. Choose red, white, and blue berries to make this cocktail extra festive!
Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.
The stunning combination of deep red velvet cake with bright white icing, blueberries and blue sprinkles makes these mini cupcakes one of the most festive 4th of July desserts.
What makes a red velvet cake a red velvet cake? Well, for starters red food coloring but also the essential ingredients of buttermilk and vinegar. The buttermilk adds subtle flavor and bounce to the cake and the vinegar is essential to enhance the red color. You can of course simply buy red velvet cake mix or just use your favorite chocolate cake batter recipe.
Cut out some of the sugar by replacing the sugar icing with fresh whipped cream which is so much lighter than traditional cupcake icing. You can even add a drop of all-natural red or blue food coloring to the heavy cream before beating.
Make sure to buy mini cupcake wrappers in blue or silver. In a pinch you can bake the cupcakes directly in the mini muffin tin but know that they are difficult to remove and you’ll need to heavily grease the pan.
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4th of July Desserts Mini Cupcakes Recipe
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For the cake:
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups cake flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
red liquid or gel food coloring (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup vegetable oil
48 mini cupcake wrappers
For the tops:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon sugar
½ pint blueberries
¼ cup blue sugar sprinkles
1 cup strawberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a paper wrapper in each cupcake slot of the mini muffin tin.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl: flour, baking soda, cake flour, cocoa powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with a handheld mixer. Beat for 3 minutes, then add the vegetable oil and beat for another minute. Add the eggs, vinegar and 2 tablespoons of food coloring and beat for one more minute. Make sure the color is a deep red and add more coloring as needed. Then add the flour mixture to the batter about 1 cup at a time. Try not to over mix.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the mixture into the lined tin. Fill each cup about ⅔ of the way and bake for 16 minutes. Remove from oven and set to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then repeat until you have used all the batter.
To make the whipped cream, use the same handheld mixer to beat the heavy cream on high in a large chilled metal bowl for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar as soon as peaks start to form. Chill the whipped cream until you are ready to use it. Use a butter knife to frost the cupcakes and add blueberries, sprinkles and thinly sliced strawberries to decorate.