IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

18 festive 4th of July cocktails for your backyard bash

Time to get red, white and boozy.
/ Source: TODAY

It's time to start planning your Independence Day soiree, and what better place to start than with the menu?

One of the first things to figure out is what to serve to drink. On hot July days, cold and refreshing beverages are a must, plus lots of water and tasty non-alcoholic options that everyone can enjoy. Once you've got that figured out, it's time to focus on some fun, festive Fourth of July cocktails. Depending on the size of your bash or alcohol of choice, there are so many spirits and mixers from which to choose. That's where we come in!

We know it's important to think big (and easy) when you're mixing up drinks for a crowd. But it's also important to have options that can be poured individually. Above all else, however, because this is a special holiday, every drink should flow with your patriotic-themed spread. Yes, that means red, white and boozy!

Whether you opt for the coldest of the cold for the scorcher ahead or simply want a strong drink that matches the American flag, we rounded up a list of our favorite summery drinks. We promise, after just a couple sips, guests will feel like life's a beach … or a firework show!

After you decide on your signature cocktail, don't forget to pick out your Fourth of July appetizers, main dishes and desserts (specifically cake).

A drink that's all about the pour to get those vibrant layers of color, this tequila-based frozen cocktail has a few flavors running through it. As you sip your way to the bottom, you'll enjoy blueberry, coconut and strawberry margaritas.

Carson's Red, White and Bourbon

This cocktail is perfect for any summer celebration because it's bright, refreshing and just a bit boozy. It tastes even better under a sky filled with sparkling fireworks!

Dirty Shirley Ice Pops

Dirty Shirley Ice Pops

Alejandra Ramos

This is a frozen ice pop version of everyone's new favorite summer cocktail — the vodka-spiked Shirley Temple.

Cherry Sangria

Cherry Sangria

Katie Stilo

Sangria is typically made with red wine but for our Italian summer take, we're using white wine and Amarena cherries. The syrup used to package the wild Amarena cherries is the perfect sweetener for your summer cocktails.

Mermaid Limeade

Mermaid Limeade

Alejandra Ramos

You'll feel those tropical breezes with just one sip of these fun ocean blue summer party drinks! The boozy version is made with coconut rum and blue Curaçao, while kids and other nondrinkers can enjoy an easy nonalcoholic variation made with coconut soda.

When you're craving an easy, colorful cocktail that tastes like a vacation, this top-shelf recipe is ideal. Even if you don't make it to a beach for the Fourth, this punch will make you feel like your toes are in the sand.

Red, White and Blue Sparkling Sangria

When you want to go all the way with Americana-themed cocktails, try out this red, white and blue sparkling sangria. Light and bubbly, this big batch drink is ideal for a crowd. All you need is a few fresh strawberries and sweet blueberries to help make it a firework-worthy toast.

Champagne Popsicles

If you like to enjoy the occasional glass of wine, why not try it with an ice pop? It's like the classic pairing of strawberries and Champagne, only extra icy.

Sangria Lemonade

It's your two favorite summertime drinks in one glass. Tart lemon compliments the fruity sweetness of the wine with a splash of light rum in this tasty combination cocktail.

Watermelon Frosé Cocktail

Made with chunks of frozen watermelon, rosé and a touch of Campari for some summer flavor, this cocktail is light, refreshing and just the right amount of sweet. Serve up this slushy in short glasses straight from the blender.

Fresh Raspberry Margarita

You may just find your new favorite cocktail with one tiny tweak on a classic. This recipe uses fresh raspberries to the traditional margarita for a pop of color and perfect hint of berry flavor. The small addition transforms the drink into a summery sip.

Paradise Frosé

Paradise Frosé

Will Wyatt

For this frosé, we are using a quite dry rose with high acid, so that we can balance behind it with sugar and other acids to give it that rich body that a great frozen drink should have.

Firecracker Gelatine Shots

For Fourth of July, vodka gets sweetened up in these colorful, boozy desserts. They're fun to eat or drink at an outdoor gathering for those who don't mind a cocktail on the sweeter site.

Aperol Spritz

Aperol Spritz

John Alberti

From humble beginnings in little bars across Northern Italy, the Aperol spritz ritual has spread across the continents, with people all around the globe connecting through their love of Italy's No. 1 cocktail. Light, refreshing with a unique bittersweet taste, the Aperol spritz is the perfect drink to start the evening.

Red, White, and Blue Snow Cones

Make an adult version of this carnival kiddie favorite by adding a bit of rum to these refreshingly festive snow cones. Just be sure to make labels or hand them directly to guests of age if it's a family party with children.

Memories of Summer Cocktail

An elegant, fresh cocktail, this three-ingredient drink with cucumber vodka, elderflower liqueur and a little lime juice is super simple to make. At a hot summer gathering, it's the perfect thing to sip.

Sangria Pops

Joy Bauer

Ruby, fruity and … gently boozy! This pop-tail hits the spot. It's a fun and flirty (adult-approved) way to enjoy a poolside pop. You can use any wine you have on hand — white, red or rosé — you name it.

Cherry Gin & Tonic

Cherry Gin & Tonic

Maureen Petrosky

This is a twist on the classic cocktail, using cherry juice and fresh cherries for garnish, making it the perfect summer sip.