All The Single Ladies – Throw A Cocktail Party!

By Fabiana Santana

Summer's Eve BBQThe second biggest holiday of the summer is July Fourth, and what better way to celebrate your Independence Day than celebrating with all your fellow single ladies! Throw a girls only BBQ party weekend where your single lifestyle and some amazing cocktails are the belles of the ball!

A couple of the leaders in the liquor world and a Food Network chef have chimed in to give the ladies living the single lifestyle some great recipes to make sure that your fourth is a weekend to remember!

Belvedere’s Master Mixologist Claire Smith

Claire Smith got her start in the drinks world bartending through her university years. She entered a few competitions to try to improve her skills and eventually won a big national competition in the UK. Polish vodka company, Moët Hennessy, approached Claire to work with Belvedere Vodka and she became the ambassador for the brand. A Vodka Ambassador is responsible for international communications as well as promoting the brand and educating bartenders and being the face of the brand in terms of press and media.

“I’m now responsible for the creation of the new Belvederes and responsible for all of the new mixology for the brand.” Part of that mixology is coming up with great new recipes for their new brand of macerated Black Raspberry Vodka. And her best recipes yet are focused around this summer’s seasonal fruits including raspberries and cherries – perfect for the red in your red, white and blue this holiday weekend! But what is her guiltiest of all drink pleasures? “I adore pina coladas.” How interesting. Singlemindedwomen.com might have just the recipe for you this time, Claire! (See the recipe section below.)

Sazon’s Roger Gonzalez

Roger Gonzalez, the bar manager at Tribeca’s Latin hot spot Sazon, recommends sangria for a summer weekend BBQ. “Sangria is not only refreshing and tasteful but also rich in ingredients, fruits and aroma. You want to be able to drink few glasses of liquor without getting tipsy and sangrias allow you to do that. It is a great companion with any food, too. On a hot weekend, you and your girls can easily make different sangrias for a get together with your favorite fruits and rums. It inexpensive can be made with many ingredients, garnished with any fruit, very refreshing, and fast to make.” We’re sold!

Roger also created a very special frozen cocktail just for us (and Claire, too!). It’s a take on the classic pina colada, but kicked up a notch with flavor and color to really show your patriotism! “The pina colada recipe has always been a secret, but I will share it with the ladies this time.” Condensed milk adds extra creaminess and flavor to the colada, and blue Curacao floated on the bottom and a bit of grenadine and amaretto on top. Poured in a clear glass it creates a festive red, white and blue drink that also tastes amazing.

Need the perfect firework celebration cocktail? Roger says it’s something bubbly. He created the “Sazon Champagne” made with mango puree and elderflower liquor especially for fun occasions like July 4th party weekends. “I am Latin and also want to celebrate that, so I use Cava, but you can use champagne or prosecco, too.”

Sandra Lee

Food Network celebrity Sandra Lee appreciates a good girls only party as much as any of us. To keep the cost down, Sandra says take advantage of what is in season. “Stock up on fresh fruit – during the summer it’s more affordable than frozen – and use it for garnishes in drinks and on salads. That way you can still have the great taste of summer without any extra added expense.”

Sandra stresses that making things visually appealing for your girlfriends is a sweet gesture that really shows you want to make the day special. A cute and helpful tip she suggests is freezing fruit and dropping it into your cocktails instead of ice to keep them chilled.

Summer Cocktail Recipes

Summer Punch Cocktail RecipeSummer Punch Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Claire Smith

Yield: 1 serving

  • 2 oz Belvedere Black Raspberry
  • 4 Fresh Raspberries
  • 4 oz Lemon juice
  • 4 oz Crème de cassis
  • Top with sparkling wine

Shake first 4 ingredients with cubed ice and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice top with sparkling wine, lightly sir and serve with straws.

Cherry Caipiroska Cocktail Recipe

Cherry Caipiroska Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Claire Smith

Yield: 1 serving

  • 2 oz Belvedere Black Raspberry
  • 5 fresh black cherries
  • 4 oz lemon juice
  • 4 oz simple syrup (boiled water with equal amounts of sugar)
  • Dash of Amaretto flavored liqueur

Muddle cherries with simple syrup, add rest of ingredients and top with cracked ice. Stir, retop with cracked ice and garnish with a whole cherry.

Tribecca Colada Cocktail RecipeTribecca Colada Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Roger Gonzalez

Yield: 1 pitcher

  • 3 full cans of coco Lopez
  • 1 full can of pineapple juice
  • 2 cans of condensed milk
  • 1 oz of blue Curacao (pour at the bottom of the glass)
  • 1 oz of grenadine (on top)
  • 2 oz of Amaretto Di Saronno

Blend coco Lopez, pineapple juice, milk together with ice in a blender. Pour blue Curacao into the bottom of an oversized glass or pitcher. Pour pina colada mix on top and then pour the grenadine and amaretto on top to create a three layer effect. Garnish with pineapple slices and cherries

White Sangria Cocktail RecipeWhite Sangria Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Roger Gonzalez

Yield: 1 pitcher

  • 12 oz of Chardonnay
  • 2 oz of triple sec
  • 2 oz of peach schnapps
  • 2 oz of white light rum
  • 2 oz of brandy
  • 2 oz apple pucker
  • 4 oz of Orange juice
  • 4 oz of pineapple juice

Mix all the ingredients, add ice and garnish with oranges, green grapes, and green apples.

Sazon Champagne Cocktail RecipeSazon Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Roger Gonzalez

Yield: 1 serving

  • 3 oz of Cava Brut
  • 2 oz of Mango Puree
  • Splash of Elderflower St Germain

Served in a champagne flute, Garnish with a strawberry slice

Watermelon Spritzer Cocktail Recipe

Watermelon Spritzer Cocktail Recipe

Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 cups watermelon chunks, seeds removed
  • 1-cup ice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cups of champagne or sparkling wine (use seltzer if you want to keep it nonalcoholic)
  • Mint leaves or sprigs, for garnish

In a blender, puree the watermelon, ice, sugar and lime juice and blend until completely liquid. Pour into a pitcher and top with the seltzer water. Pour into glasses and garnish with mint.

Because you have to eat, check out Sandra Lee’s great July 4th recipes to go with your amazing cocktails!

Want more cocktail recipes? Check out our interview with Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum Master Mixologist Joy Spence.