The thing about fireworks is this… I’d rather make my own with a little help from my marital man friend in the privacy of my own home. Otherwise, you stand around, a drink in hand, watching some punk teenagers play with fire while their parents look on. Then, because the good ones aren’t legal in our state, you watch while there’s a quick flash of light, a very loud pop, then, then, nothing. But it’s fun because it’s the 4th of July. And that’s just the way it should be. Nothing says America like socially acceptable pyromaniacs setting off explosives. That’s basically what happened in 1776, right?
Anywho, the best way to set the whole thing off is with a delightfully fruity, not-to-sweet mixed drink. Plastic party cups of wine are perfect for nearly every other occasion, including but not limited to, an afternoon at the neighborhood pool counting down to adult swim with your spouse while seemingly hundreds of children swarm around you with cotton candy and popcorn and watermelon running down their arms and chins, just because for those ten minutes of each hour, you can smugly wade into the water, casually flipping drops of water along the surface because you aren’t a kid anymore, and you’re therefore obligated to inhabit the pool during those 10 minutes of adult swim, and you do it gladly with that hint of a buzz that just the thought of imbibing in the afternoon heat gives you.
But then, to celebrate our nation’s glorious birth, you need an upgrade. You need crystal tumblers, ice, tonic water (diet, of course), juicy limes, blackberries, peaches and vodka. And if your dad’s hosting the fete, Ketel One.
Blackberry + Peach Vodka Tonics:
2 cups sugar, divided
2 cups water, divided
1/2 pint blackberries
Create two simple syrups – one of blackberries, one of peaches. Boil 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar. Add 1/2 pint blackberries. Boil about 7 minutes. Remove blackberries and add to fine mesh sieve. Press blackberries so juice and pulp strain into syrup, but seeds are separated. Remove from heat. Boil 1 cup water, with 1 cup sugar. Add 3 peaches peeled and diced. Boil 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat. Diced peaches will still be intact. Combine ice, simple syrup (either or desired combination of both), 1.5 oz. tonic water, 1.5 oz. vodka, generous squeeze of lime. Garnish with peach slice, lime wedge and fresh blackberry.