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Ask A Los Angeles Expert: Fourth Of July Cocktail Recipes

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(credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Hours before the night's sky is illuminated by brilliant displays of fireworks, family and friends will gather for backyard barbecues to celebrate Independence Day. It is a national holiday that is marked traditionally by patriotic semblance. From parades of fashion to inventive adult drinks, expect the red, white and blue to glow in splendor.

In Los Angeles, those skilled in making mixed drinks say July 4th is an opportune time for party hosts to explore expressive ways to prepare irresistible cocktails that abound in color and explode in taste.

(credit: Sharon Bush)

Louis Fasanelli
Bartender's Training Institute
11670 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 985-6188

With more than 30 years' experience to his credit, Louis Fasanelli is considered a master mixologist. He is a revered instructor at Bartender's Training Institute, a popular school he and business partner Cindy Benson established in 1984. At the North Hollywood location, Fasanelli educates an average of 250 aspiring bartenders each year in the art and science of mixology. Of the hundreds of cocktail recipes swirling in this veteran bar chef's creative head, Fasanelli shares his signature recipes for some of the more exhilarating vodka-based libations to serve on the Fourth of July.

Cindy's Pop Rock Martini

  • Crushed Ice
  • 3/4 ounce Grenadine Syrup
  • 3/4 ounce Blue Curaçao Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Carbonated Candy
  • Maraschino Cherry


  1. Rim a 4.5-ounce stemmed glass with carbonated candy.
  2. Layer crushed ice in the glass.
  3. Pour grenadine syrup on the first layer of ice.
  4. Layer Blue Curaçao liqueur.
  5. Top with Chambord black raspberry liqueur.
  6. Garnish with carbonated candy.
  7. Top with a Maraschino cherry.

To experience an explosive July 4th party on your tongue, rim the glass well with carbonated candy.

Captain America


  • Crushed Ice
  • 1/3 ounce Vodka
  • 3/4 ounce Blue Curaçao Liqueur
  • 1 ounce Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur
  • Whipped Cream
  • Maraschino Cherry


  1. Fill a 4.5-ounce martini glass to the rim with crushed ice.
  2. Pour vodka, Blue Curaçao liqueur and Chambord black raspberry liqueur over the ice.
  3. Top with whipped cream.
  4. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.

For premium deliciousness, do not substitute the Chambord black raspberry liqueur.

Upside Down American
  • 1/2 ounce Grenadine Syrup
  • 1/2 ounce Vodka
  • 1/4 ounce Cream
  • 1/2 ounce Blue Curaçao Liqueur


  1. Pour grenadine syrup gently into a cordial glass.
  2. Pour vodka into the glass.
  3. Float cream by pouring it slowly over the back of a bar spoon.
  4. Float Blue Curaçao liqueur by pouring it slowly over the back of a bar spoon.

Always utilize a bar spoon to float ingredients properly.

Related: Best Bartending Classes In Los Angeles

(credit: Sharon Bush)

Morgan Samuel Proffer
Gordon Ramsay at The London
1020 N. San Vincente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 854-1111

Morgan Samuel Proffer delved into the history of alcoholic beverages while attending graduate school in Paris, France. He became further entrenched in the hospitality industry by studying drink recipes, serving techniques and skill development under the expert tutelage of Louis Fasanelli at the Bartender's Training Institute in North Hollywood. Proffer now helps invent new cocktails at Gordon Ramsay at The London, a top-drawer restaurant in West Hollywood. Here are two of the celebrated mixologist's tequila-based recipes that represent the resplendent flavors of L.A., replete with an indigenous July 4th kick.

The Friday Patriot
  • 2 ounces Milagro Silver Tequila
  • .25 ounce Agave Nectar
  • 1 ounce Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz. Cointreau Liqueur
  • 3 1.5" Watermelon Cubes
  • 1/2 Rosemary Sprig
  • 1 Nickel-sized Jalapeño Slice
  • Ground Chipotle
  • Salt


  1. Rim a goblet or glass tumbler with salt and chipotle.
  2. Add ice to the goblet or glass tumbler.
  3. In a mixing glass, muddle fruit, bottom half of rosemary sprig leaves, jalapeño and agave nectar.
  4. Add lemon juice, Contreau liqueur and tequila.
  5. Shake for about 10 seconds.
  6. Strain mixture into the goblet or glass.
  7. Garnish with the top half of the rosemary sprig.

For a red, white and blue touch, garnish with blueberries and a sliced radish.

Firework 75
  • 1.5 ounces Cazadores Reposado Tequila
  • .25 ounce Pavan Liqueur
  • .5 ounce Lemon Juice
  • .75 ounce Triple Sec Liqueur
  • 2 ounces Lindemans Lambic Framboise Raspberry Ale
  • Ice Cubes
  • Lime Slice


  1. Pour lemon juice, triple sec liqueur, pavan liqueur and tequila into a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Shake for about 10 seconds.
  4. Pour mixture into a champagne flute.
  5. Top with Lindemans Lambic Framboise raspberry ale.
  6. Garnish with a lime twist.

If you can't find Lindemans Lambic Framboise, try muddling five raspberries and top with Prosecco sparkling white wine.

Related: Champagne Drink Recipes From An LA Mixologist

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to

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