Favorites for July 4th

The 4th of July is a great time to fire up the grill and barbecue outdoors…and make sure you have a fresh, cold cocktail in your hand while you do it!  These are some of my all time Favorites for July 4th!

Favorites Foods and Cocktails for the 4th of July

Combining great foods and refreshing drinks with friends and family makes for a perfect day. Considering the heat wave we’ve been having in Colorado, I’m all for celebrating without turning on the oven and a Watermelon Mojito would sure help to beat the heat too. It’s on the list of my Favorites for July 4th!

I love a great fresh from the garden watermelon…be sure to visit the post for the Watermelon Mojito with Mint… I’ve got some tips on how to find one when you go to the grocer. Plus you’ll find more watermelon cocktails and salads that would be great for the 4th or all summer long!

Here are some of my favorites for a great 4th of July Holiday Barbecue!

My children are grown so I’m not as inclined to make food with a red, white and blue theme as I am to make foods I love. I bring the colors of the day into play with white paper tablecloths and plates, blue napkins and well, this Watermelon Mojito is all the red I need; for me I always want the food to be the star!

Watermelon Mint MojitoOne of my favorite summer cocktails!

Watermelon Mint Mojito

Best Fresh Margarita – ALWAYS on the list, the cocktail that inspired me to start making cocktails at home. Plus a list of more favorite margaritas too!

The Best Fresh Margarita on A Serving Tray with Lime Wedges

Watermelon Raspberry Cooler – A refreshing combination of the best of summer fruit…with rum!

Watermelon Raspberry Cooler Cocktail with Rum Garnished with Three Fruits

Lemon Drop Martini – Had them before? None like this. Combining fresh lemon and lime juice and zest with vanilla; it’s incomparable.

Lemon Drop Martini

Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade Cocktail – A wonderful summer cooler, definitely an adults only lemonade!

Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade

Fresh Grilled Corn Salsa with Poblano Peppers and Honey – This is great with chips or in my case? A spoon. Love this stuff; so will your friends.

Favorites for July 4th - Grilled Corn Salsa with Poblano Pepper, Cilantro and Honey

Watermelon Salsa – This is both fun, pretty and so delicious! Watermelon is combined with yellow, orange, red, and jalapeno peppers for my favorite summer salsa.

Favorites for the 4th - Watermelon Salsa (Pico de Gallo) Closeup of dish with watermelon, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, and jalapeno mixed with honey.

Artichoke and Parmesan Cheese Dip from The Wynkoop Brewery – Colorado’s own Senator John Hickenlooper used to own this brewpub and this has been my favorite appetizer since day one!

Artichoke and Parmesan Cheese Dip

Canyon Creek Burger – This burger I recreated after enjoying one at Ted’s Montana Grill might be the best burger I’ve ever had!

The Canyon Creek Burger on a plate

Beer, Butter, and Garlic Basting Sauce for Chicken – This sauce is simple to put together but it makes the best grilled chicken!

Barbecue Chicken Basting Sauce

Flank Steak with Pesto, Mashed Potatoes and Salad – From a Denver restaurant, Panzano, they may not serve it anymore but I’m so glad I have this recipe; it’s a favorite I’ve served for parties, the Super Bowl and yes, backyard barbecues.

Steak Salad with Mashed Potatoes, Pesto and Gorgonzola Cheese

Buttermilk Pan Fried Chicken – My Dad first showed me how to make fried chicken and I still think his recipe is the best; we always had a platter on our table for the 4th!

Closeup of Old Fashioned Pan Fried Chicken

Cilantro Serrano RiceThis rice is simply fantastic. Don’t let the serrano peppers steer you clear; they add amazing flavor without overpowering heat. Seriously could sit and eat this entire bowl of rice all by myself.

Cilantro Serrano Rice

French Potato Salad – As much as I love my old fashioned potato salad; I’m currently in love with the French version. All herbs and no mayo make a tasty dish and one that does not have to be kept cold. How perfect is that for a holiday barbecue?

French Potato Salad

Panzanella Salad – I think the best of the summer salads when tomatoes are fresh from the garden and can be the rightful star.

Bacon Wrapped Grilled Asparagus – I’m usually happy with grilled meats and salads but if I serve a hot side dish this one is pretty perfect.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus with Garlic on a White Serving Plate

Fresh Strawberry Pie – I’ve been making this since I was given a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook in my twenties. In other words, a LONG time. Still a favorite. My only change over the years is a layer of mascarpone or cream cheese; it keeps the crust from getting soggy and just happens to be delicious!

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Lime Sherbet – Easy to make plus so cool and refreshing; perfect for a July 4th barbecue. Not just on my list, nope, this is truly one of my personal Favorites for July 4th!

Homemade Lime Sherbet

Raspberry and Chocolate Pavlova – The beauty of this baked meringue dessert is belied by how easy it is; especially since it can be made a day ahead. It’s a huge crowd pleaser and really simple to make.

Raspberry Boccone Dolce from @creativculinary

Strawberry Squares – Last but certainly not least of our favorites for July 4th are these are cool and crisp frozen treats that can be made ahead and kept frozen til the 4th. Unless you eat them all.

Favorites for July 4th - Strawberry Squares

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie – Take a French Silk Pie, add some tequila and cayenne pepper and replicate a famed drink from Cabo San Lucas in this pie. It is amazing, I promise!

French Silk Pie with some Mexican Spice

Strawberry and Blueberry Patriotic Poke Cake – Here’s my one exception; I redid an old recipe and used fresh fruit and whipped cream and it is the bomb!

Favorites for July 4th - Fresh Strawberry & Blueberry Poke Cake Decorated with Fresh Berries and Real Whipped Cream

If this isn’t enough; I’ve got another post for a Citrus Rum Punch that has more great drinks and appetizer foods. Check it out too…I know you’ll find something you can’t live without!

What are your Favorites for July 4th? Is there a certain cocktail, appetizer, or dessert you must have? Would love to hear from you!

Have a safe and fun filled holiday…Cheers!

PIN IT! ‘Favorites for July 4th’

Food and Cocktail Favorites for the 4th of July

Food and Cocktail Favorites for the 4th of July

Similar Posts


  1. Hi,
    Watermelon Mojito recipe.
    I do not drink so can somthing else be used instead of the rum.
    Thank You.

    1. I would suggest you try some sparkling water or maybe even a soda like 7-up if you want to eliminate the rum.

    1. It does a great job Jill…so great that I think overdoing it might end up with the meat falling apart more than one would like. Tasted so good!

  2. So perfect and tempting, Barb. I love watermelon and enjoy it all summer long. I’d love one of your mojitos and a nice chat with you on a pretty summer evening in Colorado (or Italy;)

    1. It is easy! Hey…any chance you could join us next Tues for a wine tasting? Let me know; would love to see you.

  3. Your watermelon mojito would be fantastic complimented with my watermelon sorbet! It sounds wonderful! Your round up of July 4th treats looks delicious! Hugs, Terra

  4. This cocktail looks SO good Barbara! I love mojitos and adding watermelon sounds so refreshing. I also want every single dish you mention – each one looks better than the next! Happy 4th!

    1. Thanks Katherine…I’m sure my friends and family would like it if I had every single one of them too; maybe over the summer but not all on one day. The meat and the rice and the strawberry squares; those are my efforts today; the rest is from friends who will each bring a dish. That’s how we role on a holiday, thankfully!

  5. I can’t wait to make some watermelon mojitos!! And your raspberry boccone dolce looks divine. Thanks for sharing so many tempting recipes! Happy July 4th!

    1. Happy 4th to you too Hannah. I’ve got the mojitos ready to go in the fridge but company not coming over for hours. Maybe I’ll just test the mix again? 🙂

  6. Oh, my gosh! I’m coming to your house next for the next 4th of July! Everything looks delish! The mojito is calling my name, but that raspberry boccone dolce reeled me in!!!

    1. When I served it last year everyone was SO impressed and lamented I should not have spent so much time on dessert. Shh…don’t tell. I didn’t. 🙂

  7. WOOT!! Ok, what time does the party start??? It’s almost eerie Barb – my holiday menu looks rather similar – but I didn’t have the Watermelon mojitos so guess what I am adding to the menu? They will be perfect since one of my guests can’t drink wine!!
    Hope you have a fabulous 4th Barb!!!

    1. I’ve just loving the watermelon cocktails…maybe a bit too much since I’ve done two this week? Hey…it’s a holiday right? Happy 4th Nancy!

  8. Sad sad sad I am not in the US for the 4th – haven’t been to a 4th of July bbq in years and years! I’d love to come to one of yours. I know the food will be plentiful and fabulous (I mean, look at your list!) and the drinks refreshing and boozy! Happy 4th baby! I am loving the Watermelon Mojito!

    1. You are always welcome. My dream day would be to go to a BBQ with all of that food that I didn’t have to make. And drinks of course…OK, I’ll make those. 😉

    1. You’ll love them, such a cool and refreshing cocktail. I can’t choose between the mojito and martini so I try to be fair and drink both. 🙂

    1. Aw thanks Maureen; there are absolutely some of my very favorites. Of course I could have added double the desserts; strawberry pie and French silk pie come to mind. I want them ALL! 🙂

  9. WOW!! I don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with my favorite part of this post, the star… that mojito is just gorgeous! I absolutely love mojitos. They are probably my favorite drink closely followed by any type of margarita 🙂 This mojito is perfection with the addition of watermelon. Love! Secondly, each one of these dishes has my tongue waggin’. I especially like the sound of the French potato salad. I will be making that for a party we’re having next weekend! Thanks for all the great ideas. Happy 4th of July! And please, stay safe. Fires only 45 minutes from your home doesn’t sound nearly far enough away to make me not worry for you. Devastating. xoxo

    1. It is so good and one will be in my hand momentarily! You and everyone worries but it’s really about the different in topography. That is the foothills south of me and higher elevation. We’re 40 highway miles away but a whole different world of suburban, not forested living. Not that I want to see any idiots burning fireworks, we are dry and roofs can certainly catch on fire. Thanks for caring and let’s hope the woman on the news who was lamenting no fireworks doesn’t break the law and burn down her own home!

  10. Marvelous Mojito and may I add that should I ever be in the US for a 4th a July celebration, may it be at your home! What a menu, everything looks fabulous and I’m so glad you linked back to that Raspberry Baccone as I am definitely going to make this one day. Have a wonderful and safe and hopefully fire-free 4th of July celebration Barb.

    1. Of course you would…though let’s hope it’s not this doggone sweltering hot business. More clouds tonight and 10 drops of rain but at least it’s cooled off a lot. Ahh…that cool breeze is Heaven.

    1. I could make a cocktail a day in the summer there are so many things I want to dry. But I might get a reputation I don’t covet. I love a cocktail but I’m not a boozer. This one is fabulous I won’t lie.

  11. I’m fond of Mojitos ! This one looks so yummy. My daughter likes to make cocktails, I’m going to share this recipe with her !
    Enjoy July 4th

    1. It is so good…and really almost any fruit can be used…I’ll do strawberry for sure and I’m thinking I might try a blueberry mojito too. I have tons of mint…I must make mojitos!

    1. Not only good and doesn’t have to be refrigerated but so easy. My old favorite had bacon and hard boiled eggs and dressing and potatoes…it was a whole morning affair. This one with little potatoes might be 25 minutes including cook time and it’s done. Gotta love that huh?

  12. What a beautiful drink! It must be 5 o’clock somewhere…right? It’s hard to read your posts at 10 in the morning!!
    Any chance you saw the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal? There is a section that highlights cocktails that I thought you’d enjoy. Hope you are holding up ok in the heat.

    1. I did not see that Holly but you must know that now I really want to? Was that online or a print edition? I’m holding up…how about you? I’m also ready for the forecasted rain. Just had another teaser doggone it. When you can smell the rain and it doesn’t come? So not fair!!

    1. Want to know just how easy this is to drink? Too easy; it really is like watermelon in a glass with a kick!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.