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Patriotic cocktails for the Fourth of July

A Line up of drinks called: “Tequila Mockingjay”, “Ramos Gin Fizz”, “Sanctuaria Smash”, “At The Gate”, “Planter’s Punch”, “Leatherneck”, are some of the featured summer drinks at Sanctuaria Wild Tapas in the Grove District. Photo by J.B. Forbes,

Here are some things you need to help celebrate the Fourth of July: American flags, insect repellent and lawn chairs to watch your favorite fireworks display.

And don’t forget the grenadine, cream and blue curaçao.

As they always say, it’s not the Fourth without a fifth. And if you plan to celebrate America’s independence, there are few ways to do it better than with a cocktail (or three) that allows you to fly your favorite colors: red, white and blue.

Red? Red is easy. You can make red drinks with grenadine, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, creme de cassis, Campari, strained strawberries, cherry juice or red wine.

White? Well, there’s cream, of course. And white creme de cacao, Irish cream liqueur, other cream liqueurs such as Amarula (it’s made from the fruit of the marula tree), milk and even yogurt liqueur.

But blue? Well, blue’s a problem. There is blue curacao. And then there is Windex, which I wouldn’t recommend drinking but at least the spills clean up nicely.

The other white drink he made is called At the Gate, because it was first created for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

It’s a Derby drink so it has mint, of course, in the form of mint simple syrup. This is mixed with cucumber-infused vodka, lime juice and St. Germain, the elderflower liqueur that was at the forefront of the craft-cocktail revolution.

This is more of a thirst-quencher. A little sweet, a little tart, it is just right for sipping on a porch on a hot day.

And finally, we come to the blue drinks.

The Leatherneck is a classic cocktail that I will admit I had never heard of before. Invented in the 1950s by a former Marine (hence the name, an affectionate nickname for Marines), it combines blue curacao, lime juice and whiskey — Sanctuaria uses Pendleton Canadian whiskey.

Because curacao is a liqueur from the laraha fruit, which is related to the orange, the Leatherneck has a nice citrus flavor. It also boasts a lovely color that is irresistibly blue.

The other blue cocktail is the amusingly named Tequila Mockingjay (“we were trying to figure out how many cross references we can get in one drink,” Sanders said).

It’s tequila, lime juice, blueberry simple syrup and a couple of dashes of jalapeño tincture for a subtle kick. Basically, Sanders said, it is a blueberry margarita.

“It’s simple, it’s easy, it tastes good,” he said. All of which are true. But it’s not quite blue. Even with the blueberry simple syrup, the color is more purple than blue — and on the red side of purple.

Maybe he should have used Windex.

Read the full story here.


Daniel Neman

Daniel Neman is a food writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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