There are few things more July Fourth than watermelon and beer. Combine them, and what you get is pretty much the perfect taste of American summer. This cocktail, though, adds a layer of complexity in the form of an old, somewhat obscure, but totally delicious orange liqueur. Créole Shrubb marries the orange-peel intensity of Cointreau to the subtle sugarcane perfume of rhum agricole from Martinique. It smells like Christmas, which can only make the Fourth of July seem even more like a party. Cheers.

We adapted this from our Summer Hoedown. It’s a big-batch recipe you can make in advance (through step 5), perfect for a get-together.

Independence Day Cocktail
Makes about 3 quarts (8 servings)

1 (6-pound) seedless watermelon
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup Créole Shrubb liqueur, or 3 tablespoons rhum agricole plus 1 tablespoon Cointreau
4 (12-ounce) bottles white beer, such as Hoegaarden, chilled

Step 1: Remove the rind from the watermelon and cut the flesh into large dice.

Step 2: Place half of the watermelon in a blender and blend until liquified, about 1 minute.

Step 3: Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl.

Step 4: Scrape a rubber spatula against the inside surface of the strainer to push the juice through until only pulp remains. Discard the pulp and set the strainer back over the bowl.

Step 5: Repeat with the remaining watermelon. (You should have about 6 cups of juice.) Add the sugar to the juice and stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 1/2 hours, or until ready to use.

Step 6: When ready to serve, transfer the chilled juice to a 3-quart container. Add the Créole Shrubb and beer and stir gently to combine.

Photos and styling by Chris Rochelle

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