Another rotation around the sun brings us to yet another Fourth of July. Sure, this year’s festivities might seem a little more subdued than in previous years. Hopefully a little more reflective, too. But just because we can’t throw (or attend) a giant, friend, family, and sparkler-filled rager this year, won’t completely stop us from enjoying one of our favorite holidays.
In short: we’ll still be grilling, playing yard games, floating on inner tubes in lakes and rivers, and connecting with people we love. Just with a lot more social distance. A sip of good whiskey is still in play, of course, so we asked some of our favorite bartenders for their favorite expressions to celebrate this low-key Fourth of July.
Uncle Nearest 1856
Bill Myers, bartender at Kimpton Brice Hotel in Savannah, Georgia
There’s good reason that Uncle Nearest whiskey is the most-awarded new whiskey brand in the country. It’s delicious. The liquid dates back to the 1800s when Nathan “Nearest” Green taught a young Jack Daniel how to distill whiskey. It’s a great brand, with an equally great story that dates back to the early days of this country.
Michter’s US1 American Whiskey
Sondre Kasin, principal bartender at Cote in New York City
If you have not tried any of the whiskeys from Michter’s, now is the time. Michter’s US1 American Whiskey is a high-quality whiskey to a reasonable price. Aged on former bourbon casks this whiskey is well balanced, fresh with a lot of depth. You will find classic notes as vanilla, butterscotch and caramel however the great thing is that it is not too sweet. Great for drinking neat but also great for cocktails. Try to make a Old Fashioned with it! Perfect for the holiday.
Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon
Nancy Conaway, bartender at Republic Street Bar in Fort Worth, Texas
Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon. They are truly groundbreaking to the American definition of sustaining community while delivering a fine product that is uniquely its own. Quality with honor.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
Jennifer Jackson-Keating, co-owner of Island Culture Tiki Bar in Pensacola, Florida
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey – No whiskey screams America like Jack’s signature Old No.7. It’s an iconic brand that was the first registered distillery in the U.S. over 150 years ago. It’s immediately recognizable and is as American as Apple Pie. Pour yourself a Jack & Coke and cheers to “‘Merica”!
Eva Al-Gharaballi, bartender at Datz Restaurant Group in Tampa, Florida
Bulleit Bourbon is a spectacular whiskey born in Kentucky. Vanilla and honey aromas followed by a smoky finish. A traditional old fashioned is a signature drink for celebration and mixing up some bitters, simple syrup and Bulleit Bourbon is the way to go. Classic and delicious.
Dean Powers, restaurant and bar manager at Shore Lodge in McCall, Idaho
For this holiday, I like to pull out the big guns. The latest Single Barrel that we bought for Shore Lodge and Whitetail or the Whistle Pig 10 for sure. The balance on this whiskey is superb and comes in just a little hot.
Old Forester 86
Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami
Old Forester 86 is a classic bourbon that will satisfy all your holiday needs while not breaking the bank. Great as a shot to pair with your summer brew or to end your night with a Manhattan.
Old Hamer Straight Bourbon
Jacob Cantu, tasting room manager at West Fork Whiskey Co. in Indianapolis, Indiana
Originally distilled in the caves of Southern Indiana, Old Hamer Straight Bourbon is a truly All-American whiskey that pays tribute to Indiana’s heritage. A 99 percent corn and 1 percent malted barley mash bill creates a delectable smooth and sweet taste from the start to the finish. An easy drinker for any whiskey lover during the hot months.
FEW American Whiskey
FEW is one of the most underrated distilleries in America. Its American Whiskey has everything you’d want in a Fourth of July sipper. It’s complex with hints of toasted oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and honey with a subtle kick of pepper at the end.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon
One of America’s best whiskeys, Buffalo Trace is the flagship bourbon of the brand of the same name for a reason. It’s surprisingly inexpensive and well-balanced with hints of honey, vanilla, caramelized sugar, and rich oak.