Nightlife & Music

Ask A Charlotte Expert: Fourth Of July Cocktail Recipes

June 19, 2014 8:00 AM

View Comments
Photo Credit Thinkstock
Fourth of July is always a special day. Most people try to spend it outside, whether at the lake, at the beach or on the patio. It’s the most popular day of the year for cookouts, with folks around the country firing up the grill. Add an extra ounce of fun to the day with these cocktails designed by Stefan Huebner, Charlotte’s top mixologist and the man behind the bar at Heist Brewery.
Stefan Huebner
Heist Brewery
2909 N. Davidson St., Suite 200
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 375-8260

A native of Charlotte, Stefan had already amassed an impressive resume behind the bar before taking on the position of head bartender at the newly opened Heist, currently the hottest spot in the NoDa neighborhood. A veteran of 14 years at Cosmos in Ballantyne, he’s also tended bar at the Breakfast Club, Mythos, Re:public and at the nationally recognized Weegee’s Lounge in Chicago (where he is an investor), and has always taken a creative approach, delighting in finding fresh new combinations. In 2010, his “Queen Charlotte” cocktail, composed of Bombay Sapphire gin, Campari, Prosecco, peach bitters and orange juice, propelled him to the top of GQ Magazine‘s list of the 41 Most Inspired Bartenders in the U.S. Huebner is active in social causes, using his skills to raise funds for St. Baldrick’s and RAIN, and has served as the featured mixologist for the past four years at Charlotte’s Taste of the Nation, benefiting the No Child Hungry campaign.

Stefan says that the Fourth of July is the ideal time to party outside. “Fireworks, fun, friends, America! Don’t need any more reasons than that!” He shares three new cocktail recipes designed to get your patriotic mojo going. Ranging from Kentucky whiskey to a Southwestern watermelon, tequila and agave cooler to our own Carolina rum, they capture the flavors of America.

Related: Best Grilling Gadgets For Your Summer Cookouts

Kentucky Buck
This refreshing drink features ginger beer, but packs a wallop with a serious pour of rye whiskey.

  • 1 1/2 oz. Rittenhouse Rye
  • 1 large strawberry
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 4 oz. ginger beer


  1. Build all ingredients into cocktail shaker except ginger beer.
  2. Shake hard and strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass.
  3. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with half a strawberry.
O Henry Spiced Daiquiri
This not-so-classic daiquiri features a small-batch spiced rum distilled at Broadslab Distillery in Benson, NC.

  • 2 oz. Carolina Coast Spiced Rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. simple sugar


  1. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with lime wheel.
High Plains Drifter
Put that Fourth of July watermelon to good use in this cocktail that combines the flavors of the Southwestern states.

  • 6 oz. fresh seedless watermelon
  • 2 oz. Lunazul Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 oz. agave syrup
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


  1. In a shaker, muddle watermelon and agave syrup.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and fill with ice.
  3. Shake well and double strain into chilled coup glass.

Related: Best Outdoor Bars In Charlotte

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,217 other followers