Photo: Everett Collection

Learn from the Master: John Belushi in 'Animal House'

If there’s one ironclad rule of 4th of July revelry it’s this: you can’t crash before the fireworks. Not easy, what with the all-day outdoor drink-a-thon that usually precedes the pyrotechnics. The basic survival strategies are well known: hydrate, eat, pace yourself. For further insight, we compared notes with David Blackmore, Global Brand Ambassador for Glenmorangie—a man whose job essentially consists of drinking scotch, at all hours, in polite society, without making an ass of himself. One tip we’d never heard: “when you eat, take a break from alcohol. Have a cola or something.” Considering how much eating dominates the anniversary of our nation’s birth, that one alone may get you through. David always—big surprise—sticks to one label. We concur. Here’s how we’d drink this weekend—plus a few other options, for the man who intends to make it to the grand finale.

Also (and this one is from us): no shots.

Whiskeys:

Glenmorangie Original Highball
1½ oz. Glenmorangie Original
Fever Tree Soda Water
Pour Glenmorangie into a highball glass with ice.  Fill with soda.  Garnish with a fresh lemon wedge.

Why:
Because Glenmorangie Original, that delicate and floral highland malt, seems particularly suited to summertime. Especially with ice and soda.

Basil Hayden’s Honey
1½ oz Honey Infused Basil Hayden*
Iced Tea
Pour honey infused Basil Hayden’s into a highball glass with ice.  Fill with ice tea.  Garnish with a sprig of mint.

*Honey infusion: add 8-½ oz of heated honey to a litre of Basil Hayden’s.
Why:
At 80-proof, Basil Hayden’s is the lightest bourbon in the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection. Caffeine from the tea will keep you going. Picnic friendly.

Beer:

Peak Shandy
6 oz. Peak Organic Summer Session Ale
6 oz. Sparkling Lemonade*
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Combine ingredients into a pint glass filled with ice.  Stir.  Garnish with a lemon wedge.

*Sparkling Lemonade: 1part lemon juice, 1 ¼ part simple syrup, 3 parts soda water
Why: Many people underestimate beer. Holidays rarely end well for those people. The Shandy, a British export, provides low impact refreshment. And Peak Organic Summer Session, at 5% ABV, is a featherweight in the world of microbrews.

Best in Show:

The Spritz
¾ oz. Aperol
¾ oz. Campari
Fever Tree Soda Water
Sparkling Wine
Pour Aperol and Campari into a tumbler with crushed ice. Fill with soda water.  Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange wheel.
Why: They drink versions of this cocktail all over Italy. In the daytime. And then drive Vespas.

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