Drink combinations are seemingly endless, but there are a few classic cocktails that either originated in the military, or were created specifically to honor U.S. armed forces. Some drinks have their roots in military history, while others are inherently patriotic.
Whether you’re celebrating a national holiday, or just looking to feel patriotic while sipping a drink, here are seven military-themed cocktails.
The history on this particular drink is fairly scant, but it remains a popular cocktail for celebrating the Army-Navy football game each year. The recipe for this gin drink supposedly first appears in print in David Embury’s “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.”
- 2 parts gin
- 1/2 part lemon juice
- 1/4 part Orgeat almond syrup
- Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
The Cuba Libre has its roots in the Spanish-American War. Allegedly, in August 1900, while celebrating victory at an American bar in Havana, a captain of the U.S. Army Signal Corps ordered a Bacardi with Coke and a lime. The legend states the he proposed a toast, “¡Por Cuba libre!” in celebration of a free Cuba, and thus the drink was born.
- 2 oz of white rum
- 1 lime
- Collins glass
- Squeeze the lime into a Collins glass a few ice cubes. Add in the rum. Drop in one of the squeezed limes and fill with cold Coca-Cola. Stir lightly.
A British drink, the gunfire was first mixed by British army soldiers during the 1890s. This cocktail is typically served at breakfast. It is also traditionally served to soldiers in their beds by their officers on Christmas Day at Reveille if they are deployed over the holiday. The Australian version substitutes the black tea for coffee.
- 1 cup of hot, black tea
- 1 shot of rum
- Pour the rum into the tea and stir.
Like many of the drinks on this list, the specific history of the sidecar is unclear, but it is thought to have been invented around the end of World War I in London or Paris. It was named for the motorcycle passenger attachment. According to Huffington Post, an anonymous American Army captain who liked to ride in a motorcycle sidecar invented it.
- 1-3/4 oz Cognac
- 3/4 oz Cointreau
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- orange twist garnish
- Combine all the liquids in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and chill. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with orange twist.
Bald Eagle Martini
The origins of this drink are unclear, however, it is well known and can be found in several mixology books. Named for America’s national bird, this refreshing cocktail seems perfect for the Fourth of July.
- 2 oz tequila
- 1 oz pink grapefruit juice
- 1/2 oz cranberry juice
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- Salt to rim
- Rim a martini glass with salt. Then shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into the prepared glass and serve.
According to Bacardi, the idea behind this concoction was made for the 2nd Ranger Battalion during a cold weather training exercise. The 151 is for warmth, the Red Bull is for the extra energy, and the Jagermeister is for flavor.
- 1/2 oz Bacardi 151 Rum
- 1 8 oz can Red Bull
- 1 oz Jagermeister
- Mix Jagermeister, Bacardi 151 rum and a can of Red Bull in a mug or tall glass. Place a slice of both lime and lemon on top and serve.
There is no real history behind this cocktail, but it is red, white, and blue. And we’re guessing that it will also get you drunk pretty fast.
- 1 oz Avalanche Cinnamon Schnapps
- 1 oz Avalanche Peppermint
- 1 oz Rumplemintz
- Pour each ingredient in slowly to layer them in a glass. Don’t stir — the color is what makes this drink patriotic.