Celebrate US Independence Day with Wild Turkey

July 03, 2024 by

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As America gets ready to celebrate Independence Day, a time to honor the nation’s rich cultural heritage, there’s no better way to toast to freedom than with a glass of Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon. Known for its exceptional quality and deep-rooted history, Wild Turkey embodies the spirit of the USA. 

Discover how this quintessentially American bourbon can elevate your Fourth of July celebrations, and learn how to pair it with classic barbecue dishes to add a touch of heritage to your celebrations. 

10 Wild Turkey Independence Day cocktail recipes

1. Mint Julep

Refreshing Mint Julep Cocktails served in copper cups

Frosty, minty, and strong, a Mint Julep is the perfect drink on a hot summer’s day when you want to serve up something cooling and delicious. Simple pour and even easier to sip, it’s a crowd-pleaser that always hits the mark at Fourth of July celebrations.  

If you don’t have traditional julep cups, go ahead and serve this cocktail in a rocks glass instead. 

2. Bourbon Peach Schnapps

Bourbon Peach Schnapps in a garden setting

The bonnie Bourbon Peach Schnapps is a delicious combination of bourbon, sweet peach schnapps and fresh orange juice. It makes a lovely welcome drink and can be batched for easy serving. 

Want a lighter drink? Top it up with club soda. 

3. Kentucky Mule

Kentucky Mule

The Kentucky Mule cocktail is a delightful fusion of flavors that combines bourbon with tangy lime juice, spicy ginger beer and fresh mint. It’s a classic clinker that offers a refreshing experience and is the perfect serve for summery gatherings with friends and family. 

Top tip: Use a high-quality ginger beer with a robust ginger flavor.

4. John Collins

Two ice-cold glasses of Tom Collins cocktail against a wooden backdrop garnished with lemon slices and cherries

Sometimes the simplest recipes leave the most lasting impression. Case in point, the satisfying John Collins—bourbon, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a dash of simple and fizzy club soda. Served over ice, it’s a delightful drink that everyone will adore. 

The John Collins is an easy drink to mix up if you’re a cocktail newbie about to host a crowd. 

5. Old Fashioned

Top view of rich Old Fashioned Cocktails with Orange peel garnish

The Old Fashioned is one of the easiest cocktails to make if you’re new to the world of mixology. It’s also one of the most classic, making it one of the best bourbon cocktails for Independence Day.  

Short on time? Make Freezer Door Old Fashioned cocktails instead.

6. Bourbon Rickey 

Close-up top shot of a Bourbon Rickey garnished with a piece of lime, with a decanter of bourbon and a sliced lime visible the side

If you don’t want to mask the taste of a good bourbon like Wild Turkey too much, but still enjoy a tall drink rather than a straight sip, the Bourbon Rickey is going to tick all your must-have boxes. The addition of a squeeze of lime and some effervescent club soda allows the bourbon to shine and yields a beautifully balanced drink to boot.  

Add a few drops of orange bitters for a more citrus-forward flavor. 

7. Paper Plane

Two Paper Plane bourbon cocktails served in lowball glasses with lemon garnish

A delicious spin on the iconic Last Word cocktail that had its heyday in the Prohibition era, the Paper Plane is fruity and sweet with a strong bourbon backbone and a gorgeous note of bitterness that lingers like the last note of a truly great song. 

Top tip: Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best result. 

8. Bourbon Watermelon Cocktail

Bourbon Watermelon Cocktails with mint garnish

Our Bourbon Watermelon Cocktail combines all the best bits of summer in one sensational sip. This juicy drink is also easy to whip up in big batches to serve a crowd, so if you’re hosting a BBQ for the 4th of July, it makes a great pitcher option.   

Not feeling minty? Make this cocktail with basil instead for an interesting and tasty twist. 

9. Bourbon Sour

Bourbon Sour cocktail in a coupe glass with bitters garnish

A Bourbon Sour (or Whiskey Sour) is easy to master but comes with three rules for the perfect serve. One, use fresh lemon juice. Two, use good bourbon. And three, shake it properly for that classic frothy look and mouthfeel.   

For a vegan-friendly version swap out the egg white for 1.5 tablespoons of aquafaba. 

10. Boulevardier

Boulevardier Cocktail

Imagine sitting by a blazing fire in an antique leather chair that’s perfectly contoured to fit your body. That’s what drinking a Boulevardier feels like. It’s a melange of oak, vanilla, caramel, bitter Campari, and gorgeous floral notes. 

Need more drinkspiration? 20 Fourth of July Cocktails to Celebrate the Red, White & Blue 

Barbeque and food pairings

Three glasses of Wild Turkey Bourbon paired with mini apple pies on Fourth of July

Wild Turkey bourbon, with its rich, robust flavor profile, pairs beautifully with classic American barbecue dishes, enhancing the smoky, savory, and sweet flavors of popular dishes enjoyed during celebrations. Here are some Wild Turkey Independence Day pairings we know and love:  

  • Beef brisket. Rich, fatty brisket with a nice smoky bark pair well with the spicy rye notes and the bold, smoky character of Wild Turkey. The bourbon’s high proof cuts through the richness of the meat. 
  • BBQ jackfruit sandwiches. Jackfruit’s ability to mimic the texture of pulled pork, along with its sweet and tangy barbecue sauce, pairs well with the rich caramel and vanilla flavors of Wild Turkey.  
  • Barbecue ribs. The sweet and tangy barbecue sauce on the ribs pairs perfectly with the sweet caramel and vanilla flavors of Wild Turkey. 
  • Grilled Portobello mushrooms. The meaty texture and umami flavor of grilled Portobello mushrooms enhance the bourbon’s oak and smoke characteristics. 
  • Apple pie. For dessert, the classic apple pie’s sweetness and spice perfectly match the bourbon’s caramel and vanilla flavors. We recommend serving it piping hot with a drizzle of heavy cream or a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream.  
Mastering Whiskey Neat: A Comprehensive Guide

From pairing seamlessly with classic barbecue dishes to enhancing the festive spirit with its rich flavors, Wild Turkey brings a touch of tradition and exceptional quality to your Fourth of July festivities.

The fascinating history of bourbon & heritage of Wild Turkey

An art deco style illustration of a man in the late 18th century, holding two glasses of bourbon, turkeys in the landscapes behind him

The story of Wild Turkey Bourbon is a captivating tale of tradition and innovation—a rich past that ushers in a bold future. It all began in 1855, when Austin Nichols started selling wine and spirits. In 1869, the Ripy brothers opened their distillery on Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Their bourbon gained national acclaim in 1893, representing the state at the World’s Fair in Chicago.

Did you know: The name Wild Turkey was born in 1940, when a distillery executive shared his bourbon on a turkey hunt. The brand’s heritage deepened in 1954 with the arrival of Jimmy Russell, who became a legendary Master Distiller, passing on his knowledge to his son, Eddie. Together, they launched groundbreaking products like the world’s first bourbon liqueur in 1976 and the premium Rare Breed bourbon in 1991.

Did you know: Jimmy’s legacy was cemented with his 2000 induction into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, followed by Eddie in 2010. By 2015, Eddie was named Master Distiller, making them the only active father-son duo in the industry.  

The brand continued to innovate with creative collaborations, including actor Matthew McConaughey joining as Creative Director in 2016 and co-creating Longbranch in 2018. The introduction of Rare Breed Rye in 2020 marked another milestone in their storied journey.  

Today, Wild Turkey Bourbon remains a symbol of American bourbon tradition, cherished by whiskey enthusiasts worldwide. 

Stay cool: 13 Summer Bourbon Drinks to Beat the Heat

American whiskey tradition

Illustration of two mean clinking together Wild Turkey bourbon at sunset next to a corn field

The history of bourbon in America is deeply rooted in Kentucky, where the rich tradition of distilling this iconic spirit began. The story of bourbon dates back to the late 18th century when European settlers, particularly Scots Irish immigrants, brought their distilling techniques to the fertile lands of Kentucky.  

The state’s abundant corn crops, limestone-filtered water, and ideal climate created perfect conditions for producing high-quality bourbon. Early distillers innovated the charred oak barrel aging process, which imparted the distinctive flavors and colors that define bourbon from this region today. 

For going on 80 years, Wild Turkey has been honoring Kentucky bourbon heritage by crafting its whiskey atop the scenic Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg. This exceptional location is where spirited tradition meets a deep devotion to the craft, resulting in an exceptional lineup of bourbon and rye. 

Drawing water from the Kentucky River, which naturally filtered through limestone, the distillery also still uses its original, proprietary yeast strain, which has been giving the bourbon its unique flavor for 60+ years.  

An illustration of a row of Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels inside a distillery

Remarkably, Wild Turkey is one of the few distilleries that have never used genetically modified grain in its bourbon. While some may overlook char level (the intensity of burn inside American White Oak barrels used for aging) Wild Turkey embraces the No. 4 ‘alligator’ char, the deepest available, to create its signature amber color and bold flavor. 

Every drop of Wild Turkey bourbon is aged for at least five years, and often for six, eight, or more.

Legally, bourbon only needs to age for two years to qualify as straight bourbon whiskey, but Wild Turkey goes above and beyond. 

This time-honored approach results in a premium bourbon with a deep auburn color, and an aroma of vanilla and oak with traces of citrus and toffee on top. The taste itself is rich with vanilla and caramel and accompanying notes of toffee and light smoke, ending on a long, full-bodied finish that lingers on the tongue.  

Insider insights: Your Guide to Finding the Best Whiskey to Drink Neat 

Raise a glass of this iconic American spirit and toast to freedom, heritage, and the enduring legacy of Wild Turkey Bourbon. Cheers to a memorable Independence Day! 

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