Stars and Stripes Cocktail Recipe

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Stars and Stripes Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Stars and Stripes cocktail is a modern creation, inspired by the patriotic colors of the American flag. It's a favorite among those who appreciate a balance of fruitiness and a slight kick from the ginger beer and absinthe.

  • Inspiration: The cocktail's name and color scheme pay homage to the United States flag.
  • Popularity: It's often served at Fourth of July celebrations and patriotic events.
  • Audience: Ideal for those who enjoy vibrant, refreshing drinks with a unique twist.

How Stars and Stripes Tastes?

The Stars and Stripes cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet and tart, with the freshness of blueberries and lemon juice complemented by the herbal notes of absinthe. The ginger beer adds a spicy effervescence, while the raspberry brandy provides a subtle fruitiness.

Interesting facts about Stars and Stripes

  • The cocktail's red, white, and blue elements make it visually appealing for patriotic holidays.
  • Absinthe, once banned in the United States, adds a historical twist to the drink.
  • Blueberry vodka is a relatively recent innovation that has allowed for a variety of berry-flavored cocktails.


A few good options for Stars and Stripes are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

A few good options for Stars and Stripes are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Fresh Blueberries

Blueberries add a natural sweetness and a patriotic hue to our Stars and Stripes cocktail. They are rich in antioxidants, which may not make the cocktail healthier, but let's pretend! If you skip them, you'll lose some fruity depth. Frozen blueberries can be a backup singer if fresh ones aren’t in season.

Emma Rose

Blueberry Vodka

Blueberry vodka infuses an extra berry blast into our libation and intensifies the theme. If you decrease the amount, the cocktail would be less fragrant; too much, and you're in a berry jam. A substitute could be a plain vodka for a less fruity profile.

Alex Green


Now, we're talking mystery and complexity because absinthe brings a hint of aniseed to the party. Omitting it means less depth, but if you’re not fond of licorice flavors, swap it for a splash of elderflower liqueur for a floral note.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

The zesty lemon juice brings balance and tartness, cutting through the sweetness. Reduce it, and your cocktail may become a sugar fest; increase it, and you might pucker more than kissing your aunt. No lemon? Lime juice could pinch-hit, bringing a slightly different kind of tang.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

Our cocktail's sweet diplomat, simple syrup smooths over any too-tart feelings between the other ingredients. Get this ratio wrong, and you're in a 'sweet spot' or 'not-so-sweet spot'. Honey syrup could substitute, giving a richer sweetness if you fancy a change.

Alex Green

Raspberry Brandy

This is our secret handshake of flavor – just a dash adds a whisper of raspberry goodness. Missing this and you lose a layer of complexity, but a raspberry liqueur could step in, albeit a little louder.

Mary Mitkina

Ginger Beer

Bubbling with charm, ginger beer adds spice and fizz to our patriotic potion. No ginger beer? An earth-shattering kaboom! Just kidding; ginger ale could swoop in for a milder ginger experience.

Emma Rose

Sugar Cube

The sugar cube is the cherry on top, dissolving slowly to sweeten the deal sip by sip. Without it, you're just less fancy, but it's not crucial. Want to show off? Use a sugar cube soaked in bitters for an extra flavor twist.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Stars and Stripes Drink

  1. Muddle: In a shaker, muddle the blueberries.
  2. Mix: Add the blueberry vodka, absinthe, lemon juice, and simple syrup to the shaker with ice.
  3. Shake: Shake the mixture until well-chilled.
  4. Serve: Pour (unstrained) into a highball glass.
  5. Top: Drizzle with raspberry brandy and top with chilled ginger beer.
  6. Garnish: Place one sugar cube on top as garnish.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Glass: For an extra refreshing experience, chill the highball glass before serving.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh blueberries and lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Ginger Beer: Choose a high-quality ginger beer for a better taste and fizz.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The citrus notes from the lemon juice will complement dishes like grilled shrimp or scallops.
  • Cheese Platter: Enjoy this drink with a cheese board featuring creamy cheeses like brie or goat cheese to balance the cocktail's tartness.
  • Chocolate Desserts: The sweetness and the berry elements of the cocktail can pair delightfully with dark chocolate desserts.

Drink Pairings

  • Water: Sounds simple, but staying hydrated while enjoying cocktails is wise. Plus, it cleanses the palate!
  • White Wine: A crisp, dry white wine can be a great follow-up, echoing the cocktail's brightness and acidity.

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What you could change in Stars and Stripes

  • Blueberry Vodka: Can be substituted with plain vodka and a few extra blueberries.
  • Absinthe: If unavailable, use Pernod or another anise-flavored spirit.
  • Raspberry Brandy: Raspberry liqueur can be used as an alternative.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Blast Stars and Stripes

Switch the blueberry vodka to raspberry vodka, and add a few muddled raspberries along with the blueberries. This creates a cocktail with a more complex, forest fruit profile that feels like a berry bonanza on your taste buds.

Firecracker Stars and Stripes

Add a small pinch of cayenne pepper or a few slices of jalapeño to the shaker before muddling the blueberries for a spicy take on this patriotic beverage. This'll make sure your cocktail provides a little extra fireworks!

Star-Spangled Sparkler

Instead of ginger beer, top off the cocktail with sparkling wine to bring an elegant effervescence. This twist would make the drink more suited for a celebratory toast, adding a fizzy sophistication to the mix.

In case you forgot basics how to make Stars and Stripes

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Stars and Stripes

How can I choose the best fresh blueberries for the Stars and Stripes cocktail?

Look for blueberries that are plump, firm, and have a vibrant blue color without any hints of red. They should have a smooth, dry skin with a silvery bloom.

What is the origin of absinthe, and how does it enhance a cocktail?

Absinthe originated in Switzerland in the late 18th century. It is a highly alcoholic spirit with a distinctive anise flavor which adds complexity and depth to cocktails.

Is there a specific technique to muddle blueberries effectively?

Use a muddler to gently press the blueberries against the bottom of the shaker until they release their juices. Avoid over-muddling to prevent the berries from becoming too mushy.

Can using different types of ice affect my cocktail?

Yes, the size and shape of ice can impact dilution and temperature. Larger cubes or spheres melt more slowly, which is ideal for minimizing dilution in a strong cocktail.

What are the considerations for selecting a good ginger beer for cocktails?

A good ginger beer for cocktails should have a balance of sweetness and spiciness, with a pronounced ginger flavor and a good level of carbonation.

How long should I shake the cocktail to achieve the right texture and temperature?

Shake the cocktail vigorously for about 10 to 15 seconds to ensure it's properly chilled and aerated without overly diluting the drink.

What are the alternatives if I don't have a highball glass for the Stars and Stripes cocktail?

While a highball glass is preferred, you can also serve the cocktail in a Collins glass or any tall, narrow glass that can accommodate both the drink and ice.

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