How to Throw the Perfect 4th of July Rooftop BBQ

Pursue your own ‘AMERICAN DREAM’ with a rooftop barbecue, a SVEDKA signature cocktail, and a party-ready playlist.

Fireworks, BBQs and booze…the 4th of July is almost here! Heat up the grill, light some citronella candles and get up on the rooftop for a prime view of the fireworks. Craft a batch of SVEDKA’s American Dream Punch (a distinctive mix of vodka, curaçao, blackberries and mint) to serve to rooftop attendees all night long. Add some festive flair to the affair with SVEDKA’s dazzling party edition bottle.

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AMERICAN DREAM PUNCH

Ingredients:

  • 2 parts SVEDKA Vodka
  • ½ part Orange Curaçao
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • dash of grenadine

Instructions:

Combine ingredients in a pitcher and top with ice. Garnish with blackberries and mint. Easy as American pie.

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If there’s a mixologist on the roof (and, if you’re in Brooklyn, there probably is) try your hand at the Suddenly Summer, a layered mix of watermelon schnapps, vodka and blue curaçao.

SUDDENLY SUMMER

Ingredients:

  • 1½ parts SVEDKA Vodka
  • 1 part watermelon schnapps
  • ½ part cranberry juice
  • ½ part fresh lemon juice
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • ¼ part Blue Curacao
  • Club soda

Instructions:

Build in a rocks glass. Add watermelon schnapps, and cranberry juice over ice, then carefully add lemon, simple syrup, and SVEDKA Vodka as to layer the white layer, then VERY carefully layer the blue curacao to create the color separation, and gently top with soda. Garnish with fresh watermelon pieces.

Kick back, relax, and wait for the fireworks to litter the sky.

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Zella Day Shares Her Ultimate, All-American July 4 Playlist

Zella Day photographed in NYC by Ben Rosenzweig for BlackBook Magazine.

For one reason or another, the Fourth of July seems to be a holiday that nearly everyone plans at the 11th hour. With only a few days left to figure out the right barbecue, parade, or family reunion to attend, we wanted to help get our readers into the Independence Day spirit. Thus, we recruited the help of Zella Day, whose popularity as a singer-songwriter seems to have soared exponentially upon the release of her album Kicker last month. Born in the incredibly isolated, rural town of Pinetop, Arizona, Day combines her folk-fringed background with traditional pop, exhibiting a sound that aptly summarizes the modern sonic embodiment of Americana. Who better to ask for some firework-worthy tracks?

Take a listen to Day’s playlist below, featuring the likes of Tom Petty, Sturgil Simpson, and The Doors. Also, make sure to give Kicker a listen, here.

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Tom Petty – “Wildflowers”

I chose “Wildflowers” before “American Girl” as to not be too predictable. Tom Petty is the ultimate American heart throb.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – “American Girl”

Well here it is folks! The one true 4th of July anthem.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Teach Your Children”

This song encapsulates what I’d like to think Americans live by.

Joni Mitchell – “California”

Joni singing about the city that I’m falling so madly in love with, I couldn’t resist.

Sturgil Simpson – “A Little Light”

Sturgill Simpson is my idea of real genuine country music.

America – “Sister Golden Hair”

If I didn’t put this song on my playlist I’d be a wacko. I love this, you love this, your parents love this.

Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn – “Louisiana Woman”

I want to be Loretta Lynn when I grow up. Mississippi and all. 

The Whites – “Keep On The Sunny Side”

Our country is going through some dark times, but let us not forget all of the beauty we  share.

Harry McClintock – “Big Rock Candy Mountain”

Classic cowboy attitude.

The Doors – “Alabama Song”

Where I’m guessing everyone ends up after fireworks.

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10 Best Pieces of Art Remind Us of Our Favorite July 4th Fireworks

Janet Echelman, 1.26, 2014

Why wait for a dazzling 4th of July fireworks show all year when you can get a taste of the excitement through a different medium, art? From sculpture to painting, Futurism to pop, we’ve compiled the best artworks that capture the explosive color arrangements from the fireworks you watched as a kid. Now you won’t have to worry about the authorities raining on your parade–these pyrotechnic-like pieces can be enjoyed safely at home.

Damian Ortega Controller of the Universe 2007 a3 1_wDamián Ortega, Controller of the Universe, 2007

Peter Dayton 2Peter Dayton, Blur #17, 2014

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Rinko Kawauchi, photograph from Illuminance, 2011

John Chmaberlain 4

John Chamberlain, Untitled, 1995

Anish Kapoor 5Anish Kapoor, 1000 Names, 1982

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Tomás Saraceno, NGC 5457, 2014

Jen Stark 8
Jen Stark, Over and Out, 2008

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Katrin Fridriks, Uncoded Nature & Land – Silver Stendhal Mothernature Series, 2014

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Giacomo Balla, Street Light, 1909

NYC’s Top Four Fireworks-Free July 4th Events

Bored of ye old fireworks? I get it. Keeping up with the ooh-and-aah parade for 26 minutes is exhausting. So skip the routine, and do something that’ll make this 4th of July a standout. Take a look at NYC’s most unusual events.

Devour free BBQ & dance from 3pm-4am:At Williamsburg’s LP ‘n Harmony Beats & BBQ “Star Spangled Boogie Marathon,” you can dance to DJ-selected soulful music and eat free platefuls of BBQ.

Shop, eat, & dance at Rockabily Night Market:  Burlesque, vintage cars, pin-up photo booth, craft and food market, and DJ Sei’s rhythm and blues at Dekalb Market. 

Watch people eat nauseating amounts of hotdogs: Witness history get made at noon at Coney Island’s 98th annual Nathan’s Hotdog Contest, where 30 world-famous competitive eaters comp(eat) for the $20,000 prize while forever changing the way you see The Hotdog. 

Spend the afternoon with the Philharmonic: A lush, orchestral version of the Star Spangled Banner and patriotic standards at 3pm – with the U.S. Coast Guard in standing by – is just about the classiest way to spend the 4th.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

From Usher to Jellyfish: What’s New & Strange At This Year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

Fourth of July has its formula: for the day, your kitschy red and blue shorts make a comeback, a ketchup-drenched burger and baked beans make their way to your paper plate, and there’s no stifling the requisite oohs-and-aahs amid the explosive fireworks show and orchestral Macy’s music. 

But this year, NYC is igniting Independence Day with some unprecedented, surprising, and bizarre features that don’t really make much logistical sense, but are happening any way. And that’s just the way we like ’em. Take a look:

1. Usher is the show’s "curator."
For the first time ever, Macy’s is collaborating with "a major superstar" on the show’s design and 26-minute score. Since Usher is syncing the fireworks with each musical beat, you can expect every half-naked dancer’s jiggle to be on-point with the high notes of Rihanna’s "Diamonds," Kanye’s "All Of The Lights," and each Justin Bieber song.

2. The show’s theme is "It Begins With A Spark." Talk about foreshadowing. 

3. The fireworks come straight from China, Malta, Portugal, and Spain.

4. Even the Empire State Building is syncing with the fireworks, flashing with each corresponding, colorful firework in the grand finale. 

5. There will be a new winking-happy face firework and a new jellyfish firework from China. The jellyfish whistles as it explodes and bursts open with butterflies. 

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here. 

The Best Places to Watch the NYC Fireworks

Here at BlackBook, we take Independence Day pretty seriously. Not only is it a national holiday, but it’s also the only summer day we have off from work, thus presenting a wonderful excuse to indulge all day outside on charred, ketchup-drenched burgers, icy American beers, and semi-cheesy red/white/blue apparel. We’ve put together a list of our top five favorite places to witness that spectacular view of the fireworks and have a holiday that you won’t be able to stop thinking about the next day.