Cocktail and Hot Dog Pairings for July 4th

Cocktail and Hot Dog Pairings for July 4th

By Laura Fagan Published June 2023

Culinary capitals across the United States have been competing for centuries over one particular foodie claim to fame - which city makes the best hot dog? The truth is: not all hot dogs are created equal. And for that we are thankful! Each dog features a different set of flavors, toppings and condiments that make them distinct and delicious.

Instead of deciding which dog reigns supreme, we're crowning ALL of them with their very own cocktail pairing, matched specifically to complement each hog dog’s unique flavors for the Fourth of July.

New York Hot Dog | Jack Apple Fizz

New York Hot Dog and Jack Apple Fizz

When it comes down to dogs in NYC, simplicity is the secret. The iconic New York hot dog is traditionally topped with tangy sauerkraut or onions sautéed with tomato paste and a healthy squeeze of spicy brown mustard. This un-fussed-with corner cart dog serves up bold flavors, and pairing it with a Jack Apple Fizz is a match made in Manhattan. With its crisp apple flavor and bubbly effervescence, this refreshing whiskey cocktail is the Big Apple's answer to a perfect hot dog pairing, na’ mean?

The Cocktail Recipe

Pour whiskey and lemon juice over ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Add some more options to your Big Apple hot dog game with the Jim Beam Apple Mule or Apple Sour cocktails.

Chicago Hot Dog | Old Fashioned

Chicago Hot Dog and Old Fashioned

In Chi-town, the hot dogs are loaded like the city’s skyline. Piled high atop a warm poppy seed bun, you’ll find fresh tomato, crunchy pickle spears, sport peppers, sweet onion, mustard, relish and, of course, the celery salt! For this Windy City dog, we had to pair the quintessential Chicagoan cocktail: the Old Fashioned. This duo is the ultimate combination of sweet, savory and spice. Chicago's claim and connection to the cocktail originates from the name given to the blend of bourbon, bitters, sugar and orange in a Chicago Tribune article in 1880. Evidence suggests it gained popularity in the 1850s and '60s, but it wasn’t until the recipe was first published referring to it as an “old-fashioned cocktail’ (credited to a bartender named Theodore Proulx), that its status was solidified as an iconic drink in Chicago's cocktail history.1

The Cocktail Recipe

Place sugar cube in a glass and add bitters. Next, add water and muddle until dissolved. Place a large ice cube in glass and add whiskey. Stir lightly to combine. Garnish with orange peel and a cherry.

Newark Hot Dog | Jack Rose

Newark Hot Dog and Jack Rose

In Newark, you’re either eating or you're thinking about eating, and the city’s Italian style, all-beef hot dog is worth dreaming over. It’s got grilled peppers, onions, mustard and ketchup all lovingly packed into an Italian roll or homemade pizza bread. The best part? You don’t need a side of fries; this dog is famously topped with crispy fried potatoes. When it comes to the perfect cocktail pairing for this Jersey gem, we recommend the Jack Rose. Crafted with Laird's Applejack Brandy, freshly squeezed lemon juice and grenadine, this cocktail is a refreshing combo of sweet and tart flavors. As "America's First Spirit," Applejack has a rich history spanning over three centuries. In fact, the Laird family has been distilling Applejack in New Jersey since 1698 and the brandy-based Jack Rose perfectly complements the Newark Hot Dog’s bold, grilled flavors and crunchy textures.

The Cocktail Recipe

Add the applejack brandy, lemon juice and grenadine into a shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Detroit Hot Dog | Summer Shandy

Detroit Hot Dog and Summer Shandy

The Detroit Hot Dog, also known as the Coney Dog, is a beefy bite smothered in chili, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and raw onion. It's an iconic street food that represents the heart and soul of the Motor City. And what’s better than a cold beer and a hot dog on a sweltering day? Pair this dog with a Summer Shandy, a summertime classic beer-tail (beer cocktail) that’s as easy to make as it is refreshing.

The Cocktail Recipe

Pour the beer into a pint glass until it is halfway full. Fill the rest of the pint glass with lemonade and garish with a lemon wheel.

San Francisco Hot Dog | Tom’s BLT

San Francisco Hot Dog and Tom’s BLT

Reppin’ the West Coast, our next dog comes from the City by the Bay - FINALLY, a dog with bacon on it! This Cali classic is all about the toppings - think smoky bacon wrapped around a juicy hot dog, topped with crispy lettuce and juicy tomato served with cool mayo. For a hot dog with BLT toppings, you’ll need a cocktail to match: enter Tom’s BLT (bourbon, lemon, tonic)! This cocktail packs a punch with Tom Sims Kentucky Bourbon, but it's perfectly balanced by the zip of fresh lemon juice and the fizz of the tonic water. It's like a taste of San Fran in a glass: bold, refreshing and full of flavor.

The Cocktail Recipe

Pour bourbon, tonic water and lemon juice into a glass with ice. Stir to combine and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Atlanta Hot Dog | Peach Sun Tea

Atlanta Hot Dog and Peach Sun Tea

For our final dog and drink match-up, we headed south to Hotlanta. This Southern-inspired slaw dog is smothered with a cool and crunchy combo of fresh cabbage, a bite of vinegar, chopped veggies and a touch of sugar. And because we are headed to the Peach State, we’re pairing it up with Peach Sun Tea. This icy cocktail combines Cooper's Mark Peach Bourbon, sweet tea and a hint of simple syrup. The secret to this delicious match lies in the irresistible Georgia peach flavor. The sweetness of the peach complements the savory hot dog, while the smooth bourbon in the cocktail highlights the dog's rich and diverse flavors.

The Cocktail Recipe


*Sun Tea:

  • 8 bags black tea

  • 8 cups water

For the sun tea: Place black tea bags and water into a gallon glass container. Set container in direct sunlight for 3-5 hours, or until the tea has reached your desired strength. Remove from sun and store in the refrigerator until ready to drink.

For the cocktail: Combine bourbon, sun tea and simple syrup into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a peach wedge.

No matter where you roam in the States, you're bound to find a unique twist on how to dish up the tastiest hot dog. Give these pairings a spin this summer or try out your own matches with our full collection of cocktail recipes.



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