July is here (yes, already!) and it’s time to start planning for your big 4th of July bash. This year, why not try combining your love of pop with your love of America? Nothing goes better with U.S.A. pride like a little side of Taylor Swift!
To help you out, we’ve put together all of the essentials for the most Poptastic 4th of July party you’ve ever experienced. From the hottest tunes to the most refreshing drinks, our guide has you covered. Are you ready to put the pop in your party?
What is more essential to a good party than music? Your celebration playlist will set the whole mood! There are so many good songs making the rounds right now that it can be overwhelming trying to select exactly which tunes will fit. You want to pump up your partygoers, capture the sweet happiness of summer and maybe even inspire a few dance moves. That’s a lot of pressure.
No worries — we’ve put together a playlist to kick off your party. These songs are so catchy your guests will be singing them all night.
1. Katy Perry, ‘Birthday’ (It is America’s birthday, after all.)
2. Taylor Swift, ‘Red’
3. Paramore, ‘Ain’t It Fun’
4. AJR, ‘I’m Ready’
5. One Republic, ‘Counting Stars’
6. Iggy Azalea, ‘Fancy’ feat. Charli XCX
7. Cash Cash, ‘Take Me Home’ feat. Bebe Rexha
8. Clean Bandit, ‘Rather Be’ feat. Jess Glynne
9. Pharrell, ‘Happy’
10. American Authors, ‘Best Day of My Life’
July can get pretty hot — really hot, depending on where you live — and there’s nothing better to cool down with than a light, refreshing mocktail. The best part about these delicious drinks is that they all contain Red Bull in its three new yummy flavors — cranberry, lime and blueberry — meaning you and your guests will have the energy to party long into the night.
Tip: If you live in a really hot location, try freezing the drinks into popsicles! Just as delicious, and even more refreshing.
This virgin sangria is light and sweet — perfect for a hot afternoon outside!
8.4 oz. Red Bull Red Edition
1.5 oz. clementine juice
0.5 oz. elderflower syrup
0.5 oz. lemon juice
Diced green apples, clementines and seedless grapes
Combine clementine juice, elderflower syrup, lemon juice and diced fruit.
Soak and chill ingredients for one hour.
Mix in Red Bull Red Edition and serve.
The taste of lime paired with the sweetness of the watermelon puree strike a heavenly, refreshing balance.
8.4 oz. Red Bull Silver Edition
2.5 oz. watermelon puree
4 finely chopped mint leaves
Blend watermelon; strain and pour over ice.
Pour in Red Bull Silver Edition and serve.
The ‘BLUE Hawaii’ is like a fruit punch with an extra kick. This fruity concoction will hit your taste buds just right!
8.4 oz. Red Bull Blue Edition
2 oz. of muddled pineapples and raspberries
0.5 oz. pomegranate juice
0.5 oz. lemon juice
Muddle fruit, strain, and pour over ice.
Add pomegranate juice and lemon juice.
Top off juice with Red Bull Blue Edition.
Garnish with pineapple wedge and serve.
Tip: To muddle fruit just means to mash or grind it up. So get to mashing those pineapples and raspberries!
After jamming to your playlist and sipping on your mocktails, you and your friends will be ready to chow down. We’ve gathered a few easy recipes that are sure to be a hit at your 4th of July get-together — and given them themes inspired by some of our favorite pop songs.
‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ Sliders
These hamburger sliders are so good you won’t be able to eat just one — or two or three. They’re so delicious, they’re trouble!
Tip: Don’t forget to provide condiments and fresh toppings for your guests, like tomato slices, chopped onion, pickles, cheese and so on.
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground chuck
American cheese, sliced
8 (3-inch) buns or rolls, split in half
Preheat a griddle to 350 degrees (F).
Combine the onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and salt in a bowl. Set aside for later.
Line a pan with wax paper and evenly flatten the meat in the pan, until it covers the whole surface. It should be rolled out very thin.
Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the rolled out ground chuck. Fold the meat in half, so the spices are in the middle. Cut the meat into even squares.
Place the burgers on the griddle and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. When only 1 minute is left on the last side, add a slide of American cheese.
Place the cooked burgers on the buns and serve!
Tip: If it’s a nice day, get the barbecue going out back instead of using a griddle. Nothing beats the taste of a real barbecued burger!
‘MMM Yeah’ Macaroni Salad
This macaroni salad is light and fresh, and it’ll have you ‘mmm’-ing with every bite.
8 oz. of elbow macaroni
1 cup light mayonnaise
4 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon curry
3/4 cup celery, sliced thin
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
Cook and drain the elbow macaroni according to the package directions. Rinse under cold water to cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.
Add the macaroni, celery, red pepper and onion to the wet mix. Toss to coat the macaroni.
Cover and let sit in the refrigerator to let all of the flavors blend together.
‘Wrecking Ball’ Cake Pops
Swing these babies right into your mouth. You won’t want to waste a single crumb!
1 package of cake mix (any flavor)
Water, eggs and vegetable oil called for on cake mix box
1 container (12 oz.) of whipped frosting (any flavor)
2 bags (14 oz. each) of candy melts (any flavor)
3/4 teaspoon shortening
Craft sticks, lollipop sticks or straws
Red, white and blue sprinkles
Block of plastic white foam (optional)
Make and bake your desired cake mix as directed on the box. Let the cake cool completely before moving on to Steps 2 and 3.
Line several cookie sheets with waxed paper.
Crumble the entire cake into a bowl. Add the 12 oz. of frosting, and start mixing it in with your fingers until the cake and frosting form a dough.
Roll quarter-size balls of the dough with your hands and place on the cookie sheets. Stick them in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Microwave your bags of candy melts as directed on the packaging. Stir in the shortening until its smooth. (Tip: Test the candy and shortening mixture on a spoon. If it runs off, you’re good to go!)
Remove the cake balls from your freezer. Dip each craft or lollipop stick into the melted candy, then insert halfway into a cake ball. Place each pop on the paper-lined trays.
Once all the cake balls have sticks, carefully dip each ball into the melted candy to coat it all over. Allow any excess candy to drip off back into the bowl.
Place the cake balls pop-side up in the foam block, or pop-side down on the cookie sheet.
Add the sprinkles, then let sit to dry.
Try not to eat every last one! They’re that good.
‘Firework’ Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies so fun that they will literally pop and crackle with every bite!
Your favorite sugar cookie recipe
3 packs of Pop Rocks Candy (strawberry flavor)
1 cup white sugar
Blue gel paste
Start off by making your favorite sugar cookie recipe. (If you don’t have one, try asking your mom or grandmother. We bet they’ve got one lying around!) Let the cookies cool.
Frost the sugar cookies with vanilla frosting.
Create blue sugar by adding blue gel paste to the white sugar. (How much gel paste is up to you, and how blue you want your sugar to be!) Place in a blender and turn on for 40 to 45 seconds.
Sprinkle the blue sugar on top of the vanilla frosting.
Sprinkle the strawberry Pop Rocks on top of the cookies.
Plate on a festive 4th of July platter and serve. (And watch everyone’s surprised faces when the cookies start crackling in their mouths!)
This article was created in collaboration with our advertising partner Red Bull.
Need More Tunes? Check Out the PopCrush Mini-Mixes!