The Bourbon Smash cocktail. Photo: Tom McCarthy Jr.

Whether you plan to spend Independence Day with a cookout, barbecue, or picnic, we’ve got crowd-pleasing recipes that are sure to keep your guests satisfied.

Greet friends and family at the door with Desert Door’s paloma made with grapefruit soda and Texas-made sotol. Expecting a big crowd? A batch of bourbon smash using Ben Milam Whiskey makes for an easy serve-yourself option. When hanging grill-side, a super simple ranch water from The Capri in Marfa will keep things light and refreshing in the summer heat.

Before the mains hit the table, whet your appetite with the classic Texas starter of chips and salsa. Try the smoky chile macho from Come and Take It BBQ in Alpine, or turn up the heat with a fire-roasted Hatch chile salsa (that keeps for a whole year when properly canned).

It just isn’t the Fourth of July without some grilled or barbecued entrees. For a quicker option, the Western burger just needs a few minutes of the grill before it’s ready to eat. If you have more time, this mouth-watering smoked brisket—rubbed in a coffee-and-spice mixture—takes hours, but is well worth the wait.

Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket (Courtesy of Texas Beef Council/Beef Loving Texans)

As the sun sets and you prepare for fireworks, you’ll probably be thinking about dessert. Try warm, cinnamon-kissed Mexican sugar cookies, or make use of Texas’ summer peach harvest with Cabernet Grill’s Vogel Orchard peach crisp. Want to really impress your guests? Send them home with Blueberry Hill Farm’s blueberry streusel muffins for the next morning.

Looking for something else? Find more recipes here.

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