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Firecracker Cocktail Adds Spark to 4th of July Festivities

By Mary Johnson | July 2, 2012 7:02am

MIDTOWN — For those looking to toast the Fourth of July in an extra special way this year, the bartenders at several Manhattan hot spots are whipping up a cocktail with a little extra spark.

The “Firecracker Cocktail,” as it has been dubbed, consists of watermelon chunks ground to a pulp, gin, canton ginger liqueur, agave, lime juice and sparkling wine.

The Independence Day concoction will be available at The World Bar in the The Trump World Tower across from the United Nations, at the Empire Room inside the Empire State Building, at the Campbell Apartment and its adjoining terrace at Grand Central Terminal, at The Carnegie Club just behind Carnegie Hall in Midtown, at Bookmarks on the roof of The Library Hotel and at Madison & Vine, a bistro and wine bar on Madison Avenue near East 41st Street.

Kenneth McClure, vice president and group general manager for the collection of bars, whipped up a Firecracker Cocktail for DNAinfo.com New York and explained that each ingredient was specially selected for what it would bring to the cocktail.

The watermelon, McClure said, is a quintessential summer fruit and brings a beautiful color and fresh flavor to the drink.

“Plymouth Gin has got some wonderful botanicals and nice gin flavor that you’re going to get for the cocktail,” he added.

The canton ginger liqueur provides “the kick in the drink,” while agave infuses it with sweetness, he continued.

Add a little fresh-squeezed lime juice, give it a shake and pour into a tall pilsner glass, McClure said. But leave a little room at the top to toss in some sparkling wine, which he said adds crispness and lightens up the drink.

Then, simply toast the fourth.

The Firecracker Cocktail:

1 1/2 oz Plymouth gin 

3/4 oz canton ginger liqueur

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

1 tsp agave nectar 

5 watermelon chunks

Sparkling wine 

Directions: Muddle the watermelon then add remaining ingredients, except for sparkling wine, and shake well with ice. Strain into tall glass, top with the wine and stir gently. Garnish with a watermelon slice.