These red cocktails are perfect for your backyard Juneteenth celebrations

Juneteenth is the annual celebration of the emancipation of enslaved peoples in the U.S. Red foods and drinks are usually served during the holiday to symbolize the blood of those who lost their lives while enslaved. Historians note that in many West African cultures red represents strength, spirituality, life and death — thus, it’s not uncommon to see red desserts, drinks, produce and barbecue at Juneteenth celebrations. 

However you celebrate and honor Juneteenth, here are two refreshing cocktails to try out:

Pomegranate margarita


  • 250 milliliters pomegranate juice
  • 150 milliliters white tequila 
  • 75 milliliters grenadine syrup
  • 55 milliliters lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Margarita glass
  • Crushed ice

1. Wet the rim of the margarita glass with water. Then dip the rim into salt and set it aside.

2. Combine the pomegranate juice, tequila, grenadine and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.

3. Shake and serve over crushed ice.

Strawberry soda


  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-liter strawberry soda or lemon-lime soda
  • 1.5 cups strawberry lemonade mix
  • 1 cup homemade strawberry syrup
  • Fresh sprigs of mint
  • Ice

1. Cut off the tops of the strawberries and slice the strawberries in half. Then set them aside.

2. Remove stems from mint leaves, wash the leaves and set them aside.

3. Combine the sugar, water and one cup of strawberries in a saucepan on high heat.

4. When the mixture begins to boil, mash the strawberries. Then set to medium/low heat.

5. Once it’s liquified, set the mixture aside to cool. 

6. Combine the strawberry soda, strawberry lemonade mix and the cooled strawberry syrup in a bowl.

7. Toss in fresh strawberries, mint leaves and pour over ice. 

Juneteenth is commemorated every June 19 since 1865 following Union Army general Gordon Grander’s “General Order No. 3.” which banned slavery in Texas. Despite President Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation” nearly three years before, many states continued to permit slave-owning. The U.S. wouldn’t officially do away with slavery until 1866 after the ratification of the 13th Amendment. To many people, the events of June 19, 1865, mark the true ending of chattel slavery in America. 

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