News flash:  July is next week.  Say whaaaa??  (Do I say that at the start of every single new month?  Yes, yes I do.  Apparently I need to figure out a way to slow down time.  I’ll get right on that.)  Since Independence Day is at the very beginning of the month, it seems to always sneak up on me.  Luckily, it’s not too hard to pull things together for a holiday centered around patriotism, explosives, and all things red, white, and blue.  I first saw these drinks years ago, in an alcoholic version.  Since I don’t drink alcohol, I started googling to figure out if that was an integral part of the chemistry involved.  Lucky for me, it’s not!  These appeared a while back in Family Fun Magazine and have made the rounds on Pinterest as well.  People are always impressed by them!



One idea I’ve seen floating around is lining the rim of the glass with pop-rocks (Pop.  Firecrackers.  Get it?)  I experimented on a little mini glass and while it’s cute, I don’t think it’s at all worth the hassle.  When Pop Rocks get wet, they start popping, so they sort of make a big sticky mess. It also makes it way more labor intensive to fill up the cups with ice and layers, etc.  Cute though, right?  Don’t be fooled… PS, the Pop Rocks in the blue package are actually green.  Why Pop Rocks, why?!

I like to serve these with straws, because they taste best (I think) once they’re mixed up.  These cute red ones are from Orson Gygi– and I like that they sell them in big packs of 50 since usually you only find small bags of paper straws.

Definitely something fun to put on your to-do list this Fourth!

Another thing to put on your to-do list?  Go to Anguilla.  If that doesn’t work out for you today, then at least check out the Sea Cuisine site where my travel features will be launching this week!  Here’s a link to my page where you can find lots of photos I snapped on my trip.


  1. 1

    LOVE that you added star ice cubes!!!!

    I haven’t tried this out yet, but it’s happening on the 4th. My son will LOVE it!!

  2. 2
    Patti says:

    Fun post to read, Sara. So you and Oprah seem to have the same effect on the world. She with her book reviews (or anything else for that matter) and you with your dollar section recommendations at Target! I guess I better get over there right away!
    I will have a house full of grandchildren for the fourth, so we’re going to add this to our list of things to do/make! Thanks!

  3. 3
    tanya says:

    omg these are so cute!! I love love love them. I’m thinking about adding a little liquor in here to make it an adults only beverage. so fun!

  4. 4
    Mark Petersen says:

    Oh when science and food get together and make sweet awesomeness.

  5. 5
    Ellie says:

    I told my kids we’d try to do a science experiment every week this summer and this will be perfect for next week! I already went to target and got my ice cube trays. Thanks for the tip.

  6. 6
    Jodi J. says:

    I think these are so fun! One question, though. Does the white layer have to be a diet soda? I have an allergy to the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas and would love to be able to make this and still drink it. Any suggestions?

    • 6.1
      sara says:

      Anything clear and sugar free will work!

    • 6.2
      Jess says:

      I wondered the same thing. We don’t do artificial sweeteners at all either (for health reasons, so bad for you!) And anything that’s “sugar free” will have artificial sweeteners. But I love this idea! I may have to experiment with some other drinks and try to find another combo that varies enough in density to layer. I’ll post it if I come up with something….unless someone else has found a way!

  7. 7
    Natalee Lloyd says:

    This reminds me of Italian sodas before you stir them up. Sugar and charm ( has some recipes for making your own syrups. So I might experiment with a layer of red syrup, then cream, then club soda that has been enhanced with a little blue food coloring. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

  8. 8
    Lisle says:

    Since you’re sugaring the kids up, couldn’t you just use a colored sugar from the decorating aisle to put on the rim? And I love the trays. So cute!!

  9. 9
    Jennifer C says:

    Thank you for posting this! I have wanted to make them since I celebrated Independence Day in California, but forgot the recipe. Now, to try to make them Canadian…

  10. 10
    Sarah says:

    If you don’t mind white on the bottom, Sobe pina colada works well.

  11. 11
    T. Mellor says:

    My uncle actually did a version of this for my wedding 25 years ago. He used a lemon-lime soda base, a full strength red fruit punch flavored syrup at the bottom, then a little green syrup mixed at half strength. The entire drink was topped with a scoop of rainbow sherbet. It looked amazing and was pretty tasty.

  12. 12

    I must admit it ranks up there among one of the most unique blog ideas I have ever seen.

  13. 13
    Jeannie says:

    These are such a neat idea for the 4th! Will be getting to Target tomorrow for the ice trays and different drinks!

  14. 14
    Diane Durfee says:

    I made these last year and they were a hit! SO fun! A tip for the pop rocks if you still want to try them is to take a little carmel/butterscotch ice cream topping and dip the rims of the glasses/cups in that and then the pop rocks! They don’t seem to pop as much! Anyway it worked for us! (Just make sure you dip “lightly”) 🙂

  15. 15
    Tara says:

    Have you ever tried making this in a punch bowl? We’ll have a lot of guests and making individual cups might take a long time!

  16. 16
    Melanie says:

    Hey, if anyone can’t find the star ice trays at Target cause their “sold out”, check out Walmart. They have them also, under $1. I’ve also seen them at Dollar General. Cute idea. Love these drinks. I’ll definitely have to try it. Thanks!

  17. 17

    Cute photos!! I have actually made these (in other colors) as part of a science day at a local school when they wanted to learn about the science of cooking (and then featured them as part of my kids cooking series).

  18. 18
    Michelle says:

    Do you remember where you found the version with the alcohol? I’ve been searching but can’t find it! Or maybe you’ll know, if I wanted to do these with alcohol, would I just make it in the bottom layer since it would have a lot of sugar?

    • 18.1

      Michelle, if you just google, “Red white and blue cocktail” you’ll find a bunch! I know one recipe is ½ ounce Grenadine, ½ ounce Peach Schnapps or Vodka, and ½ ounce Blue Curacao (poured in that order). But really, just do a quick google search and you’ll see lots!

  19. 19
    sandy says:

    Use cranberry juice its better for you then soda and tastes better then red soda too!

  20. 20
    Jan says:

    Thanks, my nieces and nephews will love this, and I LOVE the fact that there is someone else out there who doesn’t drink alcohol !

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