DIY: Independence Day Edition


As the mother of all summertime holidays stateside, Independence Day (a.k.a. the 4th of July) means many things. Fireworks, hot dogs, a cinematic alien invasion, the birth of our country – all of these are important elements to the most thoroughly American of all holidays.  It’s also one of the best days of the year for a good, solid cookout. For those of you entertaining folks at home or bringing provisions to another’s, Jack Allen’s Kitchen has some great recipes for you to DIY this holiday. Looking for more ideas? Be sure to check out Jack’s cookbook!

Smashed Guacamole

Photo by McConnell Photography

Photo by McConnell Photography

Guac is an undisputed crowd-pleaser at any gathering, and Jack Gilmore makes some of the best in town. You can, of course, buy your pico ready-made, but we suggest taking a leaf out of Jack’s book and visiting your local farmers’ market for fresh ingredients. After all, it is tomato season and you can serve the remaining homemade pico on the side!



2 avocados, ripe

1/2 c of pico de gallo (see below)

1/4 t kosher salt

1/4 t black pepper

2 T grated cotija cheese

2 T pumpkin seeds, roasted


  1. Cut the avocados in half, peel and pit them.
  2. Smash avocado, pico, and the seasonings together to form a chunky dip.
  3. Top with cheese and seeds.

Pico de Gallo

2 c tomatoes, diced to 1/4 inch

1/2 c onion, diced to 1/4 inch

2 T jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 T cilantro, chopped

1/2 fresh lime, juiced

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine ingredients and mix well.

Manor Punch

Photo Courtesy of Jack Allen's Kitchen

Photo by Kenny Braun

With the bounty of fresh fruit available in summer, it’s a great season for colorful punches. This bright, citrusy, rum-based punch from Jack Allen’s Kitchen makes wonderful use of various melons as ice cubes!


Melon Ice Cubes

6 c of seedless watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew melons, peeled and chopped


  1. Place fruit in a blender or processor and blend, adding water as needed until smooth.
  2. Strain through a China cap strainer, pour into two ice cube trays and freeze overnight.


8 oz of White Hat Rum

2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

2 oz fresh lime juice

2 oz fresh lemon juice

6 oz fresh ruby red grapefruit juice

6-4 dashes of Bar Keep Lavender Bitters, to taste

8-12 melon ice cubes (see below)


  1. In a small punch bowl, combine all ingredients  including Melon Ice Cubes
  2. Pour into tumblers with at least one Melon Ice Cube per glass, and serve.

Happy 4th-ing!

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

Get in touch! Send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Photo by Adrienne DeverPhoto by Richard Casteel