When you break it down, America’s two greatest contributions to the culinary universe are barbecue and cocktails (buffalo wings finish a distant third). On this patriotic weekend, I plan on celebrating both, with a pile of pulled pork (from our June 2008 issue) and this spunky drink made with applejack, the original American spirit, which I’ve turned into a pork-friendly pitcher drink.

Big-Batch Applejack Cocktail
Makes 8 drinks

2 cups applejack
1/4 ounce Rich Simple Syrup
1/2 ounce Angostura bitters
8 lemon twists, for garnish

Fill a pitcher with ice. Add all of the ingredients except the lemon twist and stir for 30 seconds, until chilled. Strain into chilled martini glasses and garnish each drink with a lemon twist.